Summer 2019 CalNat Field Trip #3, 08-03-19

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.

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, doe and nursing fawn

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.

Monarch eggs and emerging caterpillar on Showy Milkweed

I’m looking forward to seeing some of the photos the students took.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Ash Flower Gall Mite, Eriophyes fraxinivorus
  4. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  5. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  6. Black Walnut Tree, Juglans nigra
  7. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  8. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  9. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  10. Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
  11. Bryum Moss, Bryum capillare
  12. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  13. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  14. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  15. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  16. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  17. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  18. California Wild Plum, Prunus subcordata
  19. California Wild Rose, Rosa californica
  20. Canada Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis
  21. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis (flyover)
  22. Coffeeberry, California Buckthorn, Frangula californica
  23. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  24. Common Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea
  25. Common Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus
  26. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  27. Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus audubonii
  28. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  29. Evening Primrose, Oenothera biennis
  30. False Turkey Tail fungus, Stereum ostrea
  31. Feral Honeybees, Apis mellifera
  32. Great Mullein, Verbascum Thapsus
  33. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  34. Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus
  35. Horsetail, Rough Horsetail, Equisetum hyemale
  36. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  37. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  38. Jimson Weed, Datura stramonium
  39. Kernel Flower Gall Wasp, Callirhytis serricornis
  40. Lace Bug, Corythucha sp.
  41. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
  42. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  43. Live Oak Gall Wasp, 2nd Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
  44. Meadow Katydid, Orchelimum nigripes
  45. Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus (egg)
  46. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  47. Netted Crust Fungus, Byssomerulius corium
  48. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii (heard)
  49. Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  50. Oleander Aphid, Aphis nerii
  51. Olive Tree, Olea europaea
  52. Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
  53. Pacific Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  54. Raccoon, Procyon lotor (tracks)
  55. Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
  56. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  57. Spiny Turban Gall Wasp, Antron douglasii
  58. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  59. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  60. Two-Horned Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus dubiosus
  61. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  62. Wavy-Leaf Soap Plant, California Soaproot, Chlorogalum pomeridianum
  63. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  64. Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
  65. Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
  66. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  67. Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
  68. Yellow Starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis