I headed over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve to facilitate the last field trip with my naturalist students this year. It was 62° when I got there and got up to 99° by the late afternoon.
Along with my students, my co-worker Nate and Roxanne came along, as did The Other Mary (Mary Messenger) and Pam Hofsted (a graduate from our previous class) so we had a fairly large group.
We didn’t even get through the front entrance before we saw several different species: a katydid, Red Cone Galls, Spiny Turban Galls, the eggs of a Green Lacewing, a Valley Oak, Box Elder Tree, Western Redbud, etc. It was an auspicious start to our field trip.
When we got near the nature center, we saw a doe standing in a shallow field… and saw her fawn with her. As we watched and followed them, we saw several other deer including two bucks in their velvet. The fawn bounded around and through the group, at one point causing one of the bucks to kick up his heals, and spin in circles (like a fawn might). It was so cute. We also got to see the fawn nursing, and I got some photos and a video snippet of that.
As often happens with the big groups, it broke up into sections – people walking faster or more slowly than others – so we ended up fragmented. I completely lost track of two students, Ken and Edna, and didn’t see them again until I was heading out of the preserve. I felt bad that they’d lost track of us, but Edna said she enjoyed walking with Ken who is a fantastic birder.
We found a Lace bug on the leaf of an Interior Live Oak, and I pulled out my jeweler’s magnifier so the students could see it more closely. They’re such incredibly beautiful bugs; their wings look like they’re intricately cut with a laser. In the mud by one of the ponds we also saw the tracks of a raccoon, a deer, and some kind of large lizard.
CLICK HERE to see the album of photos.
When we got back to the nature center I saw that there was a yellow pipe cleaner on one of the plants in a milkweed plot. The pipe cleaners are a signal to those of us who are working on the Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project that a Monarch butterfly egg or caterpillar has been spotted, so I checked out the plant, and… sure enough, there was an egg on the back of one of the leaves. It looked like the caterpillar was just about ready to hatch. I think you could see its little feet. That’s the first sighting we’ve had through the entire project, so it was exciting. A nice way to end the walk.
I’m looking forward to seeing some of the photos the students took.
- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
- Ash Flower Gall Mite, Eriophyes fraxinivorus
- Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Black Walnut Tree, Juglans nigra
- Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
- Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
- Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
- Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
- Bryum Moss, Bryum capillare
- California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
- California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
- California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
- California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
- California Wild Plum, Prunus subcordata
- California Wild Rose, Rosa californica
- Canada Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis (flyover)
- Coffeeberry, California Buckthorn, Frangula californica
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Common Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea
- Common Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus
- Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
- Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus audubonii
- Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
- Evening Primrose, Oenothera biennis
- False Turkey Tail fungus, Stereum ostrea
- Feral Honeybees, Apis mellifera
- Great Mullein, Verbascum Thapsus
- Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
- Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus
- Horsetail, Rough Horsetail, Equisetum hyemale
- House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
- Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Jimson Weed, Datura stramonium
- Kernel Flower Gall Wasp, Callirhytis serricornis
- Lace Bug, Corythucha sp.
- Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
- Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
- Live Oak Gall Wasp, 2nd Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
- Meadow Katydid, Orchelimum nigripes
- Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus (egg)
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Netted Crust Fungus, Byssomerulius corium
- Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii (heard)
- Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
- Oleander Aphid, Aphis nerii
- Olive Tree, Olea europaea
- Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
- Pacific Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
- Raccoon, Procyon lotor (tracks)
- Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Spiny Turban Gall Wasp, Antron douglasii
- Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
- Two-Horned Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus dubiosus
- Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Wavy-Leaf Soap Plant, California Soaproot, Chlorogalum pomeridianum
- Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
- Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
- Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
- Yellow Starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis