Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Live Oak Canyon Herngt 'Aki' Preserve - California

Between 2012 and 2015 the City of Redlands, California acquired a 341 acre site in Live Oak Canyon over which the Redlands Conservancy holds a conservation easement. The name "Herngt 'Aki'" was given by the San Manuel Indians and means "rattlesnake house," an acknowledgement of the large number of rattlesnakes that used to be in the area. The area abuts Live Oak Canyon Road to the south, which follows along mostly dry Yucaipa Creek, and extends up to residential areas in south Redlands. 

This area is near our home where we have lived for more than 30 years. Our kids spent many hours as youth in the canyon and I have walked the canyon trails for years for adventure, exercise and during Covid, to preserve my sanity. For purposes of this post, I include the residential area that abuts Live Oak Canyon near the preserve, including our home. 

Following are photos of many of the animals and plants we have seen, particularly in the last few years: 
In keeping with the name of the preserve, this is a red diamond rattlesnake I found in a road near our home and relocated to the canyon. 

This is a southern Pacific rattlesnake I caught in a friend's garage, just off Live Oak Canyon, and relocated to the canyon. 

A coastal rosy boa our next door neighbor found in his driveway. 

A California kingsnake which our neighbors found in their driveway. 

More recently, Judy and I saw this little California kingsnake in the canyon last November when it was only 65 degrees. 

This San Diego alligator lizard was hanging on the screen door outside our bedroom several years ago. 

This red coachwhip was at our friends house on the edge of the canyon. It got into a finch cage and ate one of her finches (note the bulge in the body). I caught it and let it go in the canyon. 

This San Diego gopher snake was also at our friends house on the edge of the canyon. She thought it was a rattlesnake and called us. These are my two young boys holding it. We also let this snake go in the canyon. 

I caught this huge American bullfrog in our backyard years ago. I was shocked. My friend who owned Live Oak Canyon Tree Farm allowed me to let it go in a pond he had on his farm. 

This Pacific tree frog was in a small pond at Live Oak Canyon Tree Farm. 

Common side-blotched lizard in the clay cliffs near Yucaipa Creek. 

A common sagebrush lizard on the edge of the canyon near one of our neighbors orange groves. 

A western fence lizard on an oak tree in Oakmont Park in the canyon. 

Acorn woodpecker

Cooper's hawk eating a bird. 

American kestrel (or sparrow hawk)

Barn owl

Peregrine falcon

Red-tailed hawk

Red-shouldered hawk

Great horned owl

Band-tailed pigeon


Lesser goldfinch

White-crowned sparrow

Savannah sparrow

Lark sparrow

Vesper sparrow

Western tanager

Cassin's kingbird

California scrub-jay

Western bluebird

Mountain bluebird

Ash-throated flycatcher

Mourning dove

Eurasian collared dove

European starling

Anna's hummingbird

Berwick's wren

Rock wren

Say's phoebe

Black phoebe

California quail

California towhee

Northern red-shafted flicker

California thrasher

Common raven

Northern mockingbird

Western gray squirrel

Coyote in the canyon.

Coyote in a residential area near the canyon.

Mule deer

Desert cottontail

Stink beetle


Rough harvester ants?


Vinegar weed?

Sacred datura?

Rod lettuce?

Various species of oak.

California scrub oak

California buckwheat


Fragrant sumac

I'm more comfortable with the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians than I am the trees and plants. There are more exotic animals I've seen that I don't have photos of. I've seen a mountain line on a dirt road at the edge of the canyon, multiple gray foxes, several weasels and many people, including friends with photos, have seen bobcats. 

1 comment:

  1. Our son recently commented on what a huge positive impact living next to this area had on his life. He loved playing and hiking in the canyon. Seeing this long string of photos of flora and fauna is impressive. Our kids were indeed very fortunate.