A walk in the park: rattlesnakes, mountain lions and unexploded ordnance

Morning walk in the adjacent O’Neill Park where there are signs warning of all things; rattlesnakes, mountain lions and Unexploded (Military) Ordnance. Just a normal day here in Southern California. The rattlesnake and mountain lion warnings are posted at the trail head entrance while the Unexploded Ordnance (aka UXO) signage is scattered around in this region of park, a reminder of the of WWII practice bombing that that the U.S. Navy was doing in this part of the county.

I will have to say in twenty-five years of hiking this park, I have only come across a rattlesnake once. That was pretty scary only because I was on the path waking out of the park near the trail head busy looking down at the photographs on my camera that I had just captured and I almost mindlessly walked on it as it was crossing my path. Fortunately its movement in my perisperhal vision brought me out of my photo haze. No looking at pictures until I am well out of the Park!

No mountain lions either, but plenty of deer, coyote, ground squirrels, and I did meet one skunk, which we respectfully kept our distance. My neighbor has video cameras staked out where the mountain lions do roam near here (as well as the Bobcats and Foxes) and he keeps me alerted if some are active in this specific area again. There is a lot of active and noisy foot and bike traffic in this area, which keeps the mountain lions further inland towards the mountains. BUT, you can never tell, so it always a good idea to stay alert.

I have yet to find any UXO, but then again, I am not actively poking around looking for that nasty stuff. In fact my Gardening For Ordnance project has been on a holding pattern since the start of the pandemic. Looking at the park Warning signs again today is getting me back into this series and I am wondering if the 120 expired film photographs that I already have are sufficient to finish this project.

So it was a very nice morning walk in the park today, which is a great start of our Labor Day holiday extended weekend.



Featured photograph; O’Neill Park UXO signage (Gardening For Ordnance series) 2021 Copyright Douglas Stockdale


Book workshop:

I will be leading a Creative Photo Book workshop with the Southeast Center of Photography (SEC4P) later in the Fall of this year. This will be a virtual event on Zoom; November 6 & 7th and 13 & 14th, 2021, 10 AM – 1 PM, EDT (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). Registration is now open, and there is a SEC4P membership discount. Just advised that it is SOLD OUT & wait-list has been started. Let me know if you have any questions!

Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading again in conjunction with Medium Photo with New dates: March 5 – 6, 12 – 13, 2022 More details and sign-up available now at Medium Photo.


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