The Fall season is heating up!
As summer draws to a close, the fall is still heating up here at Howlands Landing. The warm water, ~70 degrees, invites an array of marine friends to join us in our cove, including:
Manny the resident mantis shrimp
A plethora of juvenile fishes (Garibaldi, Blacksmith and Topsmelt to name a few)
Leopard sharks, horn sharks and angel sharks (all harmless bottom-dwellers)
When we manage to pull ourselves away from those beckoning azure waters, the host of terrestrial critters proves equally captivating.
Our endemic Catalina Island Foxes make frequent stops into camp searching for water during this drought season. Bouncing back from near extinction in the late 1990’s, the population is currently at about 1,542 individuals.
Also on the lookout for water are non-native and invasive animals such as deer and bison.
A juvenile red-tail hawk appears almost daily to perform aerial displays of its predatory prowess.
The Howlands garden thrives as it prepares for more even more seedlings to grow. Students recently planted lettuce seeds, which should be ready in a few weeks, and transplanted green onion and tomato. Also in the ground are bell peppers, zucchini, squash, basil, carrots, chard, eggplant, lemon, and assorted lettuces.
A huge shout-out to Our ACE volunteer crew (American Conservation Experience) and CELP students for contributing to the on-going eradication of an invasive plant called fennel from within our camp and from a very special place called Inspiration Point. Fennel poses great harm not only to the well-being of our island’s ecological biodiversity, but also to economic sustainability here on Catalina. Many thanks to all those who have helped to manually remove it from our precious soil.