Oh my gosh, my friend Roxanne and I had such a rough time on our walk at Mather Lake Regional Park. It was about 34ºF and so windy we could hardly hold our cameras steady.
When we got to the park, we were surprised by how much water was on the landscape. There were puddles everywhere, some of them very large, and ponds where ponds had never been before. It must have POURED there.
We were also surprised to see so many felled. Entire areas were bereft of trees, and the tules and scraggly overgrowth were cut down and/or hauled away. It opened up the view, but I couldn’t help but wonder how many species were displaced by the aggressive culling of the trees and plant life.
There were hardly any birds to see, even on the lake, and I sure the intense wind and cold were partially responsible for that. It was so cold that it was difficult to get our hands warm enough to manipulate our cameras. And the wind kept knocking our cameras to the side when we tried to take photos. I was surprised that ANY of my photos turned out well and weren’t just big blurs.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
Because the weather was so unforgiving and the place was pretty much devoid of wildlife, we only walked halfway up one side of the lake before heading back to the car. It was a most disappointing trek. I don’t remember another walk that felt so… unsuccessful, so fruitless, so futile.
What was funny, though, was: when we got back to my house, there were about six different species of birds in the front yard including a Northern Flicker, a Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Mourning Doves, Audubon Warblers, House Sparrows, and others. There was more going on in the yard than there was at the lake. Hah!
This was walk #7 in my #52HikeChallenge for the year,
- American Coot, Fulica americana
- American Robin, Turdus migratorius
- Arroyo Willow, Salix lasiolepis
- Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
- Beaver, American, Beaver, Castor canadensis [den and sign]
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
- Brown Jelly Fungus, Leafy Brain, Phaeotremella foliacea
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Coyote Brush Bud Gall midge, Rhopalomyia californica
- Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
- Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
- Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
- Great Egret, Ardea alba
- Great-Tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus
- Grebe, Pied-Billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
- Hooded Sunburst Lichen, Xanthomendoza fallax [with soredia]
- House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
- Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
- Live Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Summer, asexual generation, Amphibolips quercuspomiformis [spiky ball]
- Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Mute Swan, Cygnus olor
- Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
- Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
- Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
- Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Powdery-Margined Cryptic Shade Lichen, Physciella chloantha
- Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Passerella iliaca
- Sparrow, Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
- Sparrow, House Sparrow, Passer domesticus
- Sparrow, White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
- Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
- Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
- Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
- Willow, Salix sp.
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