• Outdoor San Diego alerts

Birdwatchers need not despair now that the winter migrants are gone. Plenty of shore birds can be found on summer evenings in the natural coastal wetland areas of San Diego County. From south to north the publicly accessible coastal wetlands include the Tijuana River Estuary, south San Diego Bay (just north of Imperial Beach and along the bay shore at Chula Vista), the San Diego River channel (inland from Sea World), Los Penasquitos Lagoon (adjacent to Torrey Pines State Reserve), the San Dieguito River estuary, San Elijo Lagoon, Batiquitos Lagoon, Agua Hedionda Lagoon, and Buena Vista Lagoon. In and around these areas look for California gulls, American avocets, brown pelicans, snowy egrets, killdeer, and redwing blackbirds.

The bright planet Jupiter shines boldly from a prominent position in the eastern sky during early evenings this month. Jupiter's Galilean satellites, the four largest and brightest moons circling the planet, can be easily observed using equipment as simple as firmly supported, high-power binoculars. First observed by Galileo in 1610, these satellites noticeably change their configuration from night to night as they swing around the planet. Views through high quality telescopes may reveal relative motion among the satellites in as little as a few minutes, and certainly within an hour. The innermost satellite, called Io, speeds around Jupiter in a period of less than two days.

The Delta Aquarid meteor shower, typically one of the year's ten best showers, embellishes the dark, early-morning sky during July's final week. In the hour or two before dawn (no later than 4:30 a.m.) you should see about 10-20 meteors under clear, unobstructed skies, as long as you are far from city lights.

Fleas, the bane of pets and humans alike, are hopping all over San Diego again as the warm summer progresses. Fleas were far more troublesome in San Diego County's past than they are today. Soldiers on the Portola expedition over two centuries ago named a deserted Indian village in today's North County "Rancheria de las Pulgas"; and the problem of pulgas ("fleas") in the dusty streets and dwelling places of southern California were commonly mentioned in nineteenth-century journals and diaries. The place-names Las Pulgas Canyon and Las Pulgas Road in Camp Pendleton are reminders of a timeless torment.

  • Outdoor San Diego alerts

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