Old Water Tank 2 – Upper Las Virgines Open Space Preserve

Old Water Tank 2/19/2012Old Water Tank 2 – Upper Las Virgines Open Space Preserve, Calabasas, California, USA

I was up by 5:00 am and at the trail head at 6:30, still dark and just before sunrise. I ambled up the trail trying not to step on any newborn cottontail bunnies. They were all over hustling for food before the coyotes woke up. I thought to myself that one tenth of them will make it, and the rest will become coyote breakfast. Isn’t nature wonderful? Well, not for cottontail  bunnies I guess!

The last time I hiked at Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, I made a capture I named  “Corner Post on Hill”  and also lined up some possible shots nearby for next time. All I had to do was find the first fork in the trail and go right. For some unknown reason, I decided to go left instead. I suppose the idea of seeing something new was too strong to ignore. After a while I came upon this old rusty water tank left over from the days when cattle grazed on these hills. When I noticed the nicely shaped live oak tree behind, I knew I had to have it.

copyright 2012 O. Bisogno Scotti  All Rights Reserved.

Nikon D3 DSLR, AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D, exposure: f/22.0, 1/20 sec., exposure index: -0.67, ISO 200, Exposure Program: Aperture Priority,  capture: 2/19/2012, 8:20 am,  Nikkor MC-20 remote cable, Manfrotto 3221 tripod with Manfrotto 3265 pistol grip ball head, Photoshop CS 5, HDR Pro

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11 thoughts on “Old Water Tank 2 – Upper Las Virgines Open Space Preserve

  1. I like the contract between the old and the new, the live and the unused.
    The tree looks to be young sort of in an oaks life, I think oaks can live to about 100 in our years. I remember that oaks take a long time to germinate something like 2 yrs.
    Is there a parent anywhere for the acorn to have come from?

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    • This tree is on the young side and seems to be having a hard time on its hilltop perch. Live oaks keep their foliage all year long so this one, even though it has an interesting shape, is denuded. They actually live a lot longer that 100 years. The live oaks that are just dying off now are the same trees that were here when Spanish explorers arrived in California. The Spaniards landed in winter and the oaks were the only trees that still had their green foliage. They assumed the other trees were dead, hence the name “live oak”.

      There are many live oak throughout the Upper Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve so it is wonderful that this land has been protected. There is also a resident mountain lion, a young male originally from Simi Valley who has come to stake a claim for his own territory. I am yet to meet him, but there is always hope!

      We have the oldest trees in the world (Great Basin Bristlecone Pine) right here in California!

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      • Makes me want to visit, you show your home state as very camera friendly, interesting, and special. Plus it is a warm climate.
        Are you sure you want to “meet” this young male or just shoot him from a long distance?

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      • The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve are special to me as it is all part of the old Amanson Ranch. I have fought to protect this land from developement for about 18 years and it is now a reality. You can see the whole story @ http://wp.me/pAnZn-1l2

        The weather is too good in Southern California this year. There hasn’t been a good storm all winter so the skies have been quite boring. I like to chase the storms!

        I believe the puma’s name is P-13. He has a radio collar. Of course I would always respect his space. If you get too close it will put undo stress on the animal making it harder for him to survive. P-13 was originally from Simi Valley moving into the Preserve as he matured and began looking for unclaimed territory where he can mate. He was the first large mammal to make use of the wildlife corridor tunnel built under the Ventura Freeway to connect Simi Valley and San Fernando Valley with the Santa Monica Mountains. I suppose P-13 got his butt kicked by an older male in the mountains and he is now back within the Preserve. I have heard rumors of another young puma in the preserve and hopefully it is a female.

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  2. AH Yes I remember reading that story.

    That is a very interesting story he is a special animal indeed, I hope it is a female also, then you can be on the ground floor of seeing a family started.
    As tame as my city is I still find it interesting to explore, we have several gardens like the one I go to, although I can not get to them right now as I do not have a car but when I get one I will explore further a field with my camera.
    I would imagine with such variety as you have in your own back yard what is in my neck of the woods would be rather tame for you to explore.
    Do you have botanical gardens, parks for walking in. I love as you know being outdoors and I really would like to have nature right out side my front and back doors really do not like being
    in a city i would rather be in a rural setting with no close neighbours.

    I have seen something about some area that have some wonderful sights and mountains and special places outside of Santa Barbara how far from LA is that?

    Don’t know if I will ever get out west but it is something to think about.

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  3. I have a car. All I need now is gas! 🙂

    We have some beautiful gardens: Los Angeles Arboretum, Descanso Gardens, and Huntington Hartford, Meditation Gardens, to name just a few.

    Santa Barbara is 1 1/2 hours from Downtown Los Angeles.

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