Up at 7:00 and out the door by 7:30 to go for a walk at William Land Park and the WPA Rock Garden. I was really hurting today -– the Poltergeist is angry — so I didn’t stay out as much as I normally might.
At the park, the middle pond is almost completely covered with Sacred Lotus, but the lotus has gone to seed and is dying off, so it’s really just a mostly-ugly mess in the water. I think the ducks and geese will be grateful when it’s gone so they can have the water to themselves again. [Give me some waders; I’ll go out there and pull up those plants.] The seed pods made for good landing spots for the Black Phoebes, though.
The leaves also hosted swarms of what I think were a kind of Semaphore Fly. There were dozens of them. I think they’d all just hatched or something and were warming themselves up in the early morning sunlight.
Among the Mallards and domesticated ducks there were a few wild Wood Ducks. I also saw a Muscovy Duck hanging out with a plump black-and-white Rock Pigeon. I don’t get to see this kind of pigeon very often, and have the feeling this one had been someone’s pet.
The Fox Squirrels were out in force, running around, trying to find hiding places for their nuts and acorns. They carry the nuts in their mouth, and then place it into the ground, patting dirt and grass over the nut to try to hide it.
If they see you watching them, they sometimes try to fake you out by doing the patting on the ground, then secreting the nut to a different location. Hah!
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
In the WPA Rock Garden, I saw a hummingbird taking a “bath” in the sprinkler water that had collected on the leaves of a bush. And where there were several stands of Red Amaranth in the garden, the plants were inundated with lots of Golden-Crowned Sparrows who were chowing down on the seeds and florets.
The Strawberry trees are getting their fruit this time of year. The Carob Trees were covered in fluffy catkins, the Firethorns were covered in berries, and the Japanese aralia (also called “Paperplants”) were flowering.
Even as the seasons start to shift, nature is working to continue the reproductive and feeding processes necessary for a lasting ecosystem.
I ended up walking for about 2 ½ hours before heading back home.
- Angel’s Trumpet, Brugmansia arborea
- Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
- Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Buff Orpington Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var Orpington
- California Fuchsia, Epilobium canum
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Carob Tree, Ceratonia siliqua
- Chinese Juniper, Juniperus chinensis
- Chinese Praying Mantis, Tenodera sinensis [ootheca]
- Crested Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Crested
- Crimson Fountain Grass, Cenchrus setaceus
- Domestic Swan Goose, Chinese Goose, Anser cygnoides domesticus [white or gray, knob on forehead]
- Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
- Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
- Graylag Goose, Anser anser
- Great Desert Spoon, Century Plant, Dasylirion acrotrichum
- Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens
- Japanese Aralia, Paperplant, Fatsia japonica [kind of looks like a cross between a coffee plant and a fig tree]
- Juniper Leaved Grevillea, Grevillea juniperina ssp. sulphurea
- Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
- Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- Mediterranean Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens
- Mexican Bush Sage, Salvia leucantha
- Muscovy Duck, Cairina moschata domestica
- Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
- Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
- Pekin Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Pekin
- Pokeweed, American Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana
- Pyracantha, Narrowleaf Firethorn, Pyracantha angustifolia
- Red Amaranth, Cock’s Comb, Amaranthus cruentus
- Rock Pigeon, Columba livia
- Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
- Sacred Lotus, Nelumbo nucifera
- Semaphore Fly, Subfamily: Dolichopodinae
- Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
- Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo
- Sugarbush, Protea sp.
- Swedish Blue Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Swedish Blue
- Trailing Abutilon, Callianthe megapotamica
- Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
- Wood Duck, Aix sponsa