I got up around 6:30 this morning, and gave Esteban his breakfast before getting myself ready to go out to Park Winters in, duh!, Winters.
It was about 49°, sunny and clear when I got there. I immediately started taking photos, but focusing on the flowers and whatever birds I could see rather than taking photos of the venue itself.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
In another month or so, it should be more spectacular to look at, when the trees all have leaves on them, but right now there were mostly cultivated tulips, daffodils and other bulb-flowers… and I don’t get too excited about non-native plants. I was surprised, for example, by the amount of common ivy and periwinkle on the grounds. They’re both invasive species. From a naturalist standpoint, I would have been happier to see native plants and flowers throughout the place.
On the grounds, there’s a huge Victorian house, silo and barn that are just pristine and gorgeous, and the grounds abut agricultural land. I wanted to see the chicken coop, which is supposed to be spectacular, but I missed it.
I was walking across the lawn with the giant pecan tree in the middle of it, though, and came across a super-tall door. There were glass inserts in the top of it, but too high for me to look through, and hedges on either side. I noticed that there was a handicapped button next to the door, so I pushed it… and the door opened slowly to reveal a huge swimming pool. Very impressive. ((I was also kind of jazzed to see battery hook-ups for cars in their parking lot.)) There’s also a large fountain full of koi fish and a “carved” English garden across from it. Just lovely.
I did get to see my first Painted Lady butterfly of the season and a Common Checkered Skipper.
And I got photos of a robin, Spotted Towhee, Yellow-Billed Magpie, and Red-Breasted Nuthatch, among other birds. The Nuthatch had landed on a ball of twigs and threads that one of several hanging from the limbs of the pecan tree. At first I thought they were little hanging nests, but on closer inspection I could see that they were most likely man-made balls of excelsior, threads and fine ribbons for the birds around to use as extra nesting materials.
I walked the grounds and took photos for about 2 hours and then headed back home.
- American Robin, Turdus migratorius
- Bearded Iris, Iris x Germanica
- Begonia, Begonia sp.
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Blue Magic Hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum
- Common Grape Hyacinth, Muscari botryoides
- Border Forsythia, Forsythia × intermedia
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- Calla Lily, Zantedeschia aethiopica
- Camelia, Camellia japonica
- Canary Grass, Reed Canary Grass, Phalaris arundinacea
- Cardoon, Artichoke, Cynara cardunculus
- Chinese Pistache, Pistacia chinensis
- Common Asparagus Fern, Asparagus setaceus
- Common Blue Hyacinth, Hyacinthus orientalis
- Common Checkered-Skipper, Burnsius communis
- Common Ivy, Hedera helix
- Cooper’s Hawk, Acipiter cooperii
- Crevice Alumroot, Heuchera micrantha
- Double Daffodil, Narcissus sp.
- Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto
- European Honeybee, Apis mellifera
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Garden Tulip, Tulipa gesneriana
- Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
- Hen-and-chickens Echeveria, Echeveria secunda
- Hoverfly, Long-tailed Aphideater, Eupeodes fumipennis
- Hydrangea, Mophead Hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla
- Intermediate Periwinkle, Vinca difformis
- Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens
- Jonquil, Narcissus jonquilla
- Koi Fish, Cyprinus carpio
- Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
- Lodgepole Pine, Pinus contorta
- Mistletoe, American Mistletoe, Big Leaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum
- Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
- Oleander, Nerium oleander
- Olive Tree, Olea europaea
- Ornamental Freesia, Freesia alba × leichtlinii
- Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui
- Pecan Tree, Carya illinoinensis
- Pincushion Flower, Mourningbride, Scabiosa atropurpurea
- Primrose Jasmine, Jasminum mesnyi
- Purple Passionflower, Passiflora incarnata,
- Ranunculus, Ranunculus sp.
- Red Maple, Acer rubrum
- Red Tip Photinia, Photinia × fraseri
- Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber
- Red-breasted Nuthatch, Sitta canadensis
- Rosemary, Salvia rosmarinus
- Saucer Magnolia, Magnolia × soulangeana
- Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Spring Sowbread Cyclamen, Cyclamen repandum
- Spurge, Euphorbia atropurpurea
- Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata
- Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo
- Summer Snowflake, Leucojum aestivum
- Topped Lavender, Lavandula stoechas
- Weeping Willow, Salix × sepulcralis
- Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
- White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
- Yellow-Billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli
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