After breakfast, I decided to take a walk over at the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve. I hadn’t been over there for a while.
One of the first things I saw was a White-Breasted Nuthatch collecting materials for a nest she was building inside a manmade bird box. She was getting the majority of the nesting materials from the floor of a nearby play area. Some of the bits looked too big for her to get past the threshold of her box, and it was fun watching her figure out the geometry necessary to get the job done.
I saw a couple of other Nuthatches on other trails in the preserve. One pair was on a stump on the Meadow Trail, and the others were digging stuff out from under the bark on a tree on the Main Trail. So busy.
There were tiny House Wrens all over the place, singing away as they staked out territories and wooed potential mates. There were also lots of Acorn Woodpeckers, Audubon’s Warblers, and Tree Swallows around. I caught a glimpse of a Nuttall’s Woodpecker, and I heard California Quails and Red-Shouldered Hawks but couldn’t get photos of those. I love all the song in the air.
In the tall grass, I found quite a few “blossoming” Santa Barbara Sedge plants, arum, Bur Parsley, Blue Dicks and Wavy-Leafed Soap Plants, Greater Periwinkle, and Miner’s Lettuce. There were also Pipevine and Manroot vines, and some early emergence Valley Tassels. Everything was greening up or flowering.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
Some of the oak trees were dripping with their catkins and growing new leaves. On one of the trees I found a few galls made by the bisexual, springtime Two-Horned Gall Wasp. This wasp has two generations, both on the live oak trees. The springtime generation galls look like dark horny shells on the catkins or new leaves, and the summer generation galls look like little barrels with a horn on each end. Oddly, I usually find far more of the summer galls than the springtime ones.
I also found specimens of both Giraffe’s Head Henbit and Red Deadnettle, plants that look somewhat similar but are actually different species. The Red Deadnettle has a reddish blush on its top leaves which the Giraffe’s Head lacks, and the leaves have a different shape.
There were quite a few deer out and about. In one spot, I saw 13 of them spread over both sides of the trail. One of the yearlings had a very light, almost blond, coat. It will be interesting to see if he retains that coloring as he gets older.
There had been warnings of a lot of ticks on the preserve, but I got out without a single one on me. In the creepy-but-cool insect realm, however, I did come across a Jerusalem Cricket…which aren’t crickets and don’t come from Jerusalem.
I walked and walked and covered three of the trails on the preserve, pushed forward by seeing so many species. But I was out for over 5 hours, and that’s waaaaay past my limit. I was so exhausted that even when I got to the picnic area near the front of the preserve and could see my vehicle in the adjacent parking lot, it took me over half an hour to get to my car — and I had to sit down four times.
I felt exceedingly weak, dizzy and nauseated, and every light-colored thing seemed to “glow”, blooming bright white in my eyes. I really thought I was going to faint, but I eventually made it to the car and collapsed in the front seat. I sat for a few minutes letting the air conditioner blow on me and drinking some green tea with honey.
When I got home, my sister Melissa was in the garage doing laundry, and she helped me into the house, I could hardly walk by myself, even with my cane. I’m assuming I was suffering the effects of overexertion.
“…We all know that exercise is a great way to take care of both our body and mind. However, it’s important to make sure you aren’t overdoing it…Make sure you’re listening to your body and being aware of your own limitations…” — Sun Health Communities
I just over-did the walk. Gotta set strict time limits on myself, and pay better attention to how my body is feeling.
This was walk #16 of my #52HikeChallenge for the year.
- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- American Robin, Turdus migratorius
- Annual Agoseris, Agoseris heterophylla [like tiny Cat’s Ear]
- Ant, American Winter Ant, Prenolepis imparis
- Ash, Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
- Audubon’s Warbler, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
- Bedstraw, Catchweed Bedstraw, Velcro Grass, Galium aparine
- Bee, European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
- Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
- Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
- Blessed Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
- Blue Dicks, Dipterostemon capitatus ssp. capitatus
- Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
- Bur Parsley, Anthriscus caucalis
- Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
- California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
- California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
- California Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
- California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
- California Quail, Callipepla californica [heard]
- California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis [fly over]
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Common Chickweed, Stellaria media
- Common Groundsel, Senecio vulgaris [like little dandelions on a stem]
- Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
- Creeping Snowberry, Symphoricarpos mollis
- Cumberland Rock Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia
- Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
- Erodium, Musk Stork’s-Bill, Erodium moschatum
- European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
- Fiddleneck, Common Fiddleneck, Amsinckia menziesii
- Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
- Giraffe’s Head, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
- Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias [flying along the river side]
- Great Egret, Ardea alba
- Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
- Ichneumon Wasp, Odontocolon sp.
- Italian Arum, Lords-and-Ladies, Arum italicum
- Jerusalem Cricket, North American Jerusalem Cricket, Ammopelmatus sp.
- Lupine, Bush Lupine, Silver Lupine, Lupinus albifrons var. albifrons
- Lupine, Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
- Manroot, California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
- Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliate
- Mirid Bug, Irbisia sp.
- Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
- Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
- Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
- Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
- Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
- Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri [like strap but with soredia]
- Olive, Olea europaea
- Periwinkle, Greater Periwinkle, Vinca major
- Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
- Red Deadnettle, Lamium purpureum
- Red-Shouldered Hawk, California Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus elegans
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Santa Barbara Sedge, Carex barbarae
- Shepherd’s-Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris
- Sonoma Sage, Salvia sonomensis [purple, lacy]
- Sparrow, Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
- Sticky Mouse Ears Chickweed, Cerastium glomeratum
- Stonecrop, Moss Pygmy Weed, Crassula connata [tiny, red]
- Swallow, Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
- Towhee, California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
- Trailing Blackberry, Rubus ursinus [white/green stems]
- Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
- Two-Horned Gall Wasp, Bisexual, spring generation, Dryocosmus dubiosus [hard, shell-like on catkins ad new leaves on live oak]
- Valley Tassels, Castilleja attenuata
- Vetch, Common Vetch, Vicia sativa
- Wavy-Leafed Soap Plant, Chlorogalum pomeridianum
- Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
- Western Redbud, Cercis occidentalis
- White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- Wren, House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
- Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
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