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BACKYARD 1 — BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA
at 9601 Oak Pass Rd. (1938—1957)
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, in the E. SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS
Historical Macro-Moth Study (1953-1957)
homemoth familiesmona #'s foodplants seasonal charts pdfs maps links << previousarticles next >>
HISTORICAL PHOTOS (late 1950's-early 1960's) DOCUMENTING the SHORT-SIGHTED TRASHING of the OLD NORTH BEVERLY DR. and MARION WAY FIRE-ROADS, RESULTING in the LOSS of a PRISTINE REMNANT of the NATURAL HERITAGE of BEVERLY HILLS
Numerous color photos (the “C” & “D” slide series, made in the late 1950's to early 1960's) document this unique habitat that has been obliterated — the former Higgins Canyon. This once incredibly diverse and compact natural sanctuary, was located about 2 mi. to the east of the 9601 Oak Pass residence, commencing about two miles up N. Beverly Dr., north of Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills (formerly reached by keeping to the left where Coldwater Cyn. forks off to the right)—and originally comprising the northernmost end (approx. the last two miles) of North Beverly Dr., entirely south of the Mulholland Highway. This “top end” of Beverly Dr. was then only a narrow dirt fire-road, protected by locked gates at either end. It was bounded on the west by Summitridge Rd., on the north by Mulholland, and on the east by Franklin Canyon.  Marion Way (also a locked and narrow dirt fire-road) penetrated into the heart of this secluded and pristine gem from the west, linking Summitridge Rd. to North Beverly Drive.  Upper Marion Way commenced at the north side of the former Johnson residence, just below 2500 Summitridge. I attempted to photograph much of this habitat, before it was erased by greedy “developers” mindlessly rendering “Progress” (a.k.a. Profits).... CHALLENGE: Following the above instructions, go for a drive in that “improved” habitat today, and see if you can even find a remnant of this once idyllic sanctuary, as documented by the C & D slide-series....(Happy hunting!)

Afterthoughts

In the late 1950's - early 1960's I was trying repeatedly (but unsuccessfully!) to elicit the interest of The Nature Conservancy and others regarding the (then) totally untouched gem of a “habitat-sampler” that still existed, as a potentially viable and neatly compact unit, encompassing the last mile of North Beverly Dr. (south of the Mulholland Hwy.), and including all of the Marion Way fire-road, in what was then known as Higgins Canyon....I was, at that time, unfortunately just in my early 20's - with no credentials or magical letters after my name, so my sincere entreaties merely bounced off the reflexively “deaf” ears of Elders in Positions of Power-&-Influence....Then (in 1964), life began to beckon in other directions, as exciting new prospects opened up on the other side of the planet (Australia)! One last (feeble) attempt, to trigger some kind of interest in preserving the (imagined) “Higgins Canyon Sanctuary”, was embedded in the McFarland & Colburn publication of 1968 (pp. 2 + 4), but I was by then well launched into a love affair with “OZ”, and the childhood eden had faded to a distant background glow....As can be gleaned from this website, however, the “glow” still persists!! And it has borne substantial fruit on the opposite side of the planet: Go to Backyard No.6C (Howatharra Hill Reserve in Western Australia) to view the “fruits”!....

A PLEA for FUTURE STUDIES in the SAME REGION

N. Beverly Dr. With all the background information that has been provided here, dating back more than half a century with specific details, it could be of great interest for any local resident who has the inclination, to undertake a similar moth survey somewhere nearby today—wherever any of the original native vegetation still persists(??) along upper Oak Pass Rd., or in other nearby locations further to the east or south....Such investigations would almost certainly reveal some major changes in relative abundance of the various moth species (see Abundance-ratings), and note the “rating” given to each species in this study, reflecting their numbers in the 1950's)....There may now be extensive evidence of local extinctions in the vicinity of 9601 Oak Pass Road(??) Be sure to give the effort at least 5 consecutive years of intensive (year-round) collecting, along with very careful documentation, before jumping to any conclusions!.... Parts of FRANKLIN CANYON MIGHT BE A LOCALITY STILL LIKELY TO YIELD SIMILAR (OR CLOSELY COMPARABLE) RESULTS...(?)
Reference: McFarland & Colburn, P.W. (1968) - Notes on the “original” vegetation of a single locality in the eastern Santa Monica Mts., California.  Lasca Leaves 18(1): 1-18. (pdf pp. 1-11) ' (pdf pp. 12-18)
1A — Growing Up Wild in the ELFIN FOREST north of Beverly Hills (1938-1957)

Dedications

Growing Up Wild in Beverly Hills!

EARLY DAYS on OAK PASS Rd. (1937-1945) and HOW the ROAD GOT ITS NAME

FIRES

- (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

CONTACT INFORMATION

DESSERT (Purely for Amusement!)

THE HONEY-SNOB'S CORNER


1B — BACKPORCH MOTH COLLECTION at 9601 Oak Pass Road (1953-1957)

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

ABUNDANCE-RATINGS DEFINED

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 Documenting the Surrounding Locality (1957-1964)

1C - HABITAT PHOTOS (1957-1964)

DIRT ROADS

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