Vulnerable as it digests its meal, the gopher snake retreats into the shadows.
Here only the last bit of the young rat's tail remains.
Gopher snake works its way through its meal
Coiled gopher snake with its prey
I hadn't yet noticed it when I took this picture, but the rat here has emerged on a scene of a gopher snake eating another infant rodent. It must have fled from the tussle, barely escaping with its own life.
I didn't notice it earlier, but its tail looks a bit bloodied, but by what?
D'aww, the plague has never looked so cute
A little movement up hill caught my attention. While one knows rats are everywhere, they're not usually out in open area during mid-day. Why it was would be come apparent
Cañada Verde Creek meets its bank rising towards the Pacific Crest Trail as it flows towards a fallen log
Cañada Verde Creek backed up momentarily by a log that fell in its bed.
Cañada Verde Creek flows through a gap in sediment collected behind a log that fell in its bed.
A House Wren with beak slightly open mid-call
As it hopped into the light, it was clear: This was our House Wren again. At the time I figured it out from the bird's song that it was the same one as earlier.
Another bird! What could it be?
Rancher's (Common) fiddleneck Amsinckia intermedia
A big ol' ravin up in a Coast live oak Quercus agrifolia
That ceanothus which I earlier called a Buck brush Ceanothus cuneatus. Possibly. Maybe another ceanothus, but those leaves look more like the buck brush than anything else I could find.
After swapping lenses, I could get a much better picture of this House Wren
We heard a birdie up in the tree!
Blurry close-up of flowers on an Oak gooseberry Ribes quercetorum. I'm betting I left the aperture closed after a previous shot, which cost me enough shutter speed and diffraction blur that I lost sharpness.
Light shines through leaves of Oak gooseberry Ribes quercetorum
A taller, flowering Mohave yucca Yucca schidigera
Tip of a Cane Cholla Cylindropuntia californica var. parkeri
A slightly closer look at the center of a Mohave yucca Yucca schidigera, with a flower stalk emerging. IIRC, the Mohave Yucca flowers yearly throughout its life.
Mohave yucca Yucca schidigera
Close-up of an Purple owl's clovers Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta amid a field of Needle goldfields Lasthenia gracilis
A few Purple owl's clovers Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta rise above a field of Needle goldfields Lasthenia gracilis, with an understory of Star gilia Gilia stellata
Baby blue eyes Nemophila menziesii var. menziesii with occasional Red maids Calandrinia menziesii peeking out
A busy PCT beyond a rise crested with Needle goldfields Lasthenia gracilis and Miniature Bicolor Lupine Lupinus bicolor
A Red maid Calandrinia menziesii
Fiddlenecks Amsinckia menziesii pop up among Miniature Bicolor Lupines Lupinus bicolor
Needle goldfields Lasthenia gracilis and Miniature Bicolor Lupine Lupinus bicolor
The north edge of the Volcan Mountains rises above a valley running through with Needle goldfields Lasthenia gracilis and linedby Miniature Bicolor Lupine Lupinus bicolor
The Pacific Crest Trail winds back and forth as it recedes beyond a trail marker
Humble goldfields keep close to the ground around Eagle Rock, as hikers take various group photos and selphies
Hikers rest in front of Eagle Rock
Two California poppy Eschscholzia californica flowers in front of a field of Miniature Bicolor Lupine Lupinus bicolor
An Purple owl's clover Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta surrounded by Miniature Bicolor Lupine Lupinus bicolor
A patch of Miniature Bicolor Lupine Lupinus bicolor
Hedgehog (Calico) cactus Echinocereus engelmannii - which I've only ever seen in the desert before, but apparently it's not uncommon to see it in the mountains and eastward.
Purple owl's clover Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta
Two Purple owl's clovers Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta, with orange California poppies Eschscholzia californica in the background
Close-up of Purple owl's clover Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta
Needle goldfields Lasthenia gracilis and Purple owl's clover Castilleja exserta ssp. exserta
Ground pink Linanthus dianthiflorus and Needle goldfields Lasthenia gracilis