Around 7:00 I headed over to the American River Bend Park. Rain is predicted here in the afternoon, so I figured I could get a few hours of walking in before the storm arrived.
As I drove into the park the first thing I saw was a male mule deer (who had apparently recently lost his antlers) at the large Redbud Tree, snacking on the pink blossoms. So pretty. I got photos and a video snippet of him. Further along the trail, I came across a pair of Mallard (a male and a female) waddling through the tall grass. They came right toward me and when they stepped out onto the path, the female walked up to me and checked me out. I think she was intrigued by my umbrella. When I started walking, she followed after me for several feet…
When I got closer to the part of the trail that runs on a shallow cliff above the river I was surprised to see how full the river was and how fast it was flowing. I knew that Folsom Dam had opened its gates, I’d still never seen the American River up this high before. Much of the shoreline below the nature trail was under water, as ne one of the smaller islands in the middle of the river.
As I continued my walk, I came across lots and lots of Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies. Because it was still chilly outside (about 47°) they were all torpid, and clinging to plants and trees, waiting for the sun to come out and warm them up. As I was getting some photos of some of the butterflies in a Redbud tree, a Red-Shouldered Hawk flew up into a tree over my head. I got some photos of it… and photos of a House Wren, some Western Bluebirds, Wild Turkeys, a Nutthall’s Woodpecker, and a Robin (that was taking a bath in a puddle). Spring is pushing its way through the cold: the wildflowers are starting to rise up from the ground, the birds are starting to pair up, and the trees are sprouting new leaves… Another week or two – even with the rain – there should be really great photo ops every few minutes. Today was pretty good, but I’m really looking forward to some super pictures in the next several weeks…
I walked for about 3 hours, then headed home, stopping at Togo’s to pick up some sammiches and soup for lunch.
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