This morning, I headed over to the WPA Rock Garden at William Land Park. It was 63° when I got there, and then got up to about 95° by the late afternoon.
All the while I was at the garden, the giant sprinklers I the front portion of it were on, soaking everything, so I wasn’t able to get into parts of the garden at all, and had to deal with water running through all of the pathways.
For the first hour or so I was out there, I was joined by Kristie Kraemer, one of my naturalist class graduates. She’s readying for retirement and is taking a nature journaling class on the side. She’s gotten into watercolors as part of her journaling class and is focusing on “green” right now. I totally get that. Focusing on one facet of anything can be very instructive – and relaxing. It uses a different part of your brain… ((I suck at watercolors, myself, so I’m always in awe of people who use them.))
At the park, I was hoping to find insects and their eggs, and maybe see the family of Great Horned Owls again, but I kind of struck out on those… Although, I DID see several praying mantises, a pair of striped beetles, and some kind of tiny weevil.
Oh, and I got some photos of a garden snail pooping. You wouldn’t think that was such a big deal, but… According to Robert Cameron, Evolutionary Biologist and Malacologist, “…The process is a bit bizarre by our standards, because the anus opens into the mantle cavity, which also houses the lung! So, the poop itself is shed through the breathing pore. It is usually a string of green or brown matter depending on what the snail has been eating. If you feed it nothing but carrot, the poop will be orange. They can poop while resting, because the breathing pore faces outwards in the mouth of the shell when they are withdrawn…”
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
I walked through the garden, around the middle pond, and then headed over to the large pond and walked around that, too. So, the whole walk was about 3 hours’ worth.
In the middle pond, there were the usual suspects: ducks, geese, crows… And there was also a Green Heron fishing in the middle of pond by standing on one of the broad leaves of the lotus plants that are over-growing in the pond. I got a few nice shots of him.
At the larger pond, the Chinese Geese were out, and I saw a crayfish and a turtle, but they ducked out of sight before I could get any good photos of them. Just as I was leaving, I saw a small flock of Western Bluebirds chasing each other around, and also hear a Nuttall’s Woodpecker. I followed his noise and found him in a tree across the street from where my car was parked. I was able to get some pictures – in between the cars going back and forth on the street.
After the walk, I went home, had some lunch and pretty much relaxed for the rest of the day.
1. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
2. Apple Mint, Mentha suaveolens
3. Assassin Bug, Zelus luridus (nymph)
4. Autumn Sage, Salvia greggii
5. Beaver Tail Cactus, Prickly Pear, Opuntia basilaris
6. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
7. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
8. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
9. Butterfly Bush, Buddleja davidii
10. California Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum
11. California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
12. Canada Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis
13. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
14. Cardoon, Artichoke Thistle, Cynara cardunculus
15. Cayuga Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Cayuga
16. Chinese Goose, Anser cygnoides
17. Chinese Praying Mantis, Tenodera sinensis
18. Common Hibiscus, Hibiscus syriacus
19. Common Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia
20. Crepe Myrtle, Arapaho Crepe Myrtle (dark pink), Lagerstroemia (indica × fauriei × limii)
21. Crested Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Crested
22. Dianella, Dianella ensifolia
23. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
24. Familiar Bluet Damselfly, Enallagma civile
25. Garden Snail, Cornu aspersum
26. Gingko, Maidenhair Tree, Ginkgo biloba
27. Globe Thistle, Blue Globe Thistle, Echinops bannaticus
28. Green Heron, Butorides virescens
29. Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens
30. Jerusalem Sage, Phlomis fruticose
31. Jimson Weed, Datura stramonium
32. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
33. Manzanita, Arctostaphylos sp.
34. Moth Mullein, Verbascum blattaria
35. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
36. Naked Lady Lily, Amaryllis Belladonna
37. Nightshade, Blue Witch Nightshade, Solanum umbelliferum
38. Northern Catalpa, Indian Bean Tree, Catalpa speciosa
39. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
40. Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
41. Pacific Pond Turtle, Western Pond Turtle, Actinemys marmorata
42. Pekin Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Pekin
43. Purpletop Vervain, Verbena bonariensis
44. Red Amaranth, Amaranthus cruentus
45. Red Yucca, Hesperaloe parviflora
46. Sacred Lotus, Nelumbo nucifera
47. Smoke Tree, Smokebush, Cotinus coggygria
48. Striped Cucumber Beetle, Acalymma sp.
49. Swedish Blue Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Swedish Blue
50. Three-lined Potato Beetle, Lema daturaphila
51. Trashline Orb Weaver Spider, Cyclosa conica
52. Tule Bluet, Enallagma carunculatum (female)
53. Wand Mullein, Verbascum virgatum
54. Weeping Cypress, Cupressus cashmeriana
55. Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
56. Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
57. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
58. Wooly Mullein, Great Mullein, Verbascum thapsus
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