Spider-Man in a Tree, 03-10-23

After the wind and rain storm that blew through yesterday, I was anxious to get out for a walk before the next raft of storms came into the area. It was overcast all day today, but we didn’t get any rain.

I tried first to go over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve because the County website said it was one of the few places that was open after yesterday’s storm. But when I got there, I found the gates were closed, so I couldn’t get in there. I then decided to go over to William Land Park instead.

There were hardly any cars in the parking lot, so I had my choice of parking spaces. At the WPA Rock Garden, adjacent to the park, I could tell right away that a lot of the trees and plants in the garden had been cut back, severely so in some cases, so the whole garden looked rather “naked”. I was hoping there would be some springtime blossoms there, but the cold has been causing a delay in flowering. There were a few plants in bloom, but everything else looked barren or struggling.

At the middle pond, I was happy to see that all of the lotus plants had been pulled out of the water so there were now places for the ducks and geese to actually swim. [See the before and after photos below.] It also means there will be more opportunities for dragonflies and damselflies to emerge and/or lay their eggs, and room for crawfish to roam around (and feed the larger birds like herons and egrets).

More species will visit the pond when the weather permits, but today I saw a few of the usual suspects: Mallards, Canada Geese, and Wood Ducks. On the lawns and in the trees, I saw other bird species including Crows, Western Bluebirds, Audubon’s Warblers, Anna’s Hummingbirds, Scrub Jays, and Robins.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

One funny moment of the morning was when I could see, at a distance, something red in the open knot hole on the side of a tree. I couldn’t tell what it was; it was too large and too red to be a kind of slime mold. When I got close enough, I realized it was a tiny Spider-Man figure “climbing” inside the hole. I usually don’t like it when humans “decorate” trees in the wild, but this was so unexpected it made me chuckle.

I was really hoping, as I was leaving the park through the WPA Garden, to see the little Hermit Thrush that can usually be found in the garden. I was happy, then, when I actually saw TWO. I don’t know if they were a male and female pair, or if it was two males, but one chased the other one out of its area and stood pumping its tail for a few seconds before going on with its own feeding for the morning.

This was walk #10 in my #52HikeChallenge for the year.

Species List:

  1. Aloe, Aloe sp.
  2. Aloe, Candelabra Aloe, Aloe arborescens
  3. American Robin, Turdus migratorius
  4. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  5. Audubon’s Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  6. Bee, European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  7. Bicolor Cobra Lily, Chasmanthe bicolor
  8. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  9. Borage, Borago officinalis
  10. Bumpy Rim-Lichen, Lecanora hybocarpa [tan to brown apothecia]
  11. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  12. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  13. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  14. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
  15. European Dog Violet, Viola riviniana
  16. Field Elm, Ulmus minor
  17. Greater Honeywort, Cerinthe major
  18. Hermit Thrush, Catharus guttatus
  19. Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
  20. Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens
  21. Lawn Daisy, Bellis perennis
  22. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  23. Mediterranean Spurge, Euphorbia characias [large plants]
  24. Mountain Grape, Berberis oiwakensis
  25. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  26. Mullein, Great Mullein, Verbascum thapsus
  27. Pepper-Spore Lichen, Rinodina sp.
  28. Pin-Cushion Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona polycarpa [bright orange, apothecia, close, piled]
  29. Pot Marigold, Calendula officinalis
  30. Powder-Edged Speckled Greenshield, Flavopunctelia soredica [pale green, lots of soredia]
  31. Quince, Cydonia oblonga
  32. Rosemary, Salvia Rosmarinus
  33. Shepherd’s-Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris
  34. Shrubby Globularia, Globularia alypum [purple-blue puff center]
  35. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona candelaria
  36. Sparrow, Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  37. Star-of-Bethlehem Tribe, Tribe: Ornithogaleae
  38. Stinking Hellebore, Helleborus foetidus
  39. Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha
  40. Summer Snowflake, Leucojum aestivum
  41. Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
  42. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  43. Yellow-Edged Frost Lichen, Physconia enteroxantha [white/pale edged]

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