Lots of Sulphur Shelf, 09-24-19

I headed out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for my normal weekly volunteer trail walking gig. 

Again, there wasn’t a while lot to see today, although I did get to see quite a few deer. As I was watching a group of deer – a doe, a fawn, and a spike buck – I can see out of the corner of my eye a Cooper’s Hawk flying low between the trees. It lands on this branch, flies low over the ground, swoops up onto a different branch in a different tree, but it’s always in the shadow so I can’t get a good photo of it.  That area must’ve been its general hunting ground.

There was lots of Sulphur Shelf fungus out, including some pretty large handsome structures. I got photos of them.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

And I also came across a couple of different California Ground Squirrels including a very young, small one spoking its head out of its burrow. It ventured out a little bit further while I watched it, but never left the edge of the front door. 

Young California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi, peeping out of its burrow.

I also found the chubby adult ground squirrel who’s blind on one side.  I’d seen her before but wasn’t able to get many photos of her.  Today, she was a little more cooperative.  I notice that she tended to rock and swivel a bit whenever she was standing still (like an owl moving its head to get a better view of what it’s looking at).  I think that helps her with depth perception.  She’s able to maneuver all right and is obviously well fed… so her blindness isn’t interfering too much with her life. What a strong gal.

The “bee tree” is still full of bees. For some reason that makes me really happy. Lots of life going on in there.

Feral Honeybees, Apis mellifera, in their hive in a tree.

I walked for about 3 hours and then headed home.  On my way out, I saw one of my naturalist graduates, Eric, standing near the entrance to the preserve with some other people.  I didn’t want to interrupt his conversation, so I kept heading to my car. As I got to it, he came up to me to say “hi” and give me a hug.  He’s now a docent at Effie Yeaw and also works with the California Native Plants Society.  I’m so happy he’s being able to continue and expand on the use of his naturalist skills.

Species List:

  1. Alder Tongue Gall Fungus, Taphrina alni
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  4. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  5. Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  6. California Buckeye Chestnut, Aesculus californica
  7. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  8. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  9. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  10. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  11. Cooper’s Hawk, Acipiter cooperii
  12. Desert Cottontail Rabbit, Sylvilagus audubonii
  13. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  14. Feral Honeybees, Apis mellifera
  15. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  16. Olive Tree, Olea europaea
  17. Pacific Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  18. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  19. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  20. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  21. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  22. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  23. White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  24. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis