Nature here in Pasadena…

A little break from Spain…

Three Things of Nature in today’s journal commentary:
1) I was doing my cool down walk after my run the other day and spotted what at first I took to be a huge (9 inch long) earthworm on the damp sidewalk (it’s been raining here off and on as of late). On closer examination it didn’t appear so earthwormy…

It had a delta patch on its head that it could elevate away from its body. It also had stripes the length of its long body. The patch reminded me of the head of the flatworms we had in my high school biology class. But those flatworms were only about a half inch long at most!

I picked up a nearby stick to move it to an area safer than the open sidewalk. Upon lifting it I saw that its belly was flat. So maybe I stumbled upon the world’s longest flatworm!

2) A couple of days after that there was a coyote in our front yard. It’s not too unusual to see coyotes where I live. Typically, though, we see them at night or very early in the morning. This was 11:00 AM! I grabbed my camera and followed it. I was sure it wasn’t rabid because of its skittishness; it was not aggressive at all. It looked lost and confused. I think it was trying to find its way back to the mountains or the nearby arroyo. When it came to a busy cross street, I feared for its safety. The coyote did an amazingly skilled negotiation of the traffic, however. It crossed, I didn’t. I watched as it took off down the other half of my street.

3) This morning the San Gabriel Mountains that face my home (my house is in the beginning of the foothills) were laced with fresh snowfall. Now, I know this is not a big deal to my friends back east (or up north) but I always get a real thrill seeing “my” mountains dusted with white. We’re being hit by Arctic storms from Alaska right now (at night it’s in the 30’s); I expect even more snow to fall. Every few years I get about half an inch of snow covering my front lawn. I love it that way; I’d really hate to have to deal with heavy snowfall. I prefer having snow where I can visit it — and leave it!

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