I got up a little after 7:00 this morning and was planning to get out for a walk, even though I haven’t done one for a month. I was hurting from constipation and my (now normal) morning pain, but was determined to get out, even if it was just for a little while.
I left the house around 8:00 am and headed over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve. It’s relatively close to the house and the trails are all flat, so I figured I could walk there without too much of a strain — and could get home quickly again if I needed to. It was partly cloudy and 45º when I got there.
Because I was stiff and hurting, it was hard to focus on the nature around me, but I still relished being outside. I saw quite a few deer, including couple of large bucks, and a pair of does with a fawn between them. I thought the bucks might joust, but they didn’t. They were pretty well matched in age and size, but one of them had a narrow gash on its neck from a previous fight, so I don’t think it was too keen to start another one. Along with their heavy racks of antlers, the mature bucks are also sporting their thick “hormone necks”; they have so much testosterone surging through their bodies that their necks and muscles all bulk up.
I was surprised by the number of ravens I saw at the refuge, and they all seemed very chatty, cawing and clicking to one another from the tree tops. One of the ravens had gone up into the granary tree of some Acorn Woodpeckers and they kept trying to chase it out.
I could hear Flickers calling from the surrounding trees, too, but their camouflage is better than the ravens’ so they were very difficult to see.
I only saw a few fungi including some Sulphur Shelf, a few puff balls, and some Pleated Inkcaps, but I was actually kind of surprised there wasn’t more. I was in pain and moving pretty slowly, though, so I didn’t cover much ground. I was out for about 90 minutes and headed back to the car.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
Even though it was early when I got back to the house, I made myself a bowl of soup and had it with some crackers for brunch. Then I crashed for the rest of the day.
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- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis [flyover]
- Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Conical Brittlestem Mushroom, Mower’s Mushroom, Parasola conopilea
- Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
- Dark Jerusalem Cricket, Ammopelmatus fuscus [nest hole in ground]
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Liquid Ambar, American Sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua
- Live Oak Gall Wasp, Summer Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis [spiky ball]
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
- Paltry Puffball, Puffball Fungus, Bovista californica
- Pleated Inkcap Mushroom, Parasola plicatilis
- Raven, Common Raven, Corvus corax
- Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus [heard, glimpsed]
- Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
- Valley Oak, Quercus lobata