An Hour at Land Park, 06-19-21

I got up around 5:30 this morning because Roxanne and I had tentatively planned to got to the zinnia farm today. But the farm announced on Facebook that everyone should wait for about a week. They’d had so many people there this week that there were hardly any flowers left; so, we needed to wait another week or so, so the plants could reflower. Hah! 

It was another terrifically hot day, going up to 106° by the late afternoon, so whatever we did, we were going to have to quit within a few hours (to beat the heat). Rox texted me to let me know that she hasn’t been sleeping well because of the heat, so I was on my own for the morning.

I decided to go over to William Land Park to see if the big Valley Oak tree there had dropped its jumping galls yet. It was already 71° when I got to the park.  There weren’t any jumping galls, so I decided to take a quick walk around the middle pond and then head back home before it got too warm.

CLICK HERE to see the full album of photos.

I saw a mama Wood Duck in the water with 20 ducklings; they looked like newborns. They clung close to her and were very small. I bet they had just hatched yesterday or early this morning. 

Mama Wood Duck, Aix sponsa, and some of her 20 babies.

The pond was still densely covered with sacred lotus plants. On one of the seedpods, there was a honeybee resting up a bit, packing and pushing down the pollen she’d collected on the  corbiculae (pollen baskets) on her legs.

The big deal of the day, though, was spotting a very large turtle walking across the lawn near the little amphitheater. It was a female Red-Eared Slider Turtle. She was a BIG girl. Her shell was about 10 inches long, and she must’ve weighed about 10 or 15 pounds!

Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans

She hissed at me when I picked her up. After taking some photos of her, I carried her over to the pond and let her find her way back into the water. She might have been on land to lay eggs , but I was worried some kid or someone’s dog would get her.

I was only out there for about an hour, and then went back home.

Species List:

  1. Aloe, Candelabra Aloe, Aloe arborescens
  2. American Robin, Turdus migratorius
  3. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  4. Blue Statice, Limonium sinuatum
  5. Buff Orpington Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Orpington
  6. California Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum
  7. Cardoon, Artichoke Thistle, Cynara cardunculus
  8. Cayuga Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Cayuga
  9. Coulter’s Matilija Poppy, Romneya coulteri
  10. Crested Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Crested
  11. European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  12. Feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium
  13. Indian Runner Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Runner
  14. Italian Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens
  15. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  16. Pekin Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Pekin
  17. Prickly Pear Cactus, Indian Fig Opuntia, Opuntia ficus-indica
  18. Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans
  19. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  20. Sacred Lotus, Nelumbo nucifera
  21. Sonoma Sage, Salvia sonomensis [light purple]
  22. Swedish Blue Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Swedish Blue
  23. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa