Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hiking Santa Barbara's Trails...

...can result in some fun sightings.

I was hiking with some guys from the Faroe Islands this week and we were talking about the different wildlife you would see day-to-day when hiking the mountains of Santa Barbara.

Twice I got stumped... we were talking about how with birds, the colorful/beautiful ones are the males, unlike us awkward looking human males... and then we saw a Blue Jay, and one of the guys asked if that was the male... it got me to thinking... I've always just looked at Blue Jays and never really wondered as to whether or not it was one sex or another. (anyone know by the way, if there is a visual difference between male and female Blue Jays?)

Then, we saw this little guy that I took a picture of. I can't for the life of me think of the right name for him... anyone know?

And finally, of course we saw some poison oak. There's a TON of this stuff out there right now. At this point though, I'm thinking I must be one of the 10% who are not effected by poison oak, because I swear I've touched this stuff a hundred different times and never seen the adverse results.

Being a wedding photographer I wish I was better at nature photography... but sadly I've attempted that route and didn't fair so well! ;-)


  1. All right I found some info on the blue jay. The pictures that are on that site that you found are the east coast blue jay, it would be really crazy if you saw one out here. The west coast one is there cousin the stellar jay. It says that there is no color difference in coloration between the males and females. Here is the link:http://home.houston.rr.com/wondersofnature/wonders_of_nature%20articles.html#Blue%20Jay

  2. Thanks awesome! thanks for the info!
    (lol, how'd you know where to find that info?)

  3. I don't remember now. LOL. I just started typing in stellar jay and blue jay and east coast blue jay vs west coast blue jay in google and then found the info. Since I've grown up in the mountains of So Cal all my life, I've just always known that are blue jays aren't really blue jays they are stellar jays.

  4. The slimy little guy is a salamander. If you want more pics of them, we should go hike the Tunnel Road trail soon up to 7 falls. There are usually thousands of them this time of year... well, maybe not thousands, but you don't have to look far to find them.

  5. sweet! I was gonna call it a "Skank" for some reason... but knew that wasn't right!

    That's funny, this is actually the trail if you don't head up toward seven falls, but head towards the peak instead (not Cathedral Peak)

    I've seen these guys in the pools on the way to Seven Falls now that I think of it! Crazy, I've actually swam with one of these little guys and didn't even think of it!

  6. hehe, that's some healthy poison oak!
    I have one of the worst cases of oak I have had since I was a little kid right now, it sucks! But the trail I am building is totally worth it, you will have to hurry up and get a bike so you can ride it...

  7. Ohhh....don't even SAY "poison oak' to me - I actually have never had it, but I have a pathetic amount of intolerance to anything itchy. Scott and my mother get it systemically without even touching it - they break out for months on end and end up having to get cortizone a lot...icky!

    West Coast, like doug says, only have Scrub/stellar Jays - we don't technically have "blue' jays, even though they are blue in color. I actually find salamandars once in a while in my yard, they are SO cute! I love the tiny arms/legs!

    PS finally, FINALLY remembered to link you. 'Bout time, huh?

  8. Heyo. You're a hiking guru. Did you wear your famed headlamp? dude jetlag is brutal, it's 5am and I've been wide awake for a good 2 hours already. Are you in Vegas? See any more skanks recently?

  9. That little guy is a salamandar, also called a California Newt. They aren't slimy. They feel more like a cat's tongue, kinda rough. I think they are sweet little creatures.

    Our jays are called Scrub Jays. I saw a magnificent one yesterday in the back yard. Had to be a male. I didn't realize jays are sexually dimophic, but many birds are.