At River Bend in the Rain, 06-05-22

I got up around 6:30 AM and decided to do some self-care and go for a short walk at the American River Bend Park with my dog Esteban. I hadn’t been able to get out for a walk in about a week and I really needed to move and get some fresh air.

Esteban and I got pretty soaked from the rain on our walk today. My friend Bryan wrote: “Mare I don’t want to alarm you but there is a one eyed alien worm in the back of your car” Hahahahahaha!

We had a little rain in Sacramento yesterday — yes, rain in JUNE — and then it was warm and humid for the rest of the day.  Today, it was totally overcast and rained most of morning – even during my walk. I can’t handle the dog, my camera, my bag and an umbrella, so I did without the umbrella and just covered my camera with my shirttails when the rain was hard. The dog and I were fairly soaked through after a couple of hours. It got up to about 77º by the late afternoon.  We’re supposed to be over 100º by the end of the week. Not looking forward to that.

The first thing I saw when I got into the park was a doe and her yearling. The doe looked kind of thin to me; I could see the bones in her hips. And he face and right shoulder were cut and scarred, like she’d run into barbed wire or something. She was moving okay, and her fawn looked fine… I hope she’s on the mend, and they’ll both be safe now.

I could hear birds all around me, but couldn’t seem to get photos of all of them: Western Bluebirds, Acorn Woodpeckers, Nuttall’s Woodpeckers, Mallards, Black Phoebes, Ash-Throated Flycatchers, White-Breasted Nuthatches, House and Bewick’s Wrens, Bushtits, California Scrub Jays, Mourning Doves, Spotted Towhees, and California Towhees.

There were small troupes of Wild Turkeys here and there, and many of them ran right toward the car when they saw it. I continue to believe that this behavior has been caused by the homeless people who live in their cars in the park – and regularly feed the turkeys around them. Human interference.

On the river’s edge below the trail there were some Canada Geese with a handful of fuzzy yellow goslings.  The goslings were intrigued by a Killdeer that rushed past them, and they chased after it for a little while.  So cute.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Along the trail, the rain plumped up some of the lichen and mosses on the trees and gave them a nice dark background of wet bark.

Didn’t see a lot of insects; they don’t come out in the rain, but I did see a Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar going into the first stages of its metamorphosis, and on another tree I saw a completed chrysalis. Very cool. Oh, and I also found my first  cocoon of a Ribbed Cocoon-Maker Moth (Oak Ribbed Skeletonizer,  Bucculatrix albertiella). Usually, those cocoons have a “fence” of fine white hairs around them, but this one didn’t. I wondered if that was an aberration or if the rain had washed the hairs away.            

I only walked for about 2 hours and then headed home.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  4. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  5. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
  6. California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
  7. California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  8. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  9. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  10. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  11. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  12. Crust Fungus, Split Porecrust, Xylodon paradoxus
  13. Dog Vomit Slime Mold, Fuligo septica [yellow]
  14. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  15. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  16. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  17. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  18. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  19. Mullein Aphid, Aphis verbasci
  20. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  21. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  22. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  23. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  24. Ribbed Cocoon-Maker Moth, Oak Ribbed Skeletonizer,  Bucculatrix albertiella
  25. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  26. Swallow, Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  27. Tarweed, Fitch’s Tarweed, Centromadia fitchii [yellow, no thorns, smells like lemons]
  28. Tobacco, Tree Tobacco, Nicotiana glauca
  29. Tobacco Thrip, Frankiella fusca
  30. Towhee, California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  31. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  32. Turkey Mullein, Doveweed, Croton setiger
  33. Turkey Tail Fungus, Trametes versicolor
  34. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  35. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  36. Western Hoptree, Ptelea crenulata
  37. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  38. Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  39. Wren, House Wren, Troglodytes aedon

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