Hemet California in early winter
This will be a micro report from a mini-trip, mainly of interest to people who were enticed to chase kangaroo rats near Hemet, California after reading 2017 reports from Venkat Sankar and Jon Hall. My wife and I gave talks at the San Diego Zoo on Nov. 29 and extended our trip a couple nights to visit Crown Road and Thomas Road, for Stephens’ Kangaroo Rat and Dulzura Kangaroo Rat, respectively. Venkat had predicted that we might be skunked by cold at this season, but with temperatures above 10C (50F) both nights I think a nearly fully moon might be the main reason we saw no rats, just one Black-Tailed Jackrabbit each night. Lack of persistence, due to being 3 hours out of synch with east coast time, may have played a role too. Fortunately, during the intervening day we had nice views of California Ground Squirrels at Lake Hemet (USFS picnic ground) and California Chipmunks and Western Gray Squirrels at Idyllwild. We also found a great AirBnB spot, Casa Puesta del Sol, just across the highway from the access to Crown Road that we would strongly recommend.