Category Archives: General Blog

A Great Photo Day at the River Bend Park

After work, I was feeling kind of antsy and wanted to walk a bit, so I went with Sergeant Margie over to the American River Bend Park.  ((I thought I should get a visit in before this weekend, when the park will be hosting several events and closing the trails.))  A fate would have it, I came across a female Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly, one of the last of the season, laying her eggs on the stem of a pipevine!  I got photos of that and a little bit of video.  There were hundreds of pipevine caterpillars around — and I got a slew of photos of them, too — as well as some beetles, wasps, a pale yellow mayfly, what I think was a cutworm caterpillar (I’m having the experts at Bug Guide check it out), a variety of spiders — some with their egg cases, and a pair of craneflies mating.  The buckeye chestnut trees were in bloom and smelled lovely, and the clarkia plants were flowering, too.  I ended up burning through two sets of camera batteries.  So, I’m glad I came today.  I would’ve missed all of that if I hadn’t.

By the way, the folks at Bug Guide are great.  If you set up an account with them (which is free, by the way), you can upload photos of bugs you’ve taken and they’ll help you to properly identify them.

And here’s a link to the video of the mama butterfly laying her eggs.

WPA Rock Garden After Work

It was so lovely outside today (after week’s of unseasonably high temperatures), that I took Sergeant Margie with me over to the WPA Rock Garden in Sacramento (it’s on our way home), and we walked there for about an hour.  Got a great close-up of a Carpenter Bee, along with some pretty flower photos.  I love that place.  Every time I go there I see something different, no matter the season…

Here are some images from today:

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A short walk this morning…

I went over to the Cosumnes River Preserve in Galt, CA early this morning to check out their pools and wetlands, but was kind of disappointed.  I couldn’t take Sergeant Margie with me, because dogs aren’t allowed in the preserve; and although the information about the place says the trails are open from dawn to dusk, what they don’t tell you is that the gates don’t open until 9:00… so I had to park my car by a ditch on the side of the road to get to the trails.  I only took one — along the boardwalk through the wetlands — but there wasn’t really anything to see.  Viewing is much better, I’m told,  around November or December when there are a lot of waterfowl migrating.   Today, the area was pretty much empty…  As I say, it was a bit disappointing, but I did get a handful of photos and I did get in some walking, so it wasn’t a total loss.  I’ll try this place again later in the year before doing a full walkabout of it…

In the Running…

I applied for a grant from the Photocrati Fund and got an email today that read as follows:

Thank you for your application to the 2013 Photocrati Fund. We are compiling the projects for our judges and I just wanted to let you know that we have received your work. Your project to document the biodiversity of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region sounds like it would be very educational and worthwhile. I took a quick glance at your site — I love the name 🙂 … and I love your mission to encourage everyday people to get fit and get outdoors. I will be happy to include your project in our grant competition.

Yay! I’m in the running!

Bug City

Went on a walk with Sergeant Margie to the American River Bend Park again today.  (I love that place).  We saw a lot of Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars, flies, crane flies, a Tiger Swallow Butterfly and quite a few neat-looking beetles…  A fun walk…



Sunday and Monday

This was “Earth Day” Weekend, and on Sunday, April 21, 2013 I had the opportunity to go to the Highland Springs Trails Volunteers and Lake County Horse Council’s Earth Day Trail Repair Kick-off with Charlotte Orr and Carol Kunze of Tuleyome.  I walked some trails, got some great shots of the reservoir there, met a bunch of hard-working terrific people, learned a lot of about region, and also got to participate in their potluck picnic.  It was a great day… Photos will follow shortly.

On Monday, Earth Day itself, I stopped over at the WPA Rock Garden in Sacramento and walked with Sergeant Margie for a bit.  It was kind of hot (around 89-degrees), so we didn’t stay long, but I got a lot of photos — including one closeup of a male Carpenter Bee (AKA “Teddybear bee”) who was nice enough to pose for me.  You can see my standard gallery of shots from this remarkable place through my Sacramento County Walkabout page, and I’ll also be adding a mini-gallery of the new photos I took this day.  So stay tuned!

Highland Springs Reservoir, photo by Mary K. Hanson. Copyright 2013.  All rights reserved.
Highland Springs Reservoir, photo by Mary K. Hanson. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.