Got up around 6:30 this morning. It’s chilly, bright and crisp outside. It was about 39°F when mt friend Roxanne arrived to take us to Kenny Ranch in search of wildflowers. The drive was nice; traffic is nearly nonexistent because of COVID-19. Mostly just big trucks on the road. We saw several people wearing face masks even while they were driving. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me – unless maybe they were LYFT drivers or something and were anticipating being around other people in their cars.
We were surprised that we didn’t see any wild flowers all on the way to Grass Valley or much of anything at Kenny Ranch. They seem to be about 2 weeks behind what we’re seeing in Sacramento County.
Most of the Black Oak trees didn’t have their leaves yet, so we couldn’t look for any new galls on them… The French Broom, however, was blooming everywhere, and we saw a lot of Butter ‘n’ Eggs and Buckbrush. We found some Fringepod that look like a different species than what we saw at Mather, and we also came across a few Goldfields.
There seemed to be a lot of grasshoppers with yellow wings all over the trail. I managed to catch one of them, so we got a few close-up photos of that one. I tried to get photos of them in flight so I could document their bright wings, but they were so small and moved so fast that the camera couldn’t focus on them. We also saw a couple of Checkered Skippers, and caught sight of a Painted Lady and Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on the wing.
We were hoping to maybe see some newts along the slough, but the current was really running too fast for that.
CLICK HERE for the album of photos.
It was kind of a disappointing outing because we didn’t see the flowers we were hoping to see, but the fresh air and exercise was good. When we were done at the ranch, Roxanne drove us further down the Rough and Ready Highway just to see what was there, and we were able to make a loop over surface streets back to Highway 49. Lots of ranch properties out there. Everything is green right now and I can see why people like living up there. Atone point we stopped along the road that looked out over the hills to the snow-capped mountains beyond. So pretty!
We also stopped at someone’s house where a Red-Shouldered Hawk was sitting on the telephone lines. He gave us a dirty look over his shoulder before flying off.
We were out for about 6 hours, and got back home without incident.
- American Plantain, Plantago rugelii
- Beaked Twig Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis plumbella
- Bittercress, Hairy Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta
- Broad-leaved Sweet Pea, Lathyrus latifolius
- Buckbrush, Ceanothus cuneatus
- Bulbous Meadow-Grass, Poa bulbosa
- California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii
- California Incense-Cedar, Calocedrus decurrens
- California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
- Common Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
- Common Checkered-Skipper, Burnsius communis
- Common Greenbottle Fly, Lucilia sericata
- Common Stork’s-Bill, Red Stemmed Filaree, Erodium cicutarium
- Cumberland Rock-Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia
- Dark-Eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis
- French Broom Gall Mite, Aceria genistae
- French Broom, Genista monspessulana
- Giant Chain Fern, Woodwardia fimbriata
- Goldback Fern, Pentagramma triangularis
- Gray Pine, Pinus sabiniana
- Hillside Woodland Star, Lithophragma heterophyllum
- Hoverfly, Long-tailed Aphideater, Eupeodes fumipennis
- Johnnytuck, Butter ‘n’ Eggs, Triphysaria eriantha
- Mountain Fringepod, Thysanocarpus laciniatus
- Mountain Misery, Chamaebatia foliolosa
- Oregon Grape, Berberis aquifolium
- Plum, Prunus cerasifera
- Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
- Ponderosa Pine, Pinus ponderosa
- Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
- Rock Tripe, Emery Rock Tripe, Umbilicaria phaea
- Rose Clover, Trifolium hirtum
- Salad Burnet, Sanguisorba minor [not sure of this ID]
- Shining Peppergrass, Lepidium nitidum
- Smokey-eyed Boulder Lichen, Porpidia albocaerulescens
- Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Stork’s Bill, Big Heron Bill, Broadleaf Filaree, Erodium botrys
- Streambank Springbeauty, Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia parviflora
- Tomcat Clover, Trifolium willdenovii
- Western American Alder Tongue Gall Taphrina occidentalis
- Western Meadow-Rue, Thalictrum occidentale
- White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
- White Clover, Trifolium repens
- White Leaf Manzanita, Arctostaphylos viscida ssp. viscida
- Willow, Salix sp.
- Yellow Cobblestone Lichen, Acarospora socialis
- Yellow-Winged Grasshopper, California Sulphur Winged Grasshopper, Arphia behrensi
- ?? Unidentified Asteraceae