I got up around 6:30 again this morning and headed over to the American River Bend Park for a walk. It was in the high 40’s and hazy while I was there, but warmed up to almost 70° by the afternoon.
I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, just wanted a nature walk, and I actually saw quite a bit to photograph. A lot of the seasonal vines are growing already, the pipe vines and manroot vines mainly. I also saw a lot of different kinds of Helvella fungus (elfin saddles), the knobby wrinkly kind (Helvella lacunose) and the kind that look like inverted tacos on a stick (Helvella ephippium) and a few other mushrooms. Along the river, I saw a Great Egret, a Snowy Egret, and several ducks including Hooded and Common Mergansers. Oh, and I also saw the first Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly of the season. It had just come out of its chrysalis and was pumping up it wings. The forewings were all stretch out but the hind wings were still a little crumpled.
I walked for about 3 hours and as I was heading back to the car, I came across a Red-Breasted Sap Sucker and some Western Bluebirds – those little guys are all pairing up for the spring now. They’re a little ahead of schedule…