A Virtual Visit to Caliente Creek, Kern County, CA

Caliente Creek is a creel with Street View imagery along much of its length. It's also a place I've never been, where there are limited iNaturalist records. There are, however, some wonderful records made by @naomithebot and other botanists as part of a bioblitz in the past.

I added a few more records of things visible on Google Street View from the highest point I could see the creek (and adjacent slopes) to its apparent 'outlet' from a trash-strewn ditch in the central valley onto a road and a sump.

you can retrace this path with the attached observations. I don't only follow the creek, there are some other nearby things too.

Note there are a few more observations at the very top... inat won't let me add them to this blog post without deleting the others

Publicado por seen_on_street_view seen_on_street_view, 02 de enero de 2017

Observaciones

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Enebro de Baja California (Juniperus californica)

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https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3067609,-118.4215741,3a,75y,158.64h,80.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sUPBW4sCPIMnTxesmkB2I3w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

aug 2012

quite a few of them around here. this is an interesting high hot valley with some desert affinities perhaps. Never been up here. Too bad.

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Álamo (Populus fremontii)

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https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3069176,-118.4268564,3a,60y,221.65h,86.47t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxlkotdhrhUBl84otXM4S3g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

aug 2012

as the canyon narrows moving downstream, bedrock becomes closer to the surface, forcing moisture and sometimes surface water towards the stream bed. Here it becomes wet enough to support cottonwoods instead of just junipers and smaller shrubs. Looks like there is some grazing happening here. Also a willow to the left, probably lasiolepis but I wouldn't try to guess based on google street view imagery.

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Batamote (Baccharis salicifolia)

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https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3073824,-118.4292029,3a,40.5y,172.34h,100.6t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1skBXCIZN-0eMN6IFm9-ON2g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

ubiquitous here and easily visible both on google street view (aug 2012) and air photos. This species is a dominant to codominant tree in much of the foothills surrounding the Central Valley, though there is an odd distribution gap in part of the southern Sierras. Trying to build up the range map for this species on iNat.

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Árbol del Cielo (Ailanthus altissima)

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Árbol del Cielo (Ailanthus altissima)

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Aliso (Platanus racemosa)

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https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3044607,-118.4606989,3a,41.3y,328.94h,107.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sN6lMx0XWvWKlmUUkvlXeHg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

aug 2012

neat! This canyon is called sycamore canyon, perhaps there are more upstream but no google there and it's probably private land

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Castaño de California (Aesculus californica)

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https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3045083,-118.4609372,3a,19.5y,220.82h,101.03t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1stxHwe716Lxj-QJkwc8YC_Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

the brown trees. They aren't dead, they lose their leaves during the dry season. Visible on the air photo too!

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Árbol del Cielo (Ailanthus altissima)

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Castaño de California (Aesculus californica)

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Yuca de Chaparral (Hesperoyucca whipplei)

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Árbol del Cielo (Ailanthus altissima)

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Saúco Azul (Sambucus cerulea)

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Aliso (Platanus racemosa)

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Descripción

https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3145225,-118.5068806,3a,49.9y,355.78h,122.88t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s5BaFjm9L7nONpK0ssvUxfQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

aug 2012

continuing all through here of course. probably hundreds of thousands in this canyon

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Cardo del Oeste (Cirsium occidentale)

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Tabaquillo Sudamericano (Nicotiana glauca)

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Aliso (Platanus racemosa)

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Descripción

https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3387374,-118.5774416,3a,60y,124.19h,111.04t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sy9ud299uV1a_vTKw7pBMBw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

jan 2011.

I guess there is limited value to data indicating any amount of grey pine in the western sierra foothills down here. but hey it's free data. more or less. There it is

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Árbol del Cielo (Ailanthus altissima)

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Cardos Rusos (Género Salsola)

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why?

jun 2012, not there in 2008. grazing or fire issue maybe. or they just aren't visible in winter.

https://www.google.com/maps/@35.3077699,-118.6947552,3a,28y,11.83h,75.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sGooRN5d56YXI3Y-FEsHHxQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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Tamariscos (Género Tamarix)

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https://www.google.com/maps/@35.325253,-118.7323044,3a,24.6y,18.39h,84.74t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1swRHFyB9fZG7-K0cMetAl9Q!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

jun 2012

this wash is intense - it's huge and super filled with sediment. I wonder if it has been like this for a long time or if it is only due to whatever land use, grazing, logging way up high, fire suppression, whatever. if only we had more access to info about what it was like back then. Need more connection with Native people who are still around!

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Pino Salado Mediterráneo (Tamarix aphylla)

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perhaps planted. This line of athel seems to be in where Caliente Creek loses its coherency. So odd that a huge drainage and very wide wash just vanishes. Where does the water go during the big floods? Does it just spread out over farm fields? Are there enough ditches to hold it all? I know during the really big floods the Tulare Lake refills a bit despite the drainage attempts. s it will undoubtedly do some day in the future.

https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2820252,-118.7889129,3a,43.4y,89.85h,96.56t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sSgdfC8vwq1fU4iI5K8d7Rw!2e0!7i3328!8i1664

Jan 2008, plus 2012.

Has anyone mapped the current hydrology of the central valley? So many hydrologic restoration opportunities with no political will to do them.

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Tabaquillo Sudamericano (Nicotiana glauca)

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https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2808718,-118.8249792,3a,17.4y,247.31h,85.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sdYMAvERZZuUtZKfwbo6OoQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

this little dry swale with tree tobacco seems to be part of a floodway that sometimes gets water kicked in from Caliente Creek. Which is odd because upstream I couldn't find a channel. July 2012, dry of course.this road probably isn't passable during the rare times it flows

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Álamo (Populus fremontii)

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https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2746139,-118.8428356,3a,15y,295.47h,90.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sa_qokxcGbZ08Tfus-YqFTg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

the ditch that holds the valley bottom remains of caliente creek, a small cottonwood survives here

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Tabaquillo Sudamericano (Nicotiana glauca)

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https://www.google.com/maps/@35.2745542,-118.8606887,3a,15y,68.36h,85.07t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sjkyqeLJn_Bz5fh-GWaxwBg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

jul 2012

so it kind of looks like caliente creek ends here, in a sad garbage pile, where it literally gets dumped on this road. How odd. I guess it flows so rarely that any time it reaches here is a flood event everywhere else anyway.

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