A Dragonfly was Today’s Standout, 09-02-19

By 6:00 I was on my way over to the American River Bend Park for a walk.  It was about 65º when I got there, and 75º when I left about 3 hours later.  That’s really too “hot” for walking, but I needed to get outside and move around.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

  When I first got into the park, I saw a Jackrabbits and a Coyote, but it was still too dark for my camera to see them.  That was disappointing. And I didn’t a lot of anything new along the way, but the exercise was good for me, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.

These are the galls of the Black Walnut Erineum Mite, Eriophyes erinea, enlarged with the 20X clip-on lens with my cell phone.

I walked a route I didn’t usually walk… and now I remember why. It runs right alongside part of the bike trail and bikers go whizzing by, talking loudly to one another. Quite a distraction.

The most interesting thing on my walk this morning was a female Green Darner dragonfly (Anax junius) sunning herself in the early morning hours. The females have a green thorax and brown abdomen; the males have a green thorax and a blue abdomen. Despite her size – These dragonflies are big! — she was almost invisible against the tree, and I only saw her because she was lightly thrumming her wings, trying to warm up her flight muscles.

I was able to grab her off her tree for a few seconds to get some close-ups… for which she bit me! Hah! Dragonflies don’t sting but they do have hard mandibles and can give you a good pinch with their mouth. I put her back on her tree when I was done with the photos, and she sat there shuddering her wings for a moment more before taking off.

I walked for about 3 hours and then headed home.

Species List

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Black Walnut Erineum Mite galls, Eriophyes erinea
  4. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  5. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  6. California Brickellbush, Brickellia californica
  7. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  8. California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  9. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  10. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  11. Canada Goldenrod, Solidago canadensis
  12. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  13. Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
  14. Coyote, Canis latrans
  15. Doveweed, Turkey Mullein, Croton setigerus
  16. Everlasting, Anaphalis sp.
  17. Goldenrod Bunch Gall, Goldenrod Floret Gall Midge, Solidago canadensis
  18. Green Darner Dragonfly, Anax junius
  19. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  20. Italian Thistle, Carduus pycnocephalus
  21. Jimson Weed, Datura stramonium
  22. Kernel Flower Gall Wasp, Callirhytis serricornis
  23. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  24. Live Oak Gall Wasp, 1st Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
  25. Live Oak Gall Wasp, 2nd Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
  26. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  27. Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculus
  28. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus [heard]
  29. Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis [flying]
  30. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  31. Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens
  32. Rusty Tussock Moth, Orgyia antiqua [cocoons]
  33. Swedish Blue Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Swedish Blue
  34. Tall Buckwheat, Eriogonum elatum var. elatum
  35. Tarweed, Common Madia, Madia elegans
  36. Two-Horned Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus dubiosus
  37. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  38. Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
  39. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  40. Western Goldenrod, Solidago lepida
  41. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  42. Woolly Oak Aphid, Stegophylla brevirostris
  43. Wooly Mullein, Great Mullein, Verbascum thapsus
  44. Yellow Starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis