Category Archives: Strange World

The Visible Housing Timeline

I saw an article about open space preservation efforts in Newport Beach, and decided to look up the area on maps’ satellite view. Looking around nearby areas in Newport, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Tustin, Orange, etc, I realized: the timeline of residential development in central Orange County is actually visible.

  • Newer neighborhoods have bigger houses than older ones.
  • Older neighborhoods have varied muted colored roofs. Newer ones are almost all red tile.
  • With some exceptions, older areas were built on flatter land & newer areas have crept into the hills, so grids are mostly older. The one newer area that’s flat-and-grid is all red tile roofs.

I don’t know how well it tracks for other areas. I’m less familiar with southern Orange County, for instance, and areas from Santa Ana northward into the LA Basin are much flatter and were largely built-up by the time I started paying attention.

Tenacious Tree

A palm tree growing along the column supporting a bridge...and then diagonally sideways until it gets out from under the bridge entirely.

I finally stopped to take a photo of this tenacious palm tree. I’m not sure whether it was planted or if it just took root next to the support pillar back when the Green Line was new two decades ago. It’s clearly not actively maintained, judging by all the old dry fronds still attached, and I keep wondering if it’ll get taken out as part of the construction of the Crenshaw line (this is right next to the Y connector where the new line branches off, and the fences are part of the construction site)…but that construction’s almost done, and the tree’s still there.

Treetop Tomatoes

Tomato plant with a mix of red and green tomatoes, growing out of the side of a palm tree.

Is this the weirdest place I’ve seen a volunteer tomato? It’s certainly up there!

*sorry*

*ok, not sorry* 🙂

Originally posted on Pixelfed. Observation on iNaturalist.

Hawk or Dove?

Usually, iNaturalist’s AI is pretty good at narrowing down a plant or animal to a genus, but sometimes it can get confused. Like this pigeon sitting on a silk floss tree branch. It was “pretty sure” it was a hawk.

Um, nope!

I can sort of see that with the first image, but the second one makes it blindingly obvious!

Here’s the kicker, though: Pigeons and doves are the same as far as biological classification. Some names might lean toward one or the other, like the mourning dove, but others, like the rock pigeon or rock dove seen here, can be called either.

Which means the AI was literally confusing hawks and doves!