All posts by The Chubby Woman

Mary K. Hanson is an author, nature photographer and Certified California Naturalist living with terminal cancer.

Falling for Galls, 08-06-22

I got up at 5:00 AM, so I could be ready to go to the Cosumnes River Preserve with my friend Roxanne around 6:00 AM. We were looking for galls on the valley oaks trees that populate that area, and went first down Bruceville and Desmond Roads.

We stopped to look at some milkweed plants and wild rose bushes along Bruceville Road, and while we were moving around in the tall-ish grass, my right foot dropped into a hole covered by the grass and I toppled over. I tweaked out my already hurting left hip; and the fall also caused by left foot and ankle to bend backwards, the wrong way, so my toes were buzzing with nerve pain. Gad!  Once I fall, I can’t get back up – bad hip, no strength in my arms or legs to speak of – so I was VERY grateful that Roxanne was with me.

We tried various ways to lift me from the ground but none of them were working, so I suggested that Rox bring the car around and I’d try to pull myself up into that. She got the passenger side of the car as close to me as she could and opened the door. Laboring on my hands and knees, I got to the car, grabbed into the front seat and, with Roxanne’s help, finally, after two tries, was able to pull myself up enough to get my feet under me and stand up. Sheesh! If Roxanne hadn’t been with me, I would have had to call 911 for assistance. [Yes, I’m one of those “I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up” people. But I can’t afford the Life Alert system.]

CLICK HERE to see the full album of photos.

It was physically and emotionally painful, and embarrassing and humiliating. This getting old stuff sucks. I took an extra pain pill before we continued on with the rest of our outing. There was one tree on Bruceville Road that, at first, we thought was a Valley Oak based on its leaves, but the acorns were all “wrong”: too large and too rounded to be Valley. Based on some research ,I thought maybe it was a Gambel’s Oak, but Rox and I settled on the probability that it was an Oregon Oak. We’ll see if we get any pushback from people on iNaturalist.

We stopped along Desmond Road to check out the trees there, and while we were there We saw a pair of fledgling Ash-Throated Flycatchers. They’re such pretty little birds. We didn’t see a lot of birds on this trip. Of course, we looking for them. We caught glimpses of Brewers Blackbirds, some sparrows, a couple of very dark morph Red-Tails, a Black Phoebe, some Greater Yellowlegs and Black Necked Stilts (at a distance), and three Great Egrets that were feeding in the pond by the boardwalk entrance.

Among the galls, I was especially looking for Disc Galls and Woollybears, and was very happy to have found them both. Yay!

On the oak trees we found Club Galls (some very tiny), Yellow Wigs, Spined Turbans, and Red Cones among others, like the Flat-Topped Honeydew galls that were dripping with honeydew.

We also found galls on the ash trees, and on the willows we found some Pinecone galls, stem galls, and beaked twig galls.

It was a fruitful excursion even though I had to stop at about 3-1/2 hours because my hip and leg were hurting. This was hike #47 in my #52HikeChallenge for the year.

Species List:

  1. Aphid, Giant Willow Aphid, Tuberolachnus salignus
  2. Ash Flower Gall Mite, Aceria fraxiniflora
  3. Ash Leaf Curl Aphid, Prociphilus fraxinifolii
  4. Ash, Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
  5. Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  6. Bee, Tripartite Sweat Bee, Halictus tripartitus
  7. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  8. Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus
  9. Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  10. Bristly Oxtongue, Helminthotheca echioides
  11. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis [flyover]
  12. Checkered White Butterfly, Pontia protodice
  13. Chicory, Cichorium intybus
  14. Club Gall Wasp, Atrusca clavuloides
  15. Cobweb Spider, Phylloneta sp.
  16. Common Sunburst Lichen, Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange, on wood/trees]
  17. Disc Gall Wasp, Andricus parmula [round flat, “spangle gall”]
  18. Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
  19. Flax-Leaved Horseweed, Erigeron bonariensis
  20. Great Egret, Ardea alba
  21. Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca
  22. Hover Fly larvae, Family: Syrphidae [white blobby thing eating aphids]
  23. Leaf Beetle, Family: Chrysomelidae
  24. Little Black Ant, Monomorium minimum
  25. Mantis, Arizona Mantis, Stagmomantis limbata [large ootheca]
  26. Mayfly, Order: Ephemeroptera
  27. Meshweaver Spider, Mallos sp. [small, pale tan with dark dot on the abdomen]
  28. Milkweed, Narrowleaf Milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis
  29. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  30. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  31. Oregon White Oak, Quercus garryana garryana
  32. Pale Smartweed, Persicaria lapathifolia
  33. Paper Wasp, Black Paper Wasp, European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula
  34. Poplar Petiole Gall Aphid, Pemphigus obesinymphae [new American species, “slit mouth”]
  35. Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota
  36. Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
  37. Redroot Amaranth, Amaranthus retroflexus
  38. Red-Tailed Hawk, Western Red-Tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis calurus [dark morph]
  39. Rose, California Wild Rose, Rosa californica [pink]
  40. Rough Cocklebur, Xanthium strumariumswal
  41. Round-Gall Wasp, Burnettweldia washingtonensis [round, fuzzy, on twigs]
  42. Small Milkweed Bug, Lygaeus kalmii
  43. Spined Turban Gall Wasp, Cynips douglasii [summer, asexual generation, pink, spiky top]
  44. Stink Bugs, Family: Pentatomidae [eggs]
  45. Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha [without soredia]
  46. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  47. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  48. White Tailed Kite, Elanus leucurus
  49. Willow Beaked-Gall Midge, Rabdophaga rigidae
  50. Willow Pinecone Gall Midge, Rabdophaga strobiloides
  51. Willow Stem Sawfly, Euura exiguae
  52. Willow, Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
  53. Woollybear Gall Wasp, Atrusca trimaculosa
  54. Yellow Wig Gall Wasp, Druon fullawayi

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More Galls at J-S Park, 08-01-22

I got up around 5:00 AM to get the dogs fed and pottied, and then got myself ready to go to Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin with my friend and fellow naturalist, Roxanne, by 6:00 AM. It was mostly cloudy and very humid all day thanks to once-was-a-hurricane Frank. The humidity really got to me, especially as the morning warmed up. Nevertheless, we still managed to stay out for about 4 hours. 

The park has a nice mix of heritage blue oaks, valley oaks, and live oaks, along with a few different species of willows and other plants along Antelope Creek. We were focused pretty much on just the galls we could find in the front park of the park, along the same route as the disk-golf range. We didn’t go into the back of the park on this trip where there are more valley oaks than anything else; maybe next time.

Among the many, many galls we found were some Round Honeydew galls which I hadn’t found anywhere else yet. They were even oozing honeydew!

There were quite a few Gray Midrib galls which were still in their green phase and hadn’t gone gray yet. That told me we were a little early checking out all of the gall there. Some, like the Coral Galls hadn’t erupted yet. We also didn’t find the Disc, Convoluted and Peach galls I was hoping to see.

On the other hand, as in other places this year, the Crystalline galls here were in profusion. I don’t remember ever seeing this many in a single season before. We also found quite a few Hair Stalk galls.(Usually we’ll maybe fine ONE per outing; today we found about a dozen!)

We also found the Blue Oak Erineum mite galls I was hoping to find. I’ve never found them anywhere except on one specific tree in this park. According to Russo: “…The concave depressions [on the back of the leaves] are covered with whitish hairs, among which the mites feed…” I took a few photos of the hairs, but even with the macro lens, they were hair to capture.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

A couple of fun finds for me: there were a number of the old spring generation galls of the Striped Volcano gall wasp. Like the tiny volcano galls we see in the summer, the spring generation galls are on the margins of the leaf on blue oak, but rather than being volcano-shaped, the spring galls are round and kind of papery with a blue-black interior. And, as is the case with two generation galls wasps, this one has a bisexual generation (spring, males and females) and an asexual generation (summer, females only). So cool!

We also found just one specimen of the Flange Gall Wasp gall. It looks like a fat little button with a ring of protruding triangular flanges coming out of the bottom of it. Fellow naturalist Karlyn Lewis had found some of these on her excursions in Rockville. [See her website.]

We came across a pale orange-pink caterpillar on one of the trees. I think it’s the caterpillar of a Dagger Moth. I was able to get a few close ups of it, including its little fat face, mouth parts and eyes.

“…Most Caterpillars have six very simple eyes on each side of the head (making 12 in all), although some species have five or seven each side. These light sensitive structures are called ocelli or stemmata. These probably only sense light and dark, and do not distinguish shapes or color…”

“…A caterpillar’s maxillae (small mouth parts that are under the mandibles) have taste cells; these chemical detectors tell the caterpillar to eat when the food is appropriate, and not to eat when the food is not appropriate. The tiny antennae, which are near the mouth parts, sense smells…”

I took over 380 photos with just my cellphone! Good thing I brought my charger pack with me. When we were “galled out” we looked for other critters like birds and squirrels and came across a male Nuttall’s Woodpecker who let us take some photos and video of him.

We also watched the antics of the ground squirrels who have a whole colony-thing going in the middle lawn of the park.

And we pulled some of the discolored and deformed acorns from the oaks so I could take a look at what was happening inside of them when I got home. [I really need Xacto blades for work like that. The house-knives are too big and just mess up a lot of what’s inside the acorn or gall or whatever.]

Like I said, we were out for about 4 hours and by then it was too hot and humid to do any more walking. This was hike #46 of my #52HikeChallenge for the year.

We then drove over to the Granite Rock Grille for brunch. I had a large plate of biscuits and gravy (the biscuits were sooooo light and fluffy), a fruit bowl on the side, and a spicy Bacon Bloody Mary to drink. They use jalapeño salt around the rim of the glass, which adds an extra kick to the drink. (I only like spicy Bloody Mary’s; the plain ones are just… yuck.)

Species List:

  1. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  2. Blue Oak Erineum Mite, Aceria trichophila
  3. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  4. Catalpa, Northern Catalpa, Catalpa speciosa
  5. Cattail, Narrowleaf Cattail, Typha angustifolia
  6. Club Gall Wasp, Atrusca clavuloides
  7. Clustered Gall Wasp, Andricus brunneus
  8. Coral Gall Wasp, Burnettweldia corallina
  9. Corn, Zea mays
  10. Crystalline Gall Wasp, Andricus crystallinus
  11. Cucumber, Cucumis sativus
  12. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
  13. Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto [heard]
  14. Fimbriate Gall Wasp, Andricus opertus
  15. Fuzzy-Gall Wasp, Cynips conspicuus [round mealy bumpy; on Valley oak]
  16. Gouty Stem Gall Wasp, Callirhytis quercussuttoni
  17. Grasses, Dallis Grass, Paspalum dilatatum
  18. Gray Midrib Gall Wasp, Cynips multipunctata
  19. Green Lacewing, Chrysopa coloradensis
  20. Hair Stalk Gall Wasp, Andricus pedicellatus [thread gall on blue oak]
  21. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  22. Marbled Oak Dagger Moth, Acronicta marmorata [pinkish-orange caterpillar, sparse fine hairs]
  23. Mayfly, Speckled Dun, Callibaetis pictus [small, tan or brownish]
  24. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  25. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  26. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  27. Oak Powdery Mildew, Erysiphe alphitoides
  28. Oak, Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  29. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  30. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  31. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  32. Plate Gall Wasp, Andricus pattersonae
  33. Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
  34. Rosette Gall Wasp, Andricus wiltzae [on Valley Oak]
  35. Round Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis canescens
  36. Round-Gall Wasp, Fuzzy Gall, Burnettweldia washingtonensis [round, fuzzy, on twigs]
  37. Saucer Gall Wasp, Andricus gigas
  38. Spined Turban Gall Wasp, Cynips douglasii [summer, asexual generation, pink, spiky top]
  39. Striped Volcano Gall Wasp, Andricus atrimentus, asexual, summer generation [looks like a tiny volcano]
  40. Striped Volcano Gall Wasp, Andricus atrimentus, bisexual spring generation [looks like a papery ball with a black interior]
  41. Tall Flatsedge, Cyperus eragrostis
  42. Tarweed,  Common Tarweed, Spikeweed, Centromadia pungens [prickly]
  43. Tarweed, Fitch’s Tarweed, Centromadia fitchii
  44. Urchin Gall Wasp, Cynips quercusechinus
  45. Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
  46. Willow Bead Gall Mite, Aculus tetanothrix
  47. Willow, Arroyo Willow, Salix lasiolepis
  48. Willow, Goodding’s Willow, Salix gooddingii
  49. Yellow-Billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli
  50. Zinnia, Elegant Zinnia, Zinnia elegans

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The Galls at Sailor Bar, 07-28-22

I got up around 6:00 AM and headed over to the Sailor Bar County Park to check out the oak trees there for galls. I also wanted to see the pond there. My insides had been acting up this morning. I had to go to the bathroom around 5:00 AM, then again at 6:00 when I got up, and as soon as I got to the park, I had to go again. It was a rush to the porta-potty, but I made it. After that, things seemed to settle down a lot. I don’t know what that was about, but I was glad when it was over. [TMI, I know. Hah! Sorry about that.]  It was partly cloudy and about 60º when I got to the park and started inspecting the trees.

The park has a mix of blue oaks, valley oaks, and both interior and coast live oak trees. I was happy to see all of the young blue oak saplings around, many of them protected by fencing.

I spent all of my time at the park looking for galls and walking partway around the pond. I couldn’t do the whole route around the water because I didn’t have my cane with me, and the trail was really narrow and slanted toward the water in parts.

I found a few galls on the blue oaks here that I didn’t find on Old Blue including: Clustered galls, a Gray Midrib gall, Striped Volcano galls, and a single Disc Gall which was sitting underneath a Urchin gall.

On the live oak trees had some Live Oak Apple galls, a few Two-Horned galls, and a few Kernel Flower galls. So, I was happy with my excursion.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Oh, and as I was poking through the branches of one of the trees, a tan praying mantis jumped down onto my hand! So, I was able to get some photos of it, including some facial close-ups. Yay!

I walked for about 3 hours and then headed back home. This was hike #45 of my #52HikeChallenge for the year; and for the Summer Series, this was 3 more hours of a required 20 hours for the challenge.  So I made it to 23½ hours. Woot!

Species List:

  1. Acorn Gall Wasp, Andricus chrysobalani [stunted growth, acorn may look pushed in or sideways]
  2. American Frogbit, Limnobium spongia [floating water plant]
  3. Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  4. Azolla, Water Fern, Azolla filiculoides
  5. Beaver, American, Beaver, Castor canadensis [sign on trees, den]
  6. Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon [flyover]
  7. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  8. Blackberry, Armenian Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus [red canes]
  9. California Jumping Spider, Phidippus californicus [light rust, white and black on abdomen]
  10. Cattail, Broad-Leaved Cattail, Typha latifolia
  11. Club Gall Wasp, Atrusca clavuloides
  12. Clustered Gall Wasp, Andricus brunneus
  13. Common Madia, Madia elegans elegans
  14. Crown Whitefly, Aleuroplatus coronata
  15. Crystalline Gall Wasp, Andricus crystallinus
  16. Disc Gall Wasp, Andricus parmula [round flat, “spangle gall”]
  17. Dotted Knotweed, Persicaria punctata [white flowers]
  18. Downy Thornapple, Jimsonweed, Datura innoxia
  19. Duckweed, Common Duckweed, Lemna minor
  20. Flat-Topped Honeydew Gall Wasp, Disholcaspis eldoradensis
  21. Grasses, Dallis Grass, Paspalum dilatatum
  22. Gray Midrib Gall Wasp, Cynips multipunctata
  23. Green Lacewing, Chrysopa coloradensis
  24. Hair Stalk Gall Wasp, Andricus pedicellatus [thread gall on blue oak]
  25. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  26. Iris, Yellow Iris, Iris pseudacorus
  27. Irregular Spindle Gall Wasp, Andricus chrysolepidicola [on white oaks, Blue, Valley, etc.]
  28. Kernel Flower Gall Wasp, Callirhytis serricornis
  29. Live Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Summer Generation, Amphibolips quercuspomiformis [spiky ball]
  30. Live Oak Erineum Mite Gall, Aceria mackiei
  31. Mallard Duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  32. Mantis, Arizona Mantis, Stagmomantis limbata [large ootheca]
  33. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  34. Oak, Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  35. Oak, California Scrub Oak, Quercus berberidifolia
  36. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  37. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  38. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  39. Pacific Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  40. Plate Gall Wasp, Andricus pattersonae
  41. Pokeweed, American Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana
  42. Purpletop Vervain, Verbena incompta
  43. Red Cone Gall Wasp, Andricus kingi
  44. Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens [on live oaks]
  45. Saucer Gall Wasp, Andricus gigas
  46. Spanish Clover, Acmispon americanus [looks like baby lotus]
  47. Spined Turban Gall Wasp, Cynips douglasii [summer gall, pink, spikey top]
  48. Striped Volcano Gall Wasp, Andricus atrimentus, Summer generation [looks like a tiny volcano]
  49. Towhee, California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  50. Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus [heard]
  51. Two-Horned Gall Wasp, unisexual gall, summer generation,  Dryocosmus dubiosus [small, green or mottled, on back of leaf along the midvein]
  52. Urchin Gall Wasp, Cynips quercusechinus
  53. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  54. Yellow Star-Thistle, Centaurea solstitialis

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So Many Crystalline Galls, 07-25-22

I got up around 6:00 this morning, and got the dogs fed and pottied before heading out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve. I was hoping to see some of bucks in their velvet and/or the does with their fawns, but I didn’t see a single deer. That is so weird.  I also wanted to check out “Old Blue” the blue oak that sits along a trail by the river. It usually sports a lot of different galls.

Part of the main trail at the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve

First, though, I stopped near the nature center to see if there were any Monarch caterpillars or eggs on the milkweed plants there. No Monarchs, but I did get to see another critter I’d kept an eye out for: a Mealy Bug Destroyer larva. It’s the larva of a beetle that is related to ladybeetles, and despite its name, it also eat aphids and drinks honeydew. I got some photos of it, and of ladybeetle eggs laid nearby.

“…This beetle was imported into the United States in 1891 from Australia by one of the early biological control pioneers, Albert Koebele, to control citrus mealybug in California… here’s no need for reintroduction here, though, with our (usually) temperate winters. Mealybug Destroyers are effective predators of aphids and various soft scales... The adult stage is small, 3-4 mm long (3 mm is slightly less than ⅛ inch.). Adults tend to quickly move away when disturbed. An additional reason for the adult stage of the Mealybug Destroyer not being well-known is that they don’t have the flashy patterning or coloring that occur in many species. Adults are dark brown with a tan-to-orange head and posterior. The resemblance of the larval stage of this predator to its prey is another reason Mealybug Destroyers may be overlooked or misidentified. With their wooly appendages and cigar-shaped body that looks as if it has been rolled in flour, Mealybug Destroyer larvae look very much like the larval and adult stages of the citrus mealybug (a serious insect pest). The important difference is size: full grown Mealybug Destroyer larvae are at least twice as large as adult mealybugs.

Mealybug Destroyers are not content to attack their prey at just one stage of development. The adult female lays her eggs in the cottony egg sack of the mealybug. As soon as they hatch, the destroyers start snacking. Adults and young larvae prefer eggs, while older larvae will consume mealybugs at all stages... One Mealybug Destroyer larva devours up to 250 mealybug larvae. They will even feed on honeydew, the sticky sugary substance secreted by mealybugs. When honeydew is excreted (mealybugs typically reside on the undersides of leaves), it lands on lower leaves or on the ground, becomes colonized by sooty mold and making infested plants look even worse…” (Galveston County Master Gardeners)

I checked out all of the Valley and Interior Live Oak trees on my way to Old Blue, looking for wasp galls on them, too. There was nothing on the Valley Oaks, beyond the big Oak Apples, but it seems that wasp galls on them are always “late” in the preserve. There wasn’t much on the Live Oaks either, but I was surprised to find a lot of emerging Pumpkin Galls. They normally don’t show up until September or October, but here they were.  I only found one Live Oak Apple gall on one of the Interior Live Oaks, which was kind of disappointing.

I also found a cute, tiny baby Jumping Spider. I’m not sure of the species because it was so young and not fully colored up yet.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

The wasp galls visible on the blue oaks are different from the ones on the valley oaks, so I knew Old Blue would have different galls on it than the Reverend Mother tree, and that was exciting – as it always is – because it means I can increase the numbers on my species list for the year. The leaves were covered with Saucer Galls which is pretty common for this tree in the summer.

But I was shocked by how many Crystalline Galls I found. Usually, on this tree, they’re few and far between, but this time they seemed to be everywhere, from the top of the tree to the bottom. Some leaves have a handful of galls, others were encrusted with them. On one leaf I counted over 40 galls! And the color variations were cool: strawberry blonde to deep rose. So pretty. I was so excited and happy to see them.

I didn’t find any Hair Stalk galls or Urchin galls, but I did find a solitary Plate Gall. The others may show up later in the summer. I’ll keep an eye out for them. [There are also blue oaks at Sailor Bar that I want to check out.]

I got to do my “naturalist” thing, helping different people identify what they were seeing on the trail. I talked to one gentleman about the live oak galls, and helped a woman from Utah identify a black walnut tree and an Ash-Throated Flycatcher.  She asked if I could identify a black bird she saw with red on its wings, and I chuckled a little and said, “It was probably a Red-Winged Blackbird… Yeah, some of the names aren’t terribly imaginative.” She laughed. I like being able to do my naturalist thing, and really miss being able to teach the coursework. Stupid cancer.            

I came across the “second bee hive” in the preserve, and the bees were all clustered around the entryway. I think they might have been having a confab about where to go for the day. I wasn’t able to check out the other bee tree on the other end of the preserve, so I don’t know if there is still a queen ensconced there.

Wild Western Honeybees, Apis mellifera, at the mouth of their hive along the trail.

Elsewhere on the trail, I came across a female Wild Turkey with her six nearly fully fledged poults. And there were also spots where I could see the “scratch spots” along the side of the trail in areas where the turkeys scratch for insects and seeds, and also use the dirt they bring up to take “dust baths” (to help get the mites and other parasites off their skin and feathers).

I found quite a few Ground Squirrels, and the Fox Squirrels were out, chopping on the black walnuts. I was watching one Fox Squirrel that looked like he kept dozing off while he was working on his nut. His head kept dropping and his eyes would close, then he’d straighten up again and open his eyes a bit more…

As I was leaving, I could hear a Bullfrog croaking in the little pond, but couldn’t catch sight of it. I hope they’re not killing the bulls this year…

I was out for about 4 hours. This was hike #44 of my #52HikeChallenge for the year; and for the Summer Series, this was 4 more hours of a required 20 hours for the challenge [so, 19½ hours toward that total so far. Golly! Only half an hour short!]

Species List:

  1. Acorn Gall Wasp, Andricus chrysobalani [stunted growth, acorn may look pushed in or sideways]
  2. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  3. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  4. Ant, Andre’s Harvester Ant, Veromessor andrei [black]
  5. Aphid, Oleander Aphid, Aphis nerii
  6. Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  7. Azolla, Water Fern, Azolla filiculoides
  8. Bee, European Honeybee, Western Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  9. Black Walnut, Eastern Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
  10. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
  11. California Black Walnut Pouch Gall Mite, Aceria brachytarsa
  12. California Brickellbush, Brickellia californica
  13. California Fuchsia, Epilobium canum
  14. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  15. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  16. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  17. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  18. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus [tracks and scat]
  19. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  20. Crystalline Gall Wasp, Andricus crystallinus
  21. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
  22. Goldenrod, Velvety Goldenrod, Solidago velutina
  23. Grape Erineum Mite, Colomerus vitis
  24. Gumweed, Curlycup Gumweed, Grindelia squarrosa
  25. Jumping Spider, Subfamily: Salticinae
  26. Ladybeetle, Spotless Lady Beetle, Cycloneda sanguinea [no spots; more red than orange]
  27. Live Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Summer Generation, Amphibolips quercuspomiformis [spiky ball]
  28. Live Oak Erineum Mite Gall, Aceria mackiei
  29. Mealybug Destroyer, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri
  30. Meshweaver Spider, Family: Dictynidae
  31. Milkweed, Narrowleaf Milkweed, Asclepias fascicularis
  32. Milkweed, Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa
  33. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  34. Mule Fat, Baccharis salicifolia
  35. Oak Apple, California Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  36. Oak Ribbed Casemaker Moth, Bucculatrix albertiella
  37. Oak, Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii
  38. Oak, Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia
  39. Oak, Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  40. Oak, Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  41. Pacific Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  42. Pearly Everlasting, Anaphalis margaritacea
  43. Plant Bug, Parthenicus sp.
  44. Plate Gall Wasp, Andricus pattersonae
  45. Primrose, Tall Evening Primrose, Oenothera elata
  46. Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculus
  47. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  48. Saucer Gall Wasp, Andricus gigas
  49. Small Milkweed Bug, Lygaeus kalmii
  50. Snowberry, Common Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus
  51. Spittlebug, Meadow Spittlebug, Philaenus spumarius
  52. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura [flying overhead]

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