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BIOTA ALONG OAK PASS ROAD DURING THE 1940's1950's
(D) LOCAL MAMMALS REMEMBERED
The most persistent memories I have under this heading are of our early morning drives down Oak Pass Rd., to the (much-hated!) school bus stop at the Hutton Dr./Benedict Canyon intersection (a distance of about 3 road-miles from our house). Larger mammals were so regularly seen enroute, that we (either parent as driver, self, and sister) often played a game of trying to guess which species (and numbers) of larger animals we would encounter on the drive down through the hills....Most frequent would be mule deer (individuals, and sometimes small herds); less often, a coyote or bobcat, or (rarely) a cougar. The latter were always “around”, but rarely seen. There were never any threatening mountain lion encounters, as are now regularly being reported from various western localities. Opossums were often seen around the house at night, and the occasional gray fox, but coyotes were the dominant canids here, and were often heard at night.
The only skunk I recall seeing (mostly around the garden at night) was the spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis) not uncommon. In the early years after our house was finished (early 1940's), my parents would often sit outside in the front yard on warm summer evenings, on some flat sandstone rocks placed there for “seats”. My mother stated that, if they remained very quiet (sitting with knees elevated), 2 or 3 spotted skunks would sometimes “play” at chasing each other in-and-out between their legs, while they sat there. This never resulted in any spraying or other “misunderstandings” between the skunks and the humans! Raccoons were never seen.
The brush rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani) was often seen in pathways near the garden and along the roadsides everywhere. The dusky-footed woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes), made huge nests of piled-up sticks and other debris, which were abundant in the chaparral and oak woodland habitat immediately around the house; these nests were always on the ground here, never up in the trees. Some individuals would get into our basement, and liked to perform "terriotorial" drumming on the heat-ducts, which sounds would reverberate up through the house (parents not amused)! As a byproduct of the woodrat presence, black kissing-bugs (Triatoma sp., of the Fam. Reduvidae) were common pests inside our house during the summer months (active only at night). Western gray squirrels (Sciurus griseus) were sporadically sometimes present (low numbers) in our oak trees, but they rarely stayed around for more than a day or two at a time. The oak forests (through which they wandered) covered the entire ridge and its adjacent slopes, where our house was situated (see Habitat Photos). A few ground squirrels (Citellus beecheyi) lived near the garden, and their diurnal shrieking alarm-calls kept our two terrier dogs fully occupied on many occasions! In those days (devoid of suburban fears) no one felt any "need" to harbor some breed of killer/attack dog as the family "pet". It was indeed a very different world....
Growing Up Wild in Beverly Hills!
EARLY DAYS on OAK PASS Rd. (1937-1945) and HOW the ROAD GOT ITS NAME
- (A) Botanical Highlights
-- Historical Remarks on Oaks
-- EARLY EVOLUTIONARY STAGES of the "SMOG-DENIAL SYNDROME"!
-- OAK PASS NATIVE PLANTS TODAY (??)
-- Echos From the Past!
-- A Bit of SUMMERTIME FOGBANK-BOTANY
- (B) LOCAL BUTTERFLY HIGHLIGHTS
- (C) LOCAL BIRDS REMEMBERED
- (D) LOCAL MAMMALS REMEMBERED
- (E) REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS REMEMBERED
DESSERT (Purely for Amusement!)
THE HONEY-SNOB'S CORNER
A five-year study (1953-1957) documenting the occurrence of 283 macro-moth species on one acre of woodland habitat at 9601 Oak Pass Rd., 5 road-miles north of Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills (a mixture of undisturbed Southern Oak Woodland / Chaparral / Coastal Sage Scrub habitat, at 1100 ft. elevation).
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THIS CALIFORNIA SITE
ABOUT THE BACKYARD CONCEPT
BACKGROUND & INTRODUCTION
About the Moth Studies at 9601 Oak Pass Road
BEATING or SWEEPING for LARVAE - A MOST PRODUCTIVE COLLECTING TECHNIQUE
The OLD BEVERLY HILLS (OAK PASS ROAD) MOTH STUDY COMPARED WITH THREE OTHER (MORE RECENT) SURVEYS IN COASTAL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
OBSERVED DIFFERENCES IN THE MACRO-MOTH FAUNAS OF THE ABOVE THREE OTHER SURVEYED COASTAL CALIFORNIAN LOCALITIES
HISTORICAL PHOTOS and A PLEA for FUTURE STUDIES in the SAME REGION
FRANK SALA'S CORNER
FRANK HOVORE'S CORNER
1C - HABITAT PHOTOS (1957-1964)
Copyright ©2005-2011 Noel McFarland. All Rights Reserved.