Mostly Deer at the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve

Labor Day.  I got up around 6:00 am and went over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk.  It was 51° when I got to the preserve – my favorite walking temperature – and was only in the 70’s by the time I left.

I came across a couple of Green Darner dragonflies trying to warm themselves up in the early morning light. One was sitting in the grass, and another was sitting up in a tree.  The one in the grass was still torpid from the cool air, so I was able to pick it up and get a little video and a few other photos of it. It was biting at my finger while I was holding it – which is like a sharp little pinch – and arched its tail like it was threatening to sting me even though dragonflies don’t have stingers.  (Some dragonfly species have learned that if they threaten to sting, whatever is holding them will let go in a reflex action to protect themselves from a sting.)

CLICK HERE for the video of the dragonfly.

I saw quite a few Mule Deer, including one two-point buck who was off browsing by himself.  As I was watching one female deer in the distance, I caught sight of a coyote running through the grass.  At one spot, he stopped under the shade of a tree. I aimed the camera at him, but didn’t think I got the shot because it was so dark in the shaded area.  As luck would have it, the camera-gods were with me, and I got a lovely shot of the coyote scratching himself under the tree.

CLICK HERE for the video of the coyote.

I also got to see hummingbirds, Wild Turkeys, some California Towhees, Acorn Woodpeckers. Mourning Doves, Bullfrogs, California Ground Squirrels and a couple of Red-Shouldered Hawks. And I found a Brown Lacewing (Hemerobius spp.) that seemed to be snacking on Crown Whitefly nymphs. Brown Lacewings are a little more rare than Green Lacewings, so that was a neat find…

CLICK HERE for an album of all of the photos from today.

I walked for about three hours and then headed back to the car.

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Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.