First Encounter with a Snaketail Dragonfly

I got up around 7:30 again this morning, and headed out to the American River Bend Park.  I didn’t find the slime molds I was hoping to encounter, but I saw a lot of other neat stuff, so I was happy with the walk.  We saw the normal array of Scrub Jays, Acorn Woodpeckers, a black-footed great Egret in his mating feathers (I got some video of him walking through the shallows, eating stuff), a Great Blue Heron, Tree Swallows, Turkey Vultures, and Wild Turkeys.  There were Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars all over the place, and we saw a Tussock Moth caterpillar, Crane Flies, a Snake Fly, a Yellow Sac spider and her glob of eggs, and an absolutely gorgeous yellow and black Bison Snaketail dragonfly.  I’d never seen one of them before; that was neat find.  He even let me coax him up onto my finger so I could get more close-ups of him.  They’re called “snaketails” because the end of their tail is broadened like the hood of a cobra.  Very kewl!  On the river we also spied a mama Mallard duck and her three babies.  I was worried that the little ones would be tugged downstream by the current, but they were strong little swimmers.  Mama had her hands… err… webbed feet full with the three of them.

Duckling season!  I’ll have to get over to the duck pond in town and see if the mamas there have kiddies yet…

The dog and I walked for about 2 ½ hours before starting back home again.

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