I got up around 5:20 this morning and headed out to Stone Lakes and Bruceville / Desmond Roads near the Cosumnes Preserve. First though, I had to fill up the gas tank in my car. Cost me $94! Guh! [Thank you for helping to pay for gasoline, Matt.]
I wasn’t looking for anything in particular; I just needed to get outside while it was still cool, before the heat showed up. It was about 58º when I got to Stone Lakes, cool and breezy.
The bract galls on the rose bushes were the standout there. There seemed to be more of them visible than the last time I was out there. I also found some Spiny leaf galls and Rose Blister galls on the plants…and what I think is a new-to-me gall: the galls of the Rose Stem Galler wasp.
The cottonwood trees were showing off lots of petiole galls, but only a very few leaf galls. There were no galls on the oak trees except for some large oak apples. I wonder if the dearth of smaller galls wasps has made more room for the larger ones.
There still aren’t as many insects around as I would like to see. I found a crab spider, and some Yellow-Faced Bumble Bees, a few Boxelder Bugs, and a new-to-me Say’s Stink Bug (in a lovely bluish-green color). But not nearly as many bees, wasps, and other pollinators as there should be.
Among the birds I saw a few Killdeer, Song Sparrows, Tree Swallows, House Finches and Kingbirds there, but not much else. One of the Song Sparrows was deep in the midst of a molt and had no tail feathers. And I think the Red-Winged Blackbirds were all in the middle of caring for their babies, so I could hear them fussing among the tules, but only saw one or two of the actual birds. One of the female blackbirds stopped near me, griping through a closed beak that was full of insects.
I was happy to see the stands of narrowleaf milkweed now in bloom, but sad to see there were no insects on them – not even aphids. No evidence of Monarchs anywhere.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
I then headed over to Bruceville and Desmond Roads and drove around there for a little while before heading home. A couple of surprises was seeing a Ring-Necked Pheasant in one of the fields, and a smattering of Lesser and American Goldfinches feeding among the tarweed and star-thistle.
When heading back toward the freeway, I saw a family of kestrels on the top of a telephone pole and line. It looked like the parents were teaching their fledglings how to fly. So cool.
So, not a great deal of diversity, but I did see a few things. And, oh my gosh, I attracted sooooo many ticks! I stopped counting at 25. At one point, I lifted up my shirt and there were six of them attached to my stomach! *Shudder*
I was out for about 6 hours, but about 2 hours of that was just driving back and forth from the destinations to the house… so 4 hours of naturalist work. This was hike #38 of my #52HikeChallenge for the year.
- American Goldfinch, Spinus tristis
- American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
- Bee, European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
- Bee, Leafcutter Bee, Megachile sp.
- Blackberry, Armenian Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus [red canes]
- Blackberry, California Blackberry, Trailing Blackberry, Rubus ursinus [pale green canes]
- Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
- Boxelder, Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
- Bristly Oxtongue, Helminthotheca echioides
- Brown-Headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater
- Bumblebee, Yellow-Faced Bumble Bee, Bombus vosnesenskii
- Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
- Cabbage White Butterfly, Pieris rapae
- California Fuchsia, Epilobium canum
- California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
- Cattail, Broad-Leaved Cattail, Typha latifolia
- Chicory, Cichorium intybus
- Cottonwood Leaf Gall Aphid, Pemphigus populivenae
- Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
- Crab Spider, Goldenrod Crab Spider, Misumena vatia
- Damselfly, Pacific Forktail, Ischnura cervula
- Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis
- Fly, Common Flesh Fly, Sarcophaga sp.
- House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
- Jointed Charlock, Raphanus raphanistrum
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
- Leafy Bract Gall Wasp, Diplolepis californica [hard rosette gall on rose bush]
- Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
- Milkweed, Narrowleaf Milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis
- Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
- Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
- Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Paper Wasp, Black Paper Wasp, European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula
- Poplar Petiole Gall Aphid, Pemphigus obesinymphae [new American species, “slit mouth”]
- Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota
- Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
- Ring-Necked Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus
- Rose Blister Gall Wasp, Diplolepis rosaefolii [hard midrib gall]
- Rose Rust, Phragmidium tuberculatum
- Rose Stem Galler Wasp, Diplolepis inconspicuous [nodule on stem of rose bushes]
- Rose, California Wild Rose, Rosa californica [pink]
- Santa Barbara Sedge, Carex barbarae
- Say’s Stink Bug, Chlorochroa sayi [bluish green]
- Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
- Spiny Leaf Gall Wasp, Diplolepis polita [on rose leaves]
- Swallow, Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
- Tarweed, Common Tarweed, Spikeweed, Centromadia pungens
- Tick, American Dog Tick, Dermacentor variabilis
- Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
- Vole, California Vole, Microtus californicus
- Weeping Willow, Salix babylonica
- Western Boxelder Bug, Boisea rubrolineata
- Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
- Western Kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis
- Yellow Star-Thistle, Centaurea solstitialis
Buy Me a Coffee!
Donate $5 to buy me a coffee so I have the fuel I need to keep exploring and bring more of nature to you. Thanks!
You must be logged in to post a comment.