Monday, July 7, 2014

Today's walk report: 070714: Catching up, 4th of July weekend.

We just finished up a rather spectacular 4th of July weekend which included lots of photo taking and a big surprise for the 4th itself.

Friday night, July 4th, Independence Day.

We "debated" options for a Friday evening walk, hoping to see some fireworks. We had no idea what was in store for the evening. Last year I had planned to go up to a hilltop at the nearby College campus to see what firework displays I could photograph but that turned out be a non-event when I saw the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had decided to close the campus and block off the entrances.

College campus, July 4, 2013.
This was a sight I'd never seen. It's a community college, it's a public school and while I've seen it closed to inbound traffic I'd never seen it barricaded by police.

When we read that the campus would be "closed" for the 4th this year I expected the same. This sort of behavior tends to get worse and never better so that's the assumption I had made. I was wrong.

We decided to walk the "bus way" west which runs parallel to our neighborhood on one side and the campus ultimately on the other about .75 miles in. We hoped to see some fireworks out of chance. When we got to the NE corner of the campus I looked down the block and it appeared to be open, no signs to the contrary--no barricades. So we went in and crossed the campus to make it to the top of the hill rather swiftly.

What a beautiful sight! We were alone too for the most part and we saw 100's of firework displays all across the San Fernando Valley, some miles off in the distance and some just a few blocks away, everything from neighborhood celebrations to professional displays. It went from bottle rockets to huge dahlias.

Here's a mock-up I made which no where approaches what we really saw but hopefully you get the idea.

Docken said it was the most beautiful 4th she ever experienced and I would have to agree... plus I had her with me. We watched fireworks for well over an hour, holding each other like lovers do.

Onto July 5th...

It was the start of Le Tour de France today and that meant getting up at 4 AM to watch the race. Actually it meant getting up at 3 AM only to find out that NBC had been re-miss once again in getting the start time right. The race was over shortly after 9 AM and we were off for a walk around 10. It was already getting pretty darn hot too.

Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice) butterfly.
Blue dasher dragonfly being overly receptive during mating?
Gulf fritillary or passion butterfly (Agraulis vanillae).
Pond flowers, no ID.

Cardinal meadowhawk (Sympetrum illotum).
No ID, water flower.
Same deal yesterday, July 6, AM coffee and cycling with stage 2 of the tour and out after 10 AM for an even warmer walk. We hit 92ยบ by noon.

Mud dauber wasp drinking from the pond.
Monster grasshopper on Salvia uliginosa.
Flowers are dying and seed pods abound.
Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum) enjoying the water plants.

Pieris rapae on salvia.
Colias philodice on Salvia darcyi.

Thanks for joining in!

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