Around 6:00 am I went over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for my regular volunteer trail-walking gig. It was 57° at the preserve when I got there, but before I left it was already up to 77° and heading to a high of 100°. Pleh!
I didn’t see a whole lot today, but I did get to see several different kinds of galls, a Turkey Vulture posing in a tree and a small herd of deer. One of the fawns was out, but he was in the high grass laying down near his mom, so getting photos of him was tough. I also saw a young Red-Shouldered Hawk getting harassed by Mockingbirds again, and I came across some insects which I think were a tiny species of Crane Flies.
CLICK HERE for the album of photos.
Along the way, I got to do my “naturalist” thing for a lady named “Karen” who comes to the preserve on Tuesdays, too. I had stopped by a Live Oak tree when she came by and she asked what I was looking at. I showed her a Two-Horned gall and explained what it was, then found a Pumpkin gall and a Kernel gall on the same tree. She said, “Say all of that again so I can record you on my phone.” So, I went through the whole spiel about the cynipid wasps, how they lay eggs on the leaves of the oak trees and how the tree forms the galls, and how each gall is species-specific. She was very appreciative. I hope the video turned out so she can share it with her friends.
I stopped to look at the feral bee colony and was a little worried when I didn’t see a lot of activity around the tree where the hive was. There were only a few bees around the entrance this time. I usually see dozens. I’ll have to check out the tree again next time I’m there. I hope nothing happened to their queen…
As I was heading out of the preserve, I noticed that the gardeners were ripping up the showy milkweed that was infested with black mold… which is the majority of the plants. It’s been my observation that the Monarchs don’t care if the milkweed plants are moldy… and most of the plants that the gardeners were ripping out today were plants where I historically found Monarch caterpillars in the past. I guess the gardeners know what they’re doing but I was kind of disappointed to see the plants being destroyed right before the late-summer Monarchs are due to arrive.
I walked for three hours and then headed home.
SPECIES LIST:1. American Yellow Sac Spider, Cheiracanthium inclusum
2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
3. Asian Lady Beetle, Harlequin Labybug, Harmonia axyridis
4. Ball-tipped Gall Wasp, Xanthoteras teres
5. Bay Laurel, Laurus nobilis
6. Black Walnut Tree, Juglans nigra
7. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
8. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
9. Boxelder Bug, Boisea trivittata (nymph)
10. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
11. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
12. Canada Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis
13. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
14. Common Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea (nymph, lion)
15. Convoluted Gall Wasp, Andricus confertus
16. Cranefly, Erioptera sp. (maybe Erioptera septemtrionis)
17. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
18. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
19. Feral Honeybees, Apis mellifera
20. Giant Sunflower, Helianthus giganteus
21. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
22. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
23. Kernel Flower Gall Wasp, Callirhytis serricornis
24. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
25. Leaf Gall Wasp, Unidentified
26. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
27. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
28. Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
29. Peregrine Falcon, Wek-Wek, Falco peregrinus
30. Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculus
31. Raccoon, Procyon lotor (tracks)
32. Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
33. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
34. Ribbed Cocoon-Maker Moth, Bucculatrix albertiella
35. Saucer Gall Wasp, Andricus gigas
36. Tall Buckwheat, Eriogonum elatum var. elatum
37. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
38. Twice-Stabbed Ladybeetle, Chilocorus stigma
39. Two-Horned Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus dubiosus
40. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
41. Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
42. Woodland Skipper, Ochlodes sylvanoides
43. Yellow Wig Gall Wasp, Andricus fullawayi
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