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