CNC Gristmill, 04-30-23

This was the third day of the four-day City Nature Challenge and I’m wondering why the challenge is only four days long. Why not a week? People could get out more, go to different places, and collect more data. Four days doesn’t seem long enough for collection. They give you a week to post your data to iNaturalist, but not to the collection of data itself. Weird.

I went out to the Gristmill Recreations Area on the American River today. I was looking for galls, and found quite a few insects and a few birds along the way. The favorite insect sighting was that of a female Snakefly. I don’t get to see them very often, so it’s always a treat when they cross my path.

“…Several [snakefly] species live in the west. They are one of only two groups of insects than can run backwards at full speed (the only other insects that can do this are Webspinners, Order Embioptera)…” University of California.

“…Larvae feed on wood-boring insects, small insects such as aphids and caterpillars, and various insect eggs. Snakefly adults feed on aphids or other small, weak prey. In pear orchards, they are important predators of pear psylla, especially in the early season…” Washington State University

I was also stoked to come across two butterflies: first sightings for me of the season, a Lorquin’s Admiral and a Tiger Swallowtail. I had to chase the Admiral in a circle before it finally settled onto a spot where I could get its photo.

The Lorquins are interesting in that they have several flights in California and often use willows as their host plants. They feed off a variety of flowers, but also get nutrients from dung and bird droppings.

“…Males perch in valley bottoms all day to watch for females. Eggs are laid on the upperside of host plant leaf tips. Caterpillars feed on leaves and partially-grown caterpillars overwinter in rolled leaf shelters…” Butterflies and Moths of North America.

As far as the Tigers go, the five instars of their caterpillars are astounding; they go from looking like bird poop to looking like large caterpillars with huge eyespots on the back.

“…The adult females lay up to a hundred eggs in total. The eggs are deep green, shiny, and spherical. They are laid singly, on the undersides of leaves… The chrysalis is green in summer and dark brown in winter, and looks like a piece of wood…” Wikipedia

I found a few galls, but not as many as I thought I would. The favorite of the gall sightings was of the pouch galls on the elm trees along the trail. The galls are generated by aphids interacting with the elm tree.

“…The fundatrix (founding or stem mother) lays eggs in a leaf of the primary host, which are trees in the genus Ulmus. This stimulates production of galls where offspring of the fundatrix develop by feeding on host sap. These mature into winged adult alates, which complete the life cycle on the secondary host…”Wikipedia

Among the plants and trees, there were the usual suspects: willows, Black Walnut, Elm, Black Locust (in bloom), Elderberry and Boxelder. The wild grapevines are getting grapes already. They usually wait until the Manroot is done for the year. I also found some horsetail, some charlock in bloom, and end-of-the-season Fiddleneck.

I saw a few birds including Canada Geese and a California Quail, but the one who posed for me was a tiny House Wren. These little birds have such bright, loud songs, they’re hard to miss when you hear them. Seeing them, on the other hand, can be tricky because they blend so well into their environment.

I walked for about three hours and then headed back to the car. On my way there, I missed the regular turn off for the trail, so I cut through the high grass to get to the main trail again. The grass kept wrapping around my shoes, threatening to make me fall. [Luckily, I didn’t.]

I came to an area where there was a lot of downed, dried tree bark and branches. As I worked to step over the mess, I could hear the hissing rattle of a rattlesnake. It rattled twice… and that was enough to make me use a different route even though I never saw the snake itself.

“…Rattlesnakes are typically described as poisonous, but they are actually venomous. A poisonous snake is one that is harmful to touch or eat. A venomous snake injects dangerous venom into its victim… Rattlesnakes do not always rattle a warning. Sometimes they rattle loudly to warn potential enemies of their presence, but other times they remain silent when they sense a threat, choosing to remain still to rely on their cryptic color and pattern to let them blend into their surroundings to hide from the threat…” — California Herps.

 This was hike #23 in my#52HikeChallenge for the year.

Species List:

  1. American Square-Headed Snakefly, Negha sp.
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Ash Petiole Gall Midge, Dasineura tumidosae
  4. Ash Tree, Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
  5. Bedstraw, Catchweed Bedstraw, Velcro Grass, Galium aparine
  6. Bees, European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  7. Bees, Leaf-Cutter Bees, Sharptail Bees, Coelioxys sp.
  8. Black Locust, Robinia pseudoacacia
  9. Black Walnut, Northern California Black Walnut, Juglans hindsii
  10. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  11. Boxelder, Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
  12. Bumpy Rim-Lichen, Lecanora hybocarpa
  13. Bur Parsley, Anthriscus caucalis
  14. California Black Walnut Pouch Gall Mite, Aceria brachytarsa
  15. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  16. California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  17. California Quail, Callipepla californica
  18. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  19. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  20. Clover, White Clover, Trifolium repens
  21. Common Stretch Spider, Tetragnatha extensa
  22. Copper Underwing Moth, Amphipyra pyramidoides [green caterpillar with white pinstripes]
  23. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  24. Crane Fly, Subgenus: Hesperotipula
  25. Creeping Snowberry, Symphoricarpos mollis
  26. Cricket, Arboreal Camel Cricket, Gammarotettix bilobatus
  27. Crow, American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  28. Dragonfly, Eight-Spotted Skimmer, Libellula forensic
  29. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
  30. Elm Leaf Pouch Gall Aphid, Rice Root Aphid, Tetraneura nigriabdominalis
  31. Elm Tree, Field Elm, Ulmus minor
  32. False Black Widow Spider, Steatoda grossa
  33. Fan Palms, Washingtonia sp.
  34. Fiddleneck, Common Fiddleneck, Amsinckia menziesii
  35. Flies, Cluster Flies, Pollenia sp.
  36. Flies, Muscoid Flies, Superfamily: Muscoidea
  37. Flies, Sawflies, Suborder: Symphyta
  38. Grasses, Common Soft Brome, Bromus hordeaceus
  39. Grasses, Ripgut Brome, Bromus diandrus
  40. Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
  41. Horsetail, Rough Horsetail, Equisetum hyemale
  42. Italian Cypress, Mediterranean Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens
  43. Jointed Charlock, Raphanus raphanistrum
  44. Lady Beetle, Convergent Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens
  45. Large-Tailed Aphideater, Eupeodes volucris [hoverfly]
  46. Live Oak Erineum Mite Gall, Aceria mackiei
  47. Lorquin’s Admiral Butterfly, Limenitis lorquini
  48. Lupine, Sky Lupine, Lupinus nanus
  49. Manroot, California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  50. Mirid Bug, Irbisia sp.
  51. Mistletoe Gall, Mistletoes, Tribe: Visceae
  52. Mistletoe, Broadleaf Mistletoe, Phoradendron macrophyllum
  53. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  54. Non-Biting Midges, Cricotopus sp.
  55. Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus oreganus
  56. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard]
  57. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  58. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  59. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  60. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  61. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  62. Pin-Cushion Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona polycarpa [bright orange, apothecia, close, piled]
  63. Pineappleweed, Chamomilla suaveolens
  64. Stonecrop, Moss Pygmy Weed, Crassula connata [tiny, red]
  65. Swallow, Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  66. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  67. Vetch, Hairy Vetch, Vicia villosa
  68. Western Boxelder Bug, Boisea rubrolineata
  69. Western Lynx Spider, Oxyopes scalaris
  70. Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio rutulus
  71. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
  72. White Mulberry, Morus alba
  73. White-Winged March Fly, Bibio albipennis
  74. Willow Apple Gall Sawfly, Euura californica
  75. Willow Leaf tiers, bundles:
  76. Willow Rosette Gall Midge, Rabdophaga salicisbrassicoides
  77. Willow, Arroyo Willow, Salix lasiolepis
  78. Willow Fold Gall Sawfly, Euura sp. [Phyllocolpa sp.]
  79. Willow, Narrowleaf Willow, Sandbar Willow, Salix exigua
  80. Willow, Scouler’s Willow, Salix scouleriana
  81. Wren, House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  82. Yellow-Billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli

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CNC In the Yard, 04-29-23

This was the second day of the four-day City Nature Challenge for this year, so, once again I’m letting you know that I’m going to be waaaaay behind in my posts and photo albums while I rest up from my excursions, get everything posted to iNaturalist, sort through my photos and write my blog posts.

When I first went out into the backyard, I saw two of the neighbor’s semi-feral cats sitting in a chair on our back porch. I couldn’t get photos of them; they ran off too quickly.

Today I focused on species in the yard at home, so I didn’t have to travel again. First, I focused on the flowering stuff. Click on the image to see what it is.

And then I focused on the different leaf types. Click on the image to see what it is.

The most interesting thing I found was evidence of a lot of Leaf Curl Fungus on our nectarine tree. It had had this disease previously, but last year and the year before (when the weather was hotter) it hadn’t shown much sign of it.

“…Peach leaf curl, also known as leaf curl, is a disease caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans. Peach leaf curl affects the blossoms, fruit, leaves, and shoots of peaches, ornamental flowering peaches, and nectarines, and is one of the most common disease problems for backyard gardeners growing these trees. The distorted, reddened foliage that it causes is easily seen in spring. When severe, the disease can reduce fruit production substantially… The fungus grows between leaf cells and stimulates them to divide and grow larger than normal, causing swelling and distortion of the leaf. Red plant pigments accumulate in the distorted cells. Cells of the fungus break through the cuticle of distorted leaves and produce elongated, sac-like structures called asci that produce sexual spores called ascospores, which give the leaf a grayish white, powdery or velvetlike appearance. The ascospores are released into the air, carried to new tissues, and bud (divide) to form bud-conidia….” University of California.

I didn’t go far today, but I still ended up with over 20 observations to add to my total for the City Nature Challenge.

Species List:

  1. Aloe Yucca, Yucca aloifolia
  2. Azalea, Tsutsusi Azalea, Rhododendron indicum
  3. Broom, French Broom, Genista monspessulana
  4. Cat, Felis catus
  5. Chinese Photinia, Photinia serratifolia
  6. Clover, White Clover, Trifolium repens
  7. Common Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale
  8. Common Lilac, Syringa vulgaris
  9. Fig, Common Fig, Ficus carica
  10. Geranium, Cut-Leaved Crane’s-Bill, Geranium dissectum
  11. Iris, Western Blue Flag, Iris missouriensis
  12. Ivy, Common Ivy, Hedera helix
  13. Lemon Tree, Citrus limen
  14. Nectarine Tree, Prunus persica var. nucipersica [with leaf curl]
  15. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  16. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  17. Peach Leaf Curl Fungus, Taphrina deformans
  18. Persimmon, Japanese Persimmon, Fuyu, Diospyros kaki
  19. Podocarpus, Kusamaki, Podocarpus macrophyllus
  20. Privet, Glossy Privet, Ligustrum lucidum
  21. Red Mulberry, Morus rubra
  22. Roses, Rosa sp.
  23. Sago Palm, Sago Cycad, Cycas revoluta
  24. Spearmint, Mentha spicata
  25. White Mulberry, Morus alba

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CNC Drum Powerhouse Road, 04-28-23

This was the first day of the four-day City Nature Challenge for this year, so I’m going to be waaaaay behind in my posts and photo albums while I rest up from my excursions, get everything posted to iNaturalist, sort through my photos and write my blog posts.

Today’s trip was up to Drum Powerhouse Road with my friend and fellow naturalist, Roxanne. We also took my dog Esteban along for the ride — and I was seriously considering adding him to my species list, but I didn’t. Hah! The road runs up through the foothills between Alta and Dutch Flat in Placer County. It sometimes follows the route of the Bear River and allows views of forested areas, seeps, and serpentine rock areas. We thought it would make for a great place to start racking up species for the challenge.

We got up early and were on the way by 6:30 am, trying to beat today’s heat. We know the route pretty well, including a lot of the best turn-off points, but were a little surprised that we didn’t see a lot of what we were used to seeing early on. We saw a good number of species, just not in the concentrations we normally do. But the weather has been weird lately, and we think a lot of the stuff just wasn’t awake yet.

The snow-melt was still happening here, and all along the road were mini-waterfalls of snow-water.

A lot of clearing had been done in the forest and it looked like a lot of new construction was going on up there. In a spot where we usually see a lot of Giant Wake Robins, most of the plants were gone, except for some around the base of a couple of trees set off from the road on private property. And that was a bit of a disappointment — BUT, we did get to see a lot of different lichens, including one I had never seen before, and the ground was littered in places with dozens of small Bird’s Nest Fungus, one of my favorite fungi, so I couldn’t complain too much.

There were also lots of rock lichens. As we were in a moving vehicle for much of the trip, I didn’t get out to look closely at many of them, but I did capture a few.

I also spotted some Witches Broom outcroppings in the pine trees there. I’d never seen the pine version of that before. Most of the witches broom formations we’ve seen have been caused by types of Phytoplasmas, and the one in pine trees is generally Candidatus phytoplasma pini, although there are others. The deformations can be small or huge, and can vary greatly in color.

“…Phytoplasmas commonly cause distorted, dwarfed, and yellowish leaves and shoots. Other symptoms include abnormal flower and leaf development, shortened internodes, and shoot proliferation (witches’ broom). The flowers of infected plants sometimes develop green, leaflike structures, called phyllody…” — University of California.

We did see quite a few different species of wildflowers including different kinds of pea, Shelton’s Violets, Brown Fritillary, Pacific Hound’s Tongue, Bleeding Hearts, different kinds of barberry, Sierra Gooseberry, California Saxifrage, Brewer’s Rockcress, American Fairybells, and more. The Pacific Dogwoods and California Bay trees were also blooming, And we also saw lots of Jewelflower plants but none of them were in bloom yet.

I suck at identifying ferns, but we did see quite a few different species when we were out there including Lace Lips, Goldback ferns, Coastal Woodfern, and Giant Chain Fern, among others. There were also areas where there were lush mosses covering the rocks and surrounding a variety of other tiny plants and flowers. Just luscious!

We could hear birds around us, but couldn’t seem to catch any photos of any of them, with the exception of a handsome Band-Tailed Pigeon [a “life” bird for me, so, yay!] that posed on a birdbath in someone’s yard.

Band-Tailed Pigeon, Patagioenas fasciata

When we stopped to get some photos of a bitter cherry tree on the side of the road, we realized there was a moth either feeding among the flowers or maybe laying eggs, It didn’t come out fully for us to see it in its entirety, but we had enough “pieces” of it in our combined photos to be able to identify it as an Annaphila  Owlet Moth, Annaphila diva. Here’s a photo, not taken by me, from the Butterflies and Moths of North America website.

At one point, we pulled off onto an outlet on the side of the road and had our lunch before traveling on. Around that area, we found some water-striders in a pool at the bottom of one of the mini waterfalls.

We reached the end of the road, where the gate to the power station was, and checked the Canyon Live Oak trees there for some springtime galls. We didn’t find any, but we did find some of last summer’s galls.

We then headed back to Sacramento, but stopped along the road in a few places to take more photos. Lots more wildflowers, and some interesting livestock greeted us along the way.

We ended up logging over 120 species for this outing so I was VERY pleased with that. This was hike #22 in my#52HikeChallenge for the year.

I’ll have a full album of photos for you eventually, but first I have to get through this year’s four-day City Nature Challenge and then start sorting photos. Stay tuned!

Species List:

  1. American Fairybells, Prosartes sp.
  2. American Yellowrocket, Barbarea orthoceras
  3. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  4. Annaphila  Owlet Moth, Annaphila diva
  5. Aphid, Potato Aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae [tiny, green]
  6. Apple Tree, Malus domestica
  7. Ash Tree, Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
  8. Band-Tailed Pigeon, Patagioenas fasciata
  9. Bay Laurel, California Bay, Umbellularia californica
  10. Bee, European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  11. Bitter Cherry Tree, Prunus emarginata
  12. Blackberry, Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus bifrons
  13. Bleeding Hearts, Pacific Bleeding Heart, Dicentra formosa
  14. Blue Dicks, Dipterostemon capitatus ssp. capitatus
  15. Bluehead Gilia, Gilia capitata
  16. Brewer’s Rockcress, Boechera breweri [purple flowers]
  17. Broom, Scotch Broom, Cytisus scoparius
  18. Brown Fritillary, Fritillaria micrantha
  19. Brown-Eyed Sunshine Lichen, Vulpicida canadensis
  20. Bumpy Rim-Lichen, Lecanora hybocarpa [tan to brown apothecia]
  21. Buttercup, Western Buttercup, Ranunculus occidentalis
  22. Cabbage White Butterfly, Pieris rapae
  23. California Incense-Cedar, Calocedrus decurrens
  24. California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  25. California Saxifrage, Micranthes californica
  26. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  27. Cattle, Highland Cattle,  Bos taurus var. Highland
  28. Chaparral Honeysuckle, Lonicera interrupta
  29. Cherry, St Lucie Cherry, Prunus mahaleb
  30. Chiseled Sunken Disk Lichen, Circinaria contorta
  31. Cinder Lichen, Aspicilia cinerea
  32. Clover, Red Clover, Trifolium pratense
  33. Clover, Rose Clover, Trifolium hirtum
  34. Cobwebby Thistle, Cirsium occidentale
  35. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  36. Common Powderhorn Lichen, Cladonia coniocraea
  37. Common Water Strider, Aquarius remigis
  38. Creeping Mahonia, Berberis repens
  39. Creeping Snowberry, Symphoricarpos mollis
  40. Crescent Map Lichen, Rhizocarpon lecanorinum
  41. Cumberland Rock Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia [gray, brown apotheca]
  42. Dock, Curly Dock, Rumex crispus
  43. Dogwood, Pacific Dogwood, Cornus nuttallii
  44. Douglas Fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii
  45. Dudleya, Canyon Liveforever, Dudleya cymosa
  46. Emery Rocktripe Lichen, Umbilicaria phaea
  47. Erodium, Redstem Stork’s-Bill, Erodium cicutarium
  48. Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto
  49. Fendler’s Meadow-Rue, Thalictrum fendleri
  50. Fern, Coastal Woodfern, Dryopteris arguta
  51. Fern, Giant Chain Fern, Woodwardia fimbriata
  52. Fern, Goldback Fern, Pentagramma triangularis
  53. Fern, Lace Lip Fern, Myriopteris gracillima
  54. Fern, Narrowleaf Sword Fern, Polystichum imbricans
  55. Fig, Common Fig, Ficus carica
  56. Fringed Shield Lichen, Parmelina coleae
  57. Giant White Wakerobin, Trillium albidum
  58. Globe Lily, White Globe Lily, Calochortus albus
  59. Goat, Domestic Goat, Capra aegagrus hircus
  60. Gooseberry, Sierra Gooseberry, Ribes roezlii
  61. Gouty Stem Gall Wasp, Callirhytis quercussuttoni
  62. Grasses, Pink Grass, Windmill Pink, Hairypink, Petrorhagia dubia
  63. Hairy Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta
  64. Hairy Gall Wasp, Disholandricus lasius [on Canyon Live Oak]
  65. Imshaug’s Tube Lichen, Hypogymnia imshaugii
  66. Iris, Rainbow Iris, Iris hartwegii
  67. Irregular Spindle Gall Wasp, Andricus chrysolepidicola [on Canyon Live Oak]
  68. Ithuriel’s Spears, Triteleia laxa
  69. Kermes, Allokermes sp.
  70. Lilac, Common Lilac, Syringa vulgaris
  71. Live Oak Bud Gall Wasp, Callirhytis quercusagrifoliae
  72. Live Oak Gall Wasp, Bisexual, Spring Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis [looks like a soft funnel, green to brown]
  73. Lomatium, Foothill Desert-Parsley, Lomatium utriculatum
  74. Lupine, Broadleaf Lupine, Lupinus latifolius
  75. Lupine, Spider Lupine, Lupinus benthamii
  76. Mahala Mat, Ceanothus prostratus
  77. Manzanita, Smooth Whiteleaf Manzanita, Arctostaphylos viscida ssp. viscida
  78. Maple, Bigleaf Maple, Acer macrophyllum
  79. Miner’s Lettuce, Streambank Springbeauty, Claytonia parviflora
  80. Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata
  81. Moss, Lyell’s Bristle-Moss, Pulvigera lyellii
  82. Mosses, Crisped Pincushion Moss, Ulota crispa
  83. Mosses, Long-Leaved Thread Moss, Ptychostomum pseudotriquetrum
  84. Mosses, Phylum: Bryophyta
  85. Mountain Jewelflower, Streptanthus tortuosus
  86. Mountain Misery, Chamaebatia foliolosa
  87. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  88. Oak, California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii
  89. Oak, Canyon Live Oak, Quercus chrysolepis
  90. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  91. Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri [like strap but with soredia]
  92. Olive, Olea europaea
  93. Pacific Hound’s Tongue, Adelinia grande
  94. Paintbrush, Castilleja sp.
  95. Pea, Sulphur Pea, Lathyrus sulphureus
  96. Pea, Sierra Nevada Peavine, Lathyrus nevadensis
  97. Pepper-Spore Lichen, Rinodina sp.
  98. Periwinkle, Lesser Periwinkle, Vinca minor
  99. Phytoplasmas, Phytoplasma sp. [creates witch’s broom, on pine]
  100. Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Pinus ponderosa
  101. Prettyface, Foothill Triteleia, Triteleia ixioides scabra
  102. Purple Sanicle, Sanicula bipinnatifida 
  103. Spider, Order: Araneae
  104. Sunflower, Common Woolly Sunflower, Eriophyllum lanatum
  105. Sycamore, American Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis
  106. Tapered Stem Gall Wasp, Protobalandricus spectabilis
  107. Thistle, Italian Thistle, Carduus pycnocephalus
  108. Tick, American Dog Tick, Dermacentor variabilis
  109. True Sedges, Carex sp.
  110. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  111. Variable Wrinkle-Lichen, Tuckermanopsis orbata
  112. Violet, Shelton’s Violet, Viola sheltonii
  113. Wavy-Leafed Soap Plant, Chlorogalum pomeridianum
  114. Western Columbine, Aquilegia Formosa
  115. Western False Rue Anemone, Enemion occidentale [white flowers]
  116. Western Gall Rust, Cronartium harknessii
  117. Western Morning Glory, Calystegia occidentalis
  118. White Nemophila, Nemophila heterophylla
  119. Willow, Narrowleaf Willow, Sandbar Willow, Salix exigua
  120. Willow, Scouler’s Willow, Salix scouleriana
  121. Wisteria, Japanese Wisteria, Wisteria floribunda
  122. Wolf Lichen, Letharia vulpina
  123. Woolly Bird’s Nest Fungus, Nidula niveotomentosa
  124. Yellow Map Lichen, Rhizocarpon geographicum
  125. ?? Folded live oakleaf with a tiny caterpillar in it
  126. ?? live oak leaf that had been mined all throughout the top, like a blister

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Mix Canyon Road Trek, 04-26-23

Holy Cow! [Do people still say that? Hah!] We saw and heard so much on our trek to Mix Canyon Road today. I went with my friend and fellow naturalist Roxanne. We fueled up on coffee first, around 6:30 AM, and then were on our way. There were lots of wildflowers to see, along with ferns, and other plantlife. We ended up with a list of over 120 species!

There were Ithuriel’s Spears, Yerba Santa, Blue Dicks, yarrow, Monkeyflowers, bindweed, lots of Nightshade, Mountain Phacelia, White Nemophila, Wooly Indian Paintbrush, Indian Warriors, Chinese Houses and Poppies. We were also happy to find a large stand of Red Larkspur. I was looking for some Death Camas, but only found a meager two or three specimens of it.