I pretty much slept like cement last night, which was nice, and got up around 7:00 am. I’m still coughing and wheezing, but I felt I had a little bit more energy today, so I decided to take Sergeant Margie with me to the American River Bend Park for a walk. I drove into the camping area, which is down a curving rutted road, because I didn’t want to have to walk into the park so far, and found another vehicle there along with a Ranger’s truck. The folks in the other vehicle were talking to the Ranger, joking and stuff, but when I parked and let Sergeant Margie out of the car, the woman in the other vehicle yelled, “Hey! It’s Sergeant Margie!” I turned to look at her and had no idea who she was. “That’s Sergeant Margie, right?!” she asked and I said, yes. She introduced herself as “Sunny” and said she’d read my blog/FaceBook page and recognized Sergeant Margie from his photos. Hah! My dog is famous.
So that was the start of my fun walk through the park. I had to keep the walk short and close to the restrooms because on top of the cold-pneumonia-thing I’ve got, the medication I’m now taking gives me “intestinal woe”…but I still had a lot of fun and felt I’d gotten some good exercise in by the end of it. First we saw several pairs of Western Bluebirds (males and females) all through the trees and on the ground of the picnic area, then as we walked through the woods and along the river we saw egrets and a heron, starlings, Brown Creepers, Merganser and Mallard ducks, Acorn Woodpeckers, Tree Swallows making a nest, and the nest of a huge hawk. This time of year, the male egrets and herons are in their mating feathers, so they’re really handsome.
There were also the ubiquitous Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies everywhere, and we came across lots of their eggs. We didn’t see any Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars yet, but did get to see a handful of other tiny caterpillars of moths and sawflies. Then we saw the deer… which seemed to follow us around the park, peeking out from behind trees and shrubbery almost every time I turned around. And, of course, there were the Wild Turkeys here and there, some big males strutting in the middle of the road… When I packed the dog back into the car we were heading out of the park I thought to myself, “The only critter we haven’t seen today is a coyote.” Just as I said that, a female coyote walked right down the road in front of my car. Kewlness.