Fall-ing: A seasonal experience
Swift birding, the Hollywood Farmers Market and a rainy day in L.A.
Monday, October 4, 2010 - 19:51
X MARKS THE SPOT: The view from my front window shows a wet, gray Monday. (Photo: Rachel Whitman)
Welcome to the Hollywood Hills! We're having some pretty gloomy weather today, with a lot of moisture in the air ...
Over the next two weeks, I'll be sharing a photographic chronicle of what I encounter entering autumn. Here's a peek inside last weekend ...
Birds over Broadway: A little bird makes a big impression on downtown Los Angeles
Friday evening my husband and I joined birders and representatives from the Debs Park Audubon Center on a rooftop downtown to watch a flock of Vaux's swifts nest for the night in the chimney of a building on Broadway.
As the sun descended, the crowd, and the anticipation, grew. The swifts, which had been doing fly-bys in small groups since around six o'clock, increased their numbers and performed some pretty spectacular aerial maneuvers. A hawk cruised by the rooftop and up the block, creating tension. The event is not without its dark side. Ryan Vaillancourt's Downtown LA News report from the swift watch mentions that ravens wait by the chimney to pick off unlucky swifts for dinner. (The aviary equivalent of a pop-up restaurant?). As we watched excitedly, the swifts continued to mass and to entertain their audience. When a raven did alight on the chimney stack the group uttered a collective, "Ooooh."
This being the second weekend of nesting birds, we were seeing the tail end of the migrating flocks, which are on their way to Mexico and Guatemala. Though they were low in numbers, it was a fantastic sight. As they start to fly into the chimney, a pillar of birds forms above the stack and, in a surprisingly delicate process, drop in a few at a time. Then the cyclone of birds breaks apart, comes back together again, and a few more funnel into the opening. Click here to see it for yourself.
Weekend weather was windy, blowing leaves across our path on Saturday afternoon ...
And Sunday included a trip to the Hollywood Farmers Market, which I haven't been to in ages — and which has recently come under scrutiny for some of its deceitful vendors. You wouldn't think it from Monday's photos, but Sunday was beautifully sunny and people were out in force enjoying the day.
PRODUCE PATTERNS at the Hollywood Farmer's Market:
This week, I hope you'll tag along as I visit Washington state ...
Photos: Rachel Whitman
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