I got up around 7:00 am again today. It’s overcast and chilly (37° F when I got up) but no rain today. I had a bout of vertigo again just as got up, but I took some Dramamine and muscled through it.
Right around 8 o’clock, I headed out to the American River Bend Park, figuring that if the vertigo was going to compromise my ability to drive, I’d know that within the first few minutes of the car moving. I actually had no trouble driving – COVID-19 has cut the traffic down to nothing — but I took my cane with me in case I needed extra support when I was walking. I had to stop twice, while walking, to vomit, but then after that I was fine. [TMI, I know, Sorry.] It’s so weird.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
I came across several seniors on the trail, all of them happy to be outside and walking. “It’s this great!” seemed to be a recurring theme. Even with a “shelter in place” order, folks are allowed to go outside for fresh air and exercise as long as everyone stays at least 6 feet away from one another. We were able to do that for the most part on the trails, but some of the trails are pretty narrow.
I saw quite a few deer today, including some bucks who had just lost their antlers. There was also a small herd of them –- mostly does, some yearlings and a fawn with an odd, yellowish patchy-looking coat. I couldn’t get any photos of him because he was running. There were about seven deer in that group, and they all ran across the road in front of me. I only got a few photos of one of them.
I could hear lots of birds in the trees including Acorn Woodpeckers, Starlings, White-Breasted Nuthatches and House Wrens, but they were all moving and flitting around, so I only got pictures of a few of them.
Most of my time was spent taking photos of the lichen on the trees, which has plumped up a lot over the past few rainy days, and some of the little flowers and nettles in the grassy areas. I found some jelly fungi and several Destroying Angel mushrooms along the way, too. While I was doing that I got an IM from my friend Roxanne asking if I wanted to go to the Riverbend park tomorrow. I told her I was already there, but I’d like to come back tomorrow with her if she wanted. It turned out that was a good idea…
Most of the lichen, flower and fungi photos were taken with my cellphone, and I was thoroughly disappointed when, after I got home and tried to pull them from my phone into my computer, they disappeared. Lost in the ether. Guh!! I’ll try again for those tomorrow.
Anyway, I’d originally gone out to the park because I’d heard through social media that the owls are nesting there again, and I wanted to see if I could find the nest. I looked in the few places where I knew the owls had been in previous years, but no luck. While I was photographing some lichen, a homeless man came up to me and asked if I was taking photos of birds, and had I seen the owl’s nest yet. I told him I couldn’t find the nest and he said it was by the “little parking lot where the hawks had nested last year.” I knew right where that was, so as I was leaving the park, I went to that spot and… yay! There was the owl.
Her nest is in a tough spot to photograph so I walked all the way around the tree it was in, and at different distances, to see where the nest was most visible. (I’d like to take my spotting scope next time to see if I can get a better look at it.) I’m not sure, because it was hard to see, but I think the mom has at least one fuzzy white baby in there.
I walked for 3 hours and then headed home.
- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- Audubon’s Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
- Bedstraw, Velcro Grass, Cleavers, Galium aparine
- Black Jelly Roll fungus, Exidia glandulosa
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
- Brown Jelly Fungus, Jelly Leaf, Tremella foliacea
- Bur Chervil, Anthriscus caucalis
- California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica
- California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
- California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
- California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Destroying Angel Mushroom, Amanita ocreata
- Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- False Turkey Tail fungus, Stereum Ostrea
- Giraffe’s Head Henbit, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
- Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
- Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
- House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
- Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
- Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliate
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
- Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri
- Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
- Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis [heard]
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Santa Barbara Sedge, Carex barbarae
- Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica
- Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha
- Turkey Tail Fungus, Trametes versicolor
- Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
- Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
- White Ash Tree, Fraxinus Americana
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare