On the Search for Fungus and Bugs…

I am still fighting this heinous cold-that-will-not-die.  This is what, the end of week three?  Yeah, it started around the 2nd and is still hanging on…  Sigh.  I got up about 7 o’clock but didn’t head out with the dog until around 8:30 am, so I had time for a hot shower, a little breakfast, and some journaling first.  We went out to the American River Bend Park again.  There still isn’t much in the way of fungus out there yet; it’s too dry.  But we did get to see two different Yellow Jacket queens overseeing the building of their new hives.  One was in the fallen stump of a tree, and another was in an old hole in the ground.  At the tree stump, the queen was sitting right above the “door” and she had two sentries watching the entrance so no interlopers could get in.  At the hole in the ground, the queen rushed inside just as I approached it, and then her soldiers came out to defend the place.  I didn’t hang around either spot for very long, but I did manage to get a little video of each one.

Here’s one of the wasp videos: http://youtu.be/uW5ndSpNgEI

And here’s the other one: http://youtu.be/FlUJAVBbJnw

We also came across a big Jerusalem Cricket sitting on the ground.  I was taking photos of it when two ladies came up to ask what I was doing.  I told them I was looking for bugs and fungus, and they kind of chuckled.  One of them had a little dog about Sergeant Margie’s size and while the dogs checked each other out, the ladies said they were from the local chapter of the California Native Plants Society.  They have entomologist-lead walks through the river park and around Folsom Lake every Friday, they said, and invited me to come along.  I had one of my business cards with me, and handed it to them and they both lit up.  “We know Tuleyome!  You folks do such good work!”  And they both said they knew Bob and Glen (some of our Board members who also serve the CNPS).  So, anyway, I’m hoping to be able to hook up with them again over the holidays and join them for some of their walks.  Small world, huh?  (When I got home, I looked up the Sacramento Valley chapter of the CNPS and joined up.  Tah-dah!  It’s kind of like a Christmas present to myself. )