In Agony at Effie, 10-19-22

I wanted to go for a walk again after being “down” because of leg pain, but was actually in a lot of pain even as I headed out to Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve again. I chose that location because it’s close and I know all of the trails there – and where the benches are. Despite that, I barely made a single loop of the main trail, the nerve pain in my left leg was so horrific.

I had to sit wherever I could and got to the point where I was shaking and sweating, and felt like I was going to faint. I leaned over on one of the trail signs — and vomited. Then I stayed there, hanging onto the sign until I felt I could walk a little further. I made it to the picnic tables in front of the nature center, but was feeling pretty fragile. Fainting can wreak havoc on my blood sugar level, so I found one of my glucose tablets in my bag and sat at the table for about 15 minutes until I felt the fainting symptoms resolve.  Then it took me several minutes more to get myself up and over to the car in the parking lot. Gad!

Despite the agony, I DID get to see several deer, including a 4-point buck. There was one group that included the 4-pointer, some younger spike bucks, a single doe, and another doe with a fawn. The big buck followed the females, sniffing the air, to see if they were in season yet. Neither one seemed interested in him and just focused on eating.

CLICK HERE for the album of photos.

Later, one of the spike bucks challenged the 4-pointer. It was a hugely unbalanced fight; the 4-pointer was physically larger than the younger bucks, and had a more deadly rack of antlers. It looked to me like the 4-pointer was playing with the smaller buck; they fake-jousted for a few minutes, then ran back and forth chasing one another. Buck zoomies!

I don’t use my left leg to drive, so I was able to get back to the house without too much difficulty. Still, I spent the rest of the day in bed. I just can’t seem to get ahead of the pain…It’s so frustrating.

As an aside:

Just FYI. Because the cancer is rearing its head again, and I have a calendar full of doctor’s appointments, chemo classes and lab work, it may be a while before I post again…and posts may be fewer and far between. I’m still around — unless you hear otherwise — just not at my laptop or in the field.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  3. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  4. Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus

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River Bend, 10-12-22

I got up around 7:00 AM, and headed over to the American River Bend Park for a walk. Thankfully, my left leg was relatively quiet and cooperative, and I didn’t feel the nerve pain creep back in until I was in the car on my way back home.

I saw a pair of does along the side of the road as soon as I drove in. Then further along I saw some large bucks, 3-pointers, but trying to get them to lift their heads so I could get a clear shot of their racks was pretty much impossible. Further along still, I found two young spike bucks. One of them was just starting to rub the velvet off his antlers. It’s nice to see them all up and about.

I also saw a couple of wild turkey parades going across the road. And there were a few jackrabbits hiding in the grass.

The first sulphur shelf specimen I came across was one that had been hacked away from the tree, just leaving the white butt behind.  Elsewhere, though, there were some very robust and brightly colored specimens. There were also a couple of small ones, about the size of your palm, that looked like shells. So pretty.

I was trying to keep a look out for migratory warblers, but didn’t fine any of them. I did find other birds, however. On the top of one of the cottonwood trees there was a small flock of Cedar Waxwings. In the river there were Mallards, Canada Geese, Common Mergansers, gulls… but no migratory birds.  One the “resting rocks” in the water there were a Canada Goose, a Spotted Sandpiper, a Double Crested Cormorant sunning itself in the morning light, a Great Blue Heron and a Green Heron.  Wow!

I saw a small flock of Mourning Doves on the ground doing a display I’d never seen before. One or more of the birds would raise one wing straight up as though trying to shoo away another bird near them. Cornell says: “…Defensive-threat Display. Immature and adult birds crouch, tuck in neck, and orient head toward intruder; then erect plumage, lift and spread wing farthest from threat toward vertical, and spread tail in direction of threat. Usually occurs while defending nest or food source…”            

It looked so odd! I got a little video snippet of it. Later, I saw some of the doves drinking water from the horse trough.

I found my first Alder Tongue Gall of the season; and also found a bud gall on what I think was some kind of rabbitbush or something. I walked for about 2½ hours and then headed home.

Alder Tongue Gall

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Alder Tongue, Western American Alder Tongue Gall Fungus, Taphrina occidentalis
  3. Alder, White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  4. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  5. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  6. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  7. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  8. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  9. Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
  10. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  11. Common Merganser, American Common Merganser, Mergus merganser americanus
  12. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  13. Desert Stink Beetle, Eleodes acuticauda
  14. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus
  15. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
  16. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  17. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  18. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  19. Green Heron, Butorides virescens
  20. Gull, Larus sp.
  21. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  22. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  23. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  24. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  25. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  26. Oaks, Quercus sp.
  27. Ochre Spreading Tooth Fungus, Steccherinum ochraceum
  28. Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans
  29. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  30. Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
  31. Speckled Greenshield Lichen, Flavopunctelia flaventior
  32. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  33. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  34. Western Hardwood Sulphur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  35. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  36. Whitewash Lichen, Phlyctis argena
  37. Wormwoods and Sagebrushes, Artemisia sp.

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