Cotton Tails and Orb Weavers

I let myself sleep in a tiny bit on Saturday, and didn’t get up until after 7:30 am.  I did some laundry and had a little breakfast, and then went out to the Cosumnes River Preserve — and pretty much the place all to myself for about 2½ hours.  Wow, that was nice!  We had a lot of rain yesterday, and I really wanted to get over to the American River Bend Park to see if there was any slime mold waking up — but the trails were closed for a marathon today…  The riparian area at the Cosumnes River Preserve isn’t as nice at the area at the American River, but I made due.  Saw a lot of damselflies in a variety of colors, including black ones, brilliant blue ones, and pale multicolored ones.  I also saw quite a few Cottontail Rabbits.  One came out onto the path and posed for me a couple of times, so I got lots of photos and some video of him.  They’re not as big as the Jack Rabbits at the River Bend Park, but are sure cute!

I later came across a spider I’d never seen before; it had an odd-shaped hump on its back (like a traffic cone) and sat with all of its legs gathered up around its face.  Weird.  I looked it up as soon as I got home and found out it was a kind of Trash-line Orb Weaver spider (Cyclosa conica).  I’d seen trash-line webs before, but never a spider like this one; so that was kewl.  There was also a tiny bright yellow Araneus orb spider with an egg sac that was almost bigger than she was.  Further on, I got my first in-person look at an American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis).  At first all I saw was a yellow flash go by me, and then I saw it perching in the wetland area on some tule.  Such a pretty little thing.  On the way back to the car, I saw some Tiger Swallowtail butterflies flitting around through all the weeds and wildflowers that abutted the parking lot area.  More pretty pretties… so it was a nice trip.

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