Wanted Galls and a Young Coyote, 07-21-22

I got up around 5:30 this morning and got myself ready to head over to Mather Lake Regional Park again. This time, I walked along the “manicured” side where there are picnic tables and benches set up. I don’t usually go on that side because it’s too “picnicky” and not very interesting as far as wildlife goes. But I knew there was a trail that walked around a series of oak trees: valley oaks, interior live oaks and coast live oaks.

Mute Swan and fisherman on the lake

I was looking especially for the spiny galls of the Live Oak Apple Gall Wasp [Summer Generation, Amphibolips quercuspomiformis]. We haven’t seen any of those around the area for almost two years and I was worried that we might have lost the species to Climate Change. Well, you can imagine how overjoyed I was when I found a multitude of the galls on a couple of interior live oak trees. Woot!  Some were green, some tan, some bicolored; some were singles, some were in pairs. I was sooooo happy to see them!  Way to go, little dudette wasps!

On the valley oaks I found a few Spined Turban galls, and just-starting-to-emerge Red Cones and Yellow Wigs. Nothing spectacular yet. This is going to be a “late” year for galls it seems. And, of course, there were lots of galls on the cottonwood trees created by the action of aphid mothers. and their broods.

There seemed to be a lot of California Ground Squirrels out and about today. Some of them were busy patrolling and squeaking out alarms to their buddies.

I also saw a few dragonflies. They seem to coming out late this year, too.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

On the way home, a encountered a skinny, long-legged young coyote that was loping down the road straight at me. It paused for a moment to spray on a fence post, then crossed the road and took off behind me.

“…Coyote packs have a “home range”—the entire area in which they live—and a “territory” that they will defend against other coyotes and whose boundaries are marked with urine (like dogs). Coyotes also use scat to mark the most heavily defended core areas (unlike dogs)…”

I was outside for about 3 hours and then headed back home. This was hike #43 of my #52HikeChallenge for the year; and for the Summer Series, this was 3 more hours of a required 20 hours for the challenge [so, 15½ hours toward that total so far.]

Species List:

  1. Bee, Leafcutter Bee, Megachile sp.
  2. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans 
  3. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  4. California Sycamore, Western Sycamore, Platanus racemose
  5. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  6. Cobweb Spider, Family: Theridiidae
  7. Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange, on wood/trees]
  8. Coyote Brush Bud Gall midge, Rhopalomyia californica
  9. Coyote, Canis latrans
  10. Damselfly, Pacific Forktail, Ischnura cervula
  11. Damselfly, Tule Bluet Damselfly, Enallagma carunculatum
  12. Dragonfly, Blue Dasher Dragonfly, Pachydiplax longipennis
  13. Dragonfly, Variegated Meadowhawk Dragonfly, Sympetrum corruptum
  14. Dragonfly, Western Pondhawk Dragonfly, Erythemis collocata [females are green, males are blue]
  15. Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto
  16. Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
  17. Floating Primrose-Willow, Ludwigia peploides
  18. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  19. Grebe, Pied-Billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
  20. Hoary Rosette Lichen, Physcia aipolia [hoary, black or brown apothecia]
  21. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  22. Live Oak Erineum Mite Gall, Aceria mackiei
  23. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  24. Mute Swan, Cygnus olor
  25. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  26. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  27. Oak, Cork Oak, Quercus suber
  28. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  29. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  30. Orb-Weaver Spider, Family: Araneidae
  31. Pennyroyal, Mentha pulegium
  32. Poplar Petiole Gall Aphid, Pemphigus obesinymphae [new American species, “slit mouth”]
  33. Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
  34. Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans
  35. Robber Fly, Machimus notatus
  36. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  37. Spined Turban Gall Wasp, Cynips douglasii [summer gall, pink, spikey top]
  38. Swallow, Barn Swallow, American Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica erythrogaster
  39. Tall Flatsedge, Cyperus eragrostis
  40. Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
  41. Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis

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