Disappointing at the Cosumnes Preserve, 10-08-18

DAY 3 OF MY VACATION.  I left the house around 7:00 am to go to the Cosumnes River Preserve to see what it’s looking like these days.  It was about 59º when I got to the preserve; by the late afternoon it was about 80º.

I knew the Sandhill Cranes were starting to move into the area, and I wanted to see if the preserve had water in it yet to support them. Nope. The slough along the side of the road was full, but there was no water in the wetland area yet.  Several flocks of cranes flew over the area, but none of them landed (because of the lack of water). I only got a handful of shots of other birds like Red-Winged Blackbirds, a Song Sparrow and a White-Crowned Sparrow.  On the way home, I spotted two White Tailed Kites sitting in a tree in an empty field. I stopped to get photos of them, but they were too far away for my camera to focus on them correctly.

I also saw a dark animal moving along the slough at a distance and thought maybe it might be a mink or an otter… but it turned out to be nothing but a tortoiseshell cat searching for mice and voles in the grass.

It was kind of a frustrating morning; not a lot to see or photograph. But the air was fresh and cool, and the temperature was comfortable, so it wasn’t a total waste. I only walked for about 2 hours, though, before heading home again.

CLICK HERE to see the puny album of photos.

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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.

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