Lipstick Wildlife?

Lipstick Canyon close-up in April 2024 (Photo by John Wiley)

Looking at snapshots from a recent flight, John Wiley wondered about the name of the next canyon East below the Arroyo Burro Trail (next canyon West from San Roque Creek). Unless someone can provide a definitive name, he’s calling it Lipstick Canyon due to the dark shape formed by the shadow of the rock outcrop on the top-right side of the canyon in the above pic.

Then he noticed a dark shape on top of the big boulder down in the creek. Cropped to full resolution, what sort of wildlife does it look like to you?

Lipstick Canyon in April 2024 (Photo by John Wiley)

Do you also see what looks like a tawny color similar-size animal just above and to the right on the same boulder? If you live or hike in that area, have you seen animals like this or signs of their presence?

He also asks if you’d like to see some wildflower pix he likes.

John Wiley

Written by John Wiley

John Wiley is a local pilot and longtime contributor to edhat.

What do you think?


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  1. As a native Californian it gives me hope that’s a Cinnamon, since it would be my first time hearing of them and my first (very distant) sighting. Wiki sez it’s: “a highly variable color morph” as are non-native humans it seems. “…and a subspecies of the American black bear.” “…they therefore most likely exist alongside the mostly black-colored eastern American black bears present in those regions,” (drum roll please) “and breed with them.” So could be a mate or juvenile offspring?

  2. “So is that the bear on the CA State Flag?” I wondered. Wiki: “in the center of the white field a California grizzly bear upon a grass plat, in the position of walking toward the left…” Whew! I’m spared the chagrin of not knowing a Cinnamon is on my State Flag.

    • Thanks to your encouragement, I’m going to take a few minutes to send Ed a pic of the only dense bloom we spotted on our cruise of the Fig.Mtn. area. It was above the road, so maybe nobody knows about it unless that’s a known spot the ranger would’ve checked on. Tonight or tomorrow I’ll send Ed pix of the vast dense blooms we saw not too much further from SB, that might not take much longer by road. We might make the drive there ourselves this weekend.

  3. It could be the mama and her cinnamon cub that have been gracing my trail cameras for quite some time now. She also has a black cub that may be out of frame in this Edhat post. The area is in the San Roque drainage, so it could be! I’ll post a recent daytime image on my IG for those that would like to see and compare.

    • Cool! Thanks Mixik. Guess they probably roam that whole section of the foothills and above. Somehow I’d imagined they stay in that Barger Canyon area of Cieneguitas Ck to San Thomas Ck, since it’s further from people & homes than San Roque. Is there any development there, above the mansions & agro atop the San Marcos Foothills Reserve?

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