Tuesday, June 30, 2015

But Enough About Me: Riverside Wildlife

The place I work in Riverside, California is a business park/light industrial area that’s only a couple of blocks from some hills and some undeveloped land. I like to walk along the dirt utility roads there on my lunch breaks. I take my MP3 player and listen to podcasts like Escape Pod and Welcome to Night Vale. Despite all the human activity and a fair amount of truck and train traffic in the area, I see wildlife on a pretty regular basis, especially in the winter and spring when it’s not insanely hot out.
Last winter, a herd of wild burros moved into the area for a few weeks, attacted by the green grass that came with the rain.
They want to know two things about you: 1. Are you a threat? 2. If not, did you bring food?
U haz snax?
Stop wastin' my time
Rabbits and ground squirrels are plentiful any time of year. I saw this cute baby bunny a couple years ago.
There are also birds, flowers and reptiles.
Mourning dove
I think this is a finch
Zoom lens says... Not a rattlesnake!
I am the Lizard King! I can do anything!
You can find pretty things in a ditch sometimes
The coolest animal by far was the bobcat that hung around for a week or two last month. I'd seen it or one of its relatives the year before, but I got some good pictures this year.
The first time I saw him this year, he climbed out of a drainage pipe and strode past me like it was no big thing.
The next day, he was chilling in the shade of a warehouse
The last day I saw him, he was dozing in the bushes next to the sidewalk. I was pretty surprised to see him that close and was very glad not to be a ground squirrel.
He was entirely unconcerned by my presence...
...and let me take several pictures...
...before deciding it was time to go.
He had some trouble remembering where he parked...
...and ended up walking home.

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