I got up around 7:00 this morning, and have no vertigo today. I wish I knew what triggers the flares ups… I headed over to the American River Bend Park again to check in on the owls and get some exercise in before the forecast rains come in.
It was kind of chilly when I got there, about 39°F, but it warmed up relatively quickly as the sun got up further in the sky. Clouds were coming in, but were mostly pretty “sofa clouds” until they started to get coordinated in the late afternoon for a little rain.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
Mama Great Horned Owl was in her nest and sitting up in the early morning sunlight so it was easier to get some photos of her. I also got a little video snippet of her in the nest and could see an owlet moving around next to her. It’s still too small to look out over the rim of the nest – and there might be more than one in there – so I haven’t gotten any good picture of it yet.
The Blue Elderberry trees are starting to get their blossoms. They’re also starting to attract the caterpillars of the Elder Moths, who wrap themselves up in the leaves as they grow and pupate. I was able to find a few of them. They’re still small but they’ll fatten up over the next few weeks.
There were also quite a number of Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies out. Some of them were sitting in the grass waiting to warm up, and others were flitting around the tops of the trees where the sun was already hitting them. At one point, one of the butterflies I was photographing climbed onto the lens of my cellphone camera, so I got a super close-up of her.
I watched a House Sparrow and a White-Breasted Nuthatch arguing over a nesting cavity. Neither bird can build their own, so they rely on old woodpecker nests and natural openings in the tree to nest in. I think the wren won this particular battle.
Someone had hung a little wooden angel from a branch along the trail. I usually don’t like this kind of “litter”, but today it seemed kind of sweet and affirming.
As I was heading out of the park, I saw some Western Bluebirds and stopped to get photos. The male was cooperative for a while; the female, not so much. They’re such cheery, pretty little birds.
I was out for about 3 hours and only saw two people all the while I was out there. So nice.
- American Coot, Fulica americana
- Audubon’s Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
- Bedstraw, Velcro Grass, Cleavers, Galium aparine
- Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
- Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
- Boreal Button Lichen, Buellia disciformis [pale gray to bluish with black apothecia on wood]
- Bur Chervil, Anthriscus caucalis
- California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
- California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
- California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
- California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
- California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
- California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
- Common Vetch, Vicia sativa
- Cranefly, Mosquito Hawk, Tipula dietziana
- Elder Moth, Achatodes zeae
- Elegant Camouflage Lichen, Melanohalea elegantula [leafy like hoary lichen but much darker gray/black]
- Elfin Saddle, Compressed Saddle, Helvella compressa
- Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina
- Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
- Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
- Hoary Lichen, Hoary Rosette, Physcia aipolia
- Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
- House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
- Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
- Mosquito, Common House Mosquito, Culex pipiens
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Mower’s Mushroom, Haymaker Mushroom, Panaeolus foenisecii
- Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
- Pin-cushion Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona polycarpa
- Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Rusty Popcornflower, Plagiobothrys nothofulvus
- Santa Barbara Sedge, Carex barbarae
- Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
- Sunburst Lichen, Xanthoria elegans
- Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
- Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
- Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
- White Ash Tree, Fraxinus americana
- White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis