Vacation, Day 2: I got up around 6:00 am on Sunday and headed out to the American River bend Park by 6:30 am… after setting a pot roast in the slow cooker to cook all day. It was cool, partly overcast and threatening rain, but it didn’t rain while I was on the trails.
I was hoping to see some burgeoning slime molds and fungi, but… eh, not so much yet. We need more rain to really wake those guys up. I did see a heck of a lot of Sulphur Shelf Fungus though – both young and old specimens. It’s a “polypore” bracket-type fungus that actually prefers it when it’s a little drier, so I wasn’t surprised to see it come out before the others. I also found some galls and some lichen that had fattened up in the wet grass (while the lichen on the trees is still pretty dry).
There was a hawk that teased me all the while I was on the trail. I could hear him screeching in a tree and as soon as I got close enough to catch sight of him, he flew off further along the path, landed in another tree, started screeching… He did this again and again until I got to the point where I felt like he was doing it on purpose! I never did get a photo of him.
The Coyote Brush is starting to bloom. It’s a kind of scrubby-looking bush, but what’s neat about it is that it gets both male and female flowers, and the flowers are distinctly different from one another. On one of the bushes, I came across a sleepy bee… and an Assassin Bug. I watched a Flicker flick up dirt looking for ants, and an Acorn Woodpecker banging acorns into its granary tree…
I stopped on the trail at one point where it looks down a sort of cliff to what I call “bird rock” in the river (because I always see birds resting on it). I was filming a Green Heron there who had caught a fish. The fish was really too big for him to handle in the spot where he was standing, but he was trying to hide it from the Cormorant on the other side of the rock. So, he’s flipping it and flipping it, trying to get it into a position where he can swallow it whole… and while I’m filming him, two fishermen come up on the trail behind me. The trail is only one-person wide at that point, and there’s nothing but a sharp fall down one side of it, but I wanted to get my video so I stood my ground and just kept filming. The fisher-dudes clambered up into the weeds on the other side of the path to get past me, and as he went by one of them poked me with his fishing rod. Jerk. I didn’t even respond to him… But that jab was right at the point where the heron swallowed the fish, so that part of the video is shaky. As I said: jerk.
CLICK HERE for the video.
I walked around for about 3-½ hours and then headed back home.