I got up at 5:00 AM, so I could be ready to go to the Cosumnes River Preserve with my friend Roxanne around 6:00 AM. We were looking for galls on the valley oaks trees that populate that area, and went first down Bruceville and Desmond Roads.
We stopped to look at some milkweed plants and wild rose bushes along Bruceville Road, and while we were moving around in the tall-ish grass, my right foot dropped into a hole covered by the grass and I toppled over. I tweaked out my already hurting left hip; and the fall also caused by left foot and ankle to bend backwards, the wrong way, so my toes were buzzing with nerve pain. Gad! Once I fall, I can’t get back up – bad hip, no strength in my arms or legs to speak of – so I was VERY grateful that Roxanne was with me.
We tried various ways to lift me from the ground but none of them were working, so I suggested that Rox bring the car around and I’d try to pull myself up into that. She got the passenger side of the car as close to me as she could and opened the door. Laboring on my hands and knees, I got to the car, grabbed into the front seat and, with Roxanne’s help, finally, after two tries, was able to pull myself up enough to get my feet under me and stand up. Sheesh! If Roxanne hadn’t been with me, I would have had to call 911 for assistance. [Yes, I’m one of those “I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up” people. But I can’t afford the Life Alert system.]
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It was physically and emotionally painful, and embarrassing and humiliating. This getting old stuff sucks. I took an extra pain pill before we continued on with the rest of our outing. There was one tree on Bruceville Road that, at first, we thought was a Valley Oak based on its leaves, but the acorns were all “wrong”: too large and too rounded to be Valley. Based on some research ,I thought maybe it was a Gambel’s Oak, but Rox and I settled on the probability that it was an Oregon Oak. We’ll see if we get any pushback from people on iNaturalist.
We stopped along Desmond Road to check out the trees there, and while we were there We saw a pair of fledgling Ash-Throated Flycatchers. They’re such pretty little birds. We didn’t see a lot of birds on this trip. Of course, we looking for them. We caught glimpses of Brewers Blackbirds, some sparrows, a couple of very dark morph Red-Tails, a Black Phoebe, some Greater Yellowlegs and Black Necked Stilts (at a distance), and three Great Egrets that were feeding in the pond by the boardwalk entrance.
Among the galls, I was especially looking for Disc Galls and Woollybears, and was very happy to have found them both. Yay!
On the oak trees we found Club Galls (some very tiny), Yellow Wigs, Spined Turbans, and Red Cones among others, like the Flat-Topped Honeydew galls that were dripping with honeydew.
We also found galls on the ash trees, and on the willows we found some Pinecone galls, stem galls, and beaked twig galls.
It was a fruitful excursion even though I had to stop at about 3-1/2 hours because my hip and leg were hurting. This was hike #47 in my #52HikeChallenge for the year.
- Aphid, Giant Willow Aphid, Tuberolachnus salignus
- Ash Flower Gall Mite, Aceria fraxiniflora
- Ash Leaf Curl Aphid, Prociphilus fraxinifolii
- Ash, Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
- Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
- Bee, Tripartite Sweat Bee, Halictus tripartitus
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
- Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
- Bristly Oxtongue, Helminthotheca echioides
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis [flyover]
- Checkered White Butterfly, Pontia protodice
- Chicory, Cichorium intybus
- Club Gall Wasp, Atrusca clavuloides
- Cobweb Spider, Phylloneta sp.
- Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange, on wood/trees]
- Disc Gall Wasp, Andricus parmula [round flat, “spangle gall”]
- Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
- Flax-Leaved Horseweed, Erigeron bonariensis
- Great Egret, Ardea alba
- Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
- Hover Fly larvae, Family: Syrphidae [white blobby thing eating aphids]
- Leaf Beetle, Family: Chrysomelidae
- Little Black Ant, Monomorium minimum
- Mantis, Arizona Mantis, Stagmomantis limbata [large ootheca]
- Mayfly, Order: Ephemeroptera
- Meshweaver Spider, Mallos sp. [small, pale tan with dark dot on the abdomen]
- Milkweed, Narrowleaf Milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis
- Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
- Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
- Oregon White Oak, Quercus garryana garryana
- Pale Smartweed, Persicaria lapathifolia
- 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 Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
- Redroot Amaranth, Amaranthus retroflexus
- Red-Tailed Hawk, Western Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis calurus [dark morph]
- Rose, California Wild Rose, Rosa californica [pink]
- Rough Cocklebur, Xanthium strumariumswal
- Round-Gall Wasp, Burnettweldia washingtonensis [round, fuzzy, on twigs]
- Small Milkweed Bug, Lygaeus kalmii
- Spined Turban Gall Wasp, Cynips douglasii [summer, asexual generation, pink, spiky top]
- Stink Bugs, Family: Pentatomidae [eggs]
- Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha [without soredia]
- Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
- Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- White Tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
- Willow Beaked-Gall Midge, Rabdophaga rigidae
- Willow Pinecone Gall Midge, Rabdophaga strobiloides
- Willow Stem Sawfly, Euura exiguae
- Willow, Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
- Woollybear Gall Wasp, Atrusca trimaculosa
- Yellow Wig Gall Wasp, Druon fullawayi
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