Baby Hawks and Bugs Today, 05-15-20

I headed out around 6:30 am to go to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk this morning.  I met my friend and fellow naturalist Roxanne there.  It was 51°F outside when we got there, but got up to 70° quickly.

Lots of people were on the trails this morning, but everyone was respectful of the 6-foot social distancing thing, which I appreciated.

The first thing we did when we got there was to check out the Valley Oak and Coyote Brush bushes around the parking lot, looking for galls and whatever else we could find.  We’re seeing a lot of Coyote Brush Bud Gall and fimbriate-like Leaf Galls, but not much else yet (except for the large Oak Apples.) I don’t remember a time when I’ve seen so many of the Leaf Galls on the Valley Oaks. 

Gall of the Leaf Gall Wasp/ Unidentified per Russo, Tribe: Cynipidi [on Valley Oak]

We DID find something’s pupal case on one of the leaves (and I think it might be that of some kind of moth. [It was pretty tiny.]

I found two new-to-me ladybeetles: the nymph of an Ashy Gray Lady Beetle, Olla v-nigrum, and a Six-spotted Zigzag Lady Beetle, Cheilomenes sexmaculata.  We found the Zigzag one wrapped in a leaf and thought she was dead at first. When we got her out, though, she rolled onto her back in my hand and then used her wings to upright herself again.

Ashy Gray Lady Beetle, Olla v-nigrum [nymph, lion]

See? Even “everyday” bugs can surprise you when you really look at them.  iNaturalist actually has a nice page where you can see the different species in crisp clear photos. (You have to be a little bit careful with your IDs, though, because the site includes the beetles from all over the world, not just California.)

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

The Showy Milkweed around the nature center is starting to blossom. They’re such amazingly lovely plants. They’re notoriously difficult to grow because they take quite a while to get settled, and they get “ugly” when they’re ready to go back to sleep, but I’d love to have some around the yard.  At the nature center, I’m keeping an eye out for Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars, but haven’t seen any yet. (It’s really early in the season, though.)

Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa

We found lots of Mugwort Weevils along the trail, including some that were mating (and one group stacked three-high, a Ménage à Trois insect style); and we found a male Snakefly which is always a cool sighting for me. You don’t get to see the snakeflies very often.

Near the end of our walk we also came across a large swarm of Little Black Ants scurrying around a dead log.  The swarm included some winged “alates” getting ready for their nuptial flight. Seemed like a lot of organized chaos to me…

Before we actually went onto the trails, though, Rox and I also made sure to check out the Red-Shouldered Hawks’ nest near the head of the main trail. The nest is almost completely hidden now as the tree has leafed out, but we were still able to catch glimpses of the mom and two fuzzy-headed babies in the nest.  The babies are fledging.  They have most of their wing feathers, but are still white-grey fuzz over the rest of their bodies.  Both babies were kind of sleepy, stretching and yawning before settling down again.  I got a few photos and a video snippet of them.

We could certainly HEAR a lot of other birds around us, but couldn’t catch sight of many of them, which was a little frustrating.  There were “birders” along the trails, using binoculars, but I don’t know if they had any better luck than we did with our long-lens cameras.

The most noise was when a group of European Starlings and Acorn Woodpeckers got upset about the Red-Shouldered Hawk when she landed in “their” tree.  They squawked, and dive-bombed and harassed the hawk until she moved on. And we could periodically hear rival gangs of male Rio Grande Wild Turkeys gobbling loudly at one another in order to impress nearby females.

We were treated at one point to the sight of a male Western Bluebird who alighted on the top of one the trail signs and then flew down onto the ground in front of us.  As I think I mentioned before, during this time of year when the birds are breeding, the males’ blue coloring is almost “neon” it’s so bright. They practically GLOW.

Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana

In the pond along the Pond Trail, we found a mama Wood duck with two little ducklings. Usually the Wood Ducks have a LOT more babies than that, but the little guys are also prey for all sorts of other animals like hawks, snakes, otters and raccoons… so she was probably actually lucky to have two tiny survivors with her.

We also saw a handful of deer along the trails, but not very many. Some of the females are starting to look pregnant, and the males – even the yearlings – are just starting to get their summer velvet as their antlers come in. One of them was a young buck I recognized from the previous two years: his nose was smashed in when he was a fawn, and he has a very foreshortened muzzle now with a distinctive underbite.

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus. This is the young buck with a broken nose. It;s nice to see that he’s adapted well to his childhood injury. This is the third year I’ve seen him at the preserve.

And one fawn was obviously in the middle of shedding his winter coat for his summer coat – super floofy. Nature in flux.

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, younger fawn shedding his baby winter coat.

There are a lot of Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars everywhere, and some of them are large enough now to go into the chrysalis stage.  We’ll have to keep an eye on them and see if can find some mid-metamorphosis.

California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly caterpillar, Battus philenor hirsuta

We walked for about three hours and headed back to our respective homes.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  3. Ashy Gray Lady Beetle, Olla v-nigrum [nymph, lion]
  4. Asian Ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis
  5. Black Locust Bug, Lopidea robiniae 
  6. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  7. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  8. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  9. Brown Leafhopper, Family: Cicadellidae
  10. Bur Chervil, Anthriscus caucalis
  11. Bur Parsley, Caucalis platycarpos
  12. Bush Katydid, Scudderia furcata [nymph]
  13. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  14. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  15. California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  16. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  17. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  18. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  19. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  20. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis [heard]
  21. Cleveland Sage, Salvia clevelandii
  22. Clouded Sulphur Butterfly, Colias philodice
  23. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  24. Coyote Brush Bud Gall midge, Rhopalomyia californica
  25. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  26. Elegant Clarkia, Clarkia unguiculata
  27. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  28. Feral European Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  29. Golden-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium californicum
  30. Hairy Vetch, Winter Vetch, Vicia villosa ssp. villosa
  31. Harvest Brodiaea, Brodiaea elegans
  32. Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus
  33. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  34. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  35. Leaf Gall Wasp/ Unidentified per Russo, Tribe: Cynipidi [on Valley Oak]
  36. Little Black Ant, Monomorium minimum [including alates, winged individuals]
  37. Lupine, Chick Lupine, Lupinus microcarpus
  38. Meadow Plant Bug, Lopidea instabilis
  39. Mirid Bug, Thick Sensor Soft Bug, Heterotoma planicornis
  40. Mock Orange, Sweet Mock Orange, Philadelphus coronaries
  41. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  42. Mugwort Weevil, Scaphomorphus longinasus
  43. Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  44. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  45. Red-Margin Lopidea Bug, Lopidea instabilis
  46. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  47. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  48. Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa
  49. Six-spotted Zigzag Lady Beetle, Cheilomenes sexmaculata
  50. Snakefly, Agulla adnixa
  51. Soft Rush, Juncus effuses
  52. Spice Bush, California Sweetshrub, Calycanthus occidentalis
  53. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  54. Sudden Oak Death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum
  55. Tall Flatsedge,  Cyperus eragrostis
  56. Tobacco Budworm Moth, Chloridea virescens
  57. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  58. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  59. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura [flying overhead]
  60. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  61. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  62. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  63. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
  64. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis [heard]
  65. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa

Lots of Encounters Today, 05-11-20

I slept pretty solidly last night and woke up just a little before 6:00 am. By 6:30 I was out the door heading for the Mather Lake Regional Park. It was a lovely day, cool and breezy in the morning and light rain in the afternoon.  I wanted to go back this time to do more detailed “naturalist” work.  Last time I was there, I was so focused on goslings and cygnets that I wasn’t paying much attention to anything else.

I found a parking spot in the shade right new the trail – score!—and headed out.  As I was cross the walkway that leads over the irrigation canal, my way was blocked by three Wild Turkeys, a female being followed by two males.  The female stopped before she got to close and stepped off into the adjacent field, and one the of the males followed after her. The final male though, who was in full strut, refused to step aside and kept approaching me. I think my wide brimmed hat looked too much like fanned tail feathers to him, and he was insistent on confronting me. If there hadn’t been a female turkey around, I don’t think he would have been so aggressive, but today he was on a mission. 

Rio Grande Wild Turkeys, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia. That’s the female in the front and the two males behind her. The one on the left in this photo is the one that attacked me.

He walked right up to me and stepped in close.  I took the hat off, and he stepped in closer still.  I stepped back several steps and tried to walk away, and he rushed after me.  Yikes! I know how powerful these birds are, and I didn’t want the turkey to peck at me, so I tried waving him off with the hat.  Wrong idea. He jumped up and hit my hand with his spurs, catching me across the knuckles. It hurt enough so I dropped the hat to the ground, but luckily the blow didn’t break the skin.  Once the hat was on the ground, the turkey walked away, s-l-o-w-l-y, still in full strut: head tucked in, snood down, tail fanned, chest puffed up and the primary feathers of his wings dragging on the ground.  

I don’t know if his attack on me impressed the female turkey, but it was an interesting way to start my walk.

There were quite a few fishermen out, but I didn’t see any of them catch anything.  And several of them kept following me, passing me by, following me, passing me by… unable to find a spot where they really wanted to concentrate on their fishing.  Some of them crossed in front of me as they passed, messing up some of my photos, another cast his line right into an area where a muskrat was swimming in the water. I thought that was rude and stupid.  (He could have injured the muskrat with his hook and line.)

Not all of the fishermen were jerks, however. At one point, a pair of Canada Geese were leading their creche of goslings along the shore, when one of the Mute Swans came rushing in from the water and attacked the adult geese.  I saw this and tried to get to the geese to defend them, but two young Russian men who were fishing nearby, dropped their poles in the water and ran ahead of me to get to the get more quickly than I could. They were successful in driving the swan away, and stayed between the geese and the water until everyone had calmed down. I thanked them for coming to geese’s aid.

Canada Geese, Branta canadensis. This was a creche of 27 goslings.
These two young men were taking video of the creche as it went past them. When the geese had moved to the boys’ left, a Mute Swan rushed onto the shore from the lake and attacked the geese. The boys, who were fishing, dropped their pole and ran to defend the geese.

The aggressive nature of the swans is part of the reason why they’re considered an “invasive species”. They move into an area and try to drive out anything they consider competition for food and breeding space. The swans are much larger than the adult geese, and who knows what damage this one could have done to them – and the goslings. 

Speaking of the goslings… there were lots and lots of them out this morning from the little yellow fuzzballs to the tall lanky fledglings. One pair of adults were escorting 27 babies!  There was another smaller group with one gosling who was limping, obviously in some distress.  I don’t know how seriously the injury was or how long the parents could keep giving it extra attention, but I was happy to see that one of the adults with that group stayed back with the injured one to make sure it wasn’t left alone.

This gosling had an injured leg and had trouble stepping up over the curb onto the lawn next to the lake. One of the adult geese stayed with it so it wouldn’t get left behind.

Taking some semi-close-up photos of the goslings, I got a view of the tongue of one of them.  Goose tongues are interesting because they have hairs and spikes on them that act like a sieve (along with the tooth-like “tomia” around the edges of the bill)  when the birds feed in water.

In the lake, I got to see a pair of Common Gallinules mating.  The male flapped his wings all the while he was mounted on the female, then she dumped him off to one side. Then he dropped his head to the ground and raised his winds and tail feather and walked across in front her before leaving her to preen and mock feed. 

I was surprised to read in Cornell that the mating behaviors of the North American common gallinule “have not been described”, so they had to use information from Europe. That seems like an unusual oversight to me. I guess I should have been paying more attention to the pair I saw. But I’m glad I got some photos and a video snippet of the action.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

I also saw the muskrat swimming in a few different parts of the lake.  I’m assuming it’s the same one; I suppose there could be more than one in there.

Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus

According to livescience.com: “…Muskrats are very social and live in large, territorial families, according to the Animal Diversity Web. They communicate with others and mark their territory with a secretion from their glands called musk… They tend to prefer vegetation like cattails, waterlilies, roots and pondweed. They also eat snails, mussels, salamanders, crustaceans, fish and young birds… They usually don’t travel any farther than 150 feet away from their homes… Females have a gestation period of three to four weeks and give birth to three to eight young. They can have up to three litters each year. Baby muskrats are called kits…”

Another website, havahart.com, said, “…As monogamous breeders, muskrats live with their mates and their young. They are very territorial – especially during breeding season…  Newborn muskrats are weaned for about a year before they become independent… Muskrat kits are born hairless and blind.”

I’m hoping to see some babies in the near future.

I heard quite a few bullfrogs along the edges of the lake, but couldn’t see any of them. They have a deep croak that sounds like a cello. 

I watched a Pied-Billed Grebe eat something it had caught in the water but I couldn’t tell if it was a frog or a small fat fish. It had a pink to it.

While I was watching the grebe, several male Great-Tailed Grackles flew in, following after a female.  The males did some posturing for the female.  The “head-up” posture is done by males during the breeding season to impress the females and intimidate other males. They also “squint” their nictitating membranes (inner eyelids) when doing this to make themselves look tougher (ala Clint Eastwood). I saw an was able to get several photographs of this behavior. 

Great-Tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus

Elsewhere on the trail, I saw a male Mourning Dove bring twigs and other nesting materials to his mate.  By doing this, the male inadvertently tells everyone where the nesting site is. This one was in the flattened branches of a coyote brush bush. It was REALLY difficult to see the nest… and I didn’t want to get too close for fear of scaring the female off. But I did manage to get a few distant photos of the site… and the nesting female.

The male Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura

I saw several ground squirrels running around by they were too fast for me to photograph.  The photos I did get were of one young squirrel who seemingly had an exceedingly bad case of mange.  He was itchy all over, and in some places his skin was barren of fur and raw-looking.  Poor little thing.

A very mangy young California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi

I also got some photos of a Scrub Jay eating an insect.  I couldn’t see what it was eating on site, but when I got the photos and video snippet home, I was able to tell that it had caught a large emergent dragonfly.  The dragonfly hadn’t pumped its wings up yet and was still its teneral-green color.  Nice catch for the bird!

Altogether, I documented over 60 species today, so I was happy with that. I walked for about 3½ hours before heading back home.

Species List:

  1. American Robin, Turdus migratorius
  2. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  3. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  4. Black Willow, Salix nigra
  5. Brown-Headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater
  6. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
  7. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  8. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  9. California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
  10. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  11. Cobwebby Thistle, Cirsium occidentale
  12. Common Duckweed, Lemna minor
  13. Common Gallinule, Gallinula galeata
  14. Common Spike-Rush, Eleocharis palustris [has a head somewhat like SB Sedge]
  15. Cork Oak, Quercus suber
  16. Cottonwood Leaf Gall Aphid, Pemphigus populivenae
  17. Cottonwood Petiole Gall, Poplar Petiole Gall Aphid, Pemphigus populitransversus
  18. Coyote Brush Bud Gall midge, Rhopalomyia californica
  19. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  20. Cudweed, Jersey Cudweed, Pseudognaphalium luteoalbum
  21. Curly Dock, Rumex crispus
  22. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
  23. Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens
  24. Eurasian Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto [heard]
  25. Field Mustard, Brassica rapa
  26. Floating Water Primrose, Ludwigia peploides ssp. Peploides
  27. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  28. Geometer Moth, Family: Geometridae
  29. Goldwire, Hypericum concinnum
  30. Great-Tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus
  31. Hairy Vetch, Winter Vetch, Vicia villosa ssp. villosa
  32. Herring Gull, Larus argentatus
  33. Himalayan Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus
  34. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  35. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  36. Hoverfly, Common Flower Fly, Syrphus ribesii
  37. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  38. Jointed Charlock, Wild Radish, Raphanus raphanistrum
  39. Lesser Golden Knapweed Fly, Chaetorellia jaceae [tiny pale yellow fly, green eyes, gold lines on wings]
  40. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  41. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  42. Muskrat, Ondatra zibethicus
  43. Mute Swan, Cygnus olor
  44. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus [red shafted]
  45. Pacific Forktail Damselfly, Ischnura cervula [male]
  46. Pied-Billed Grebe, Podilymbus podiceps
  47. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  48. Rabbitfoot Grass, Polypogon monspeliensis
  49. Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans
  50. Red-Winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  51. Ribwort Plantain, Plantago lanceolata
  52. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  53. Slender Path Rush, Juncus tenuis
  54. Soldier Fly, Microchrysa sp.
  55. Tall Flatsedge, Cyperus eragrostis
  56. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  57. Tufted Hair Grass, Deschampsia cespitosa
  58. Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
  59. Turkey Tangle Fogfruit, Phyla nodiflora
  60. Vivid Dancer Damselfly, Argia vivida [female]
  61. Western Kingbird, Tyrant Flycatcher, Tyrannus verticalis
  62. Willow Pinecone Gall midge, Rabdophaga strobiloides
  63. Yellow-faced Bumblebee, Bombus vosnesenskii

The Goldenrod Galls are Showing Up, 05-09-20

I woke up around 6:00 am after a fairly good night’s sleep, and got myself ready to head out to the American River Bend Park again for my walk. The Poltergeist was acting up a little bit, so I stuck to trails I knew weren’t too lumpy or full of obstacles.  It was already about 64°F outside when I got to the park, and it felt kind of humid, too.

The first thing I saw when I drive into the park was a squirrel that jumped up onto the top of a fence post to look in the window at me.

There were literally hundreds of Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars all over the ground. Some are big enough already to start working on their chrysalises.  Most of them had climbed up onto the stems of the tall grass to warm themselves in the sun before continuing to fill their bellies on pipevine.  There were also several butterflies still flitting around.

On the Italian Thistles there were quite a few Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars laying in their thin webs, gorging themselves on plant material.  They usually don’t show up until July, so I was surprised to see them. I’m afraid they’re going to get caught in the cold if it rains next week.

Caterpillar of a Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui on Italian Thistle, Carduus pycnocephalus

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

There were tons of Mugwort plants everywhere, and along with them I also found quite a few Mugwort Weevils – including a mating pair.  They do the “dead-drop” when you try to touch them  – let go of whatever they’re holding onto and fall to the ground — so I had one dead-drop into the palm of my hand so I could get some closeup photos of it. They kind of look like tiny anteaters with crew cuts to me…That vaguely fuzzy body and long proboscis.

Mugwort Weevil, Scaphomorphus longinasus

I also saw lots of katydid nymphs, but not too many of them were cooperative enough for me to get photos of them. I did get pictures of a couple of different species of fly, though.  And I found a Western Tussock Moth caterpillar that was partially paralyzed and had several white eggs laid on its body.  I’m assuming it had parasitized by some kind of braconid wasp. Yikes!

There were loads of Elegant Clarkia flowers all along the trail in variations from pale pink, to deep rose to pure white.  So pretty.  And the quaking “rattlesnake grass” was thick in some places and thigh-high.  On some of the California Goldenrod plants, there were the rosette galls of the Goldenrod Bunch Gall Midge…and they seemed larger this year than I have ever seen them. 

Gall of the Goldenrod Floret Gall Midge, Rhopalomyia solidaginis

Amid the plants were a few damselflies, bumblebees, and a burnt yellow Clubtail dragonfly.  I couldn’t get a look at the side of the dragonfly’s thorax, so I wasn’t sure exactly what species it was. Later, I discovered that it was a Sinuous Snaketail Dragonfly, Ophiogomphus occidentis. Cool! A first for me!

Sinuous Snaketail Dragonfly, Ophiogomphus occidentis

On the road adjacent to the trail, I found the smashed bodies of two rattlesnakes.  They were close to one another, but one had obviously been dead for a longer period of time; it was more desiccated than the other.  I noted, however, that the rattles were gone from both snakes.

As for the birds today I saw a pair of Common Mergansers in the river, and was able to follow the male with video for a little bit while he swam under the surface.  The water in the river there is very shallow and super clear. 

I also saw several bonded pairs of Western Bluebirds in the picnic area, and watched a female House Wren carry nesting materials to her chosen nesting cavity while the male stood by, singing away. The female tried bringing long grasses to the nets, but couldn’t seem to figure out how to get them across the threshold, so she opted then for small bits of grass and twigs.

I later came across several male Wild Turkeys strutting for a single female. They all looked like pretty high-ranking boys, with pure white pancakes and long snoods, but one of them was missing several tail feathers.  The female was not at all interested in them. As I was heading out of the park, I saw a female turkey hurrying four little poults across the road in front of the car.  She moved too quickly for me to get more than a fuzzy photo of her and the kids.

I walked for about 3 hours, and then headed back home.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Arroyo Bluet Damselfly, Enallagma praevarum
  3. Belted Kingfisher, Megaceryle alcyon [heard, saw in flight]
  4. Black Cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa
  5. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  6. Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
  7. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  8. Braconid wasp, Family: Braconidae [eggs]
  9. Bristly Dogtail Grass, Cynosurus echinatus
  10. Bur Chervil, Anthriscus caucalis
  11. Bush Katydid, Scudderia furcate
  12. California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
  13. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  14. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  15. California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  16. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  17. California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica
  18. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  19. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  20. Cheatgrass, Bromus tectorum [reddish heads, split open when dry]
  21. Common Hoptree, Ptelea trifoliata
  22. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  23. Cranefly, Mosquito Hawk, Tipula dietziana
  24. Elegant Clarkia, Clarkia unguiculata
  25. Glossy Privet, Ligustrum lucidum
  26. Goldenrod Bunch Gall, Goldenrod Floret Gall Midge, Solidago canadensis
  27. Goldwire, Hypericum concinnum
  28. Green Plant Bug, Ilnacora malina
  29. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  30. Hairy Vetch, Winter Vetch, Vicia villosa ssp. villosa 
  31. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  32. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  33. Italian Thistle, Carduus pycnocephalus
  34. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous [heard]
  35. Lauxaniid Fly, Homoneura occidentalis [yellow fly with reddish eyes, black hairs]
  36. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  37. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  38. Mugwort Weevil, Scaphomorphus longinasus
  39. Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus oreganus
  40. Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  41. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  42. Oracle Oak, Quercus × moreha
  43. Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
  44. Pacific Pea, Lathyrus vestitus
  45. Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui
  46. Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum
  47. Rattlesnake Grass, Greater Quaking Grass, Briza maxima
  48. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus [heard, saw in flight]
  49. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  50. Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens
  51. Sinuous Snaketail Dragonfly, Ophiogomphus occidentis [club tail, yellow with gray eyes]
  52. Snakefly, Agulla adnixa
  53. Snowy Egret, Egretta thula
  54. Swift Crab Spider, Mecaphesa celer
  55. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  56. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  57. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  58. Vivid Dancer Damselfly, Argia vivida  [bands and arrowheads]
  59. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  60. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  61. Western Goldenrod, Solidago lepida [gets the bunch galls]
  62. Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
  63. Western Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio rutulus
  64. Western Tussock Moth, Orgyia vetusta
  65. Yellow Dung Fly, Scathophaga stercoraria
  66. Yellow Water Iris, Yellow Flag, Iris pseudacorus [invasive]

Lots of “Little Things”, 05-06-20

Up at about 6:30 this morning and then headed over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk. It was lovely, breezy and relatively cool all morning, and got up to a high of about 84°F by the afternoon.

I was anxious to see if the bees were still in the “bee tree”, so I walked along the Pond Trail to check that out first.  I was so happy to see that they were still there.  The queen must be well-settled now.

Feral European Honeybee, Apis mellifera

The Black Phoebes have fledglings in their nest now.  I saw the dad coming with food to assist mom.  The last time I saw them, I didn’t see the male around and worried that the mom was on her own.  It was good to see she has help.

Black Phoebes, Sayornis nigricans

The Showy Milkweed on the grounds is starting to come into bloom, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for any Monarch caterpillars as the months go on.  We saw nothing last year, but hope we’ll get a glimpse of some this year.  I’ll be loading my observations to the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper site) when I see anything.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

The Goldwire is starting to bloom, too, and it’s nice to see the joyful bright yellow starting to dot the landscape.

Goldwire, Hypericum concinnum

I saw mostly “little things” today: ladybeetles in various stages of development, tiny moths, plant galls, spider eggs sacs and caterpillars. 

All along the trail I kept seeing these little insects scurrying along. To the naked eye, they looked like dark bugs with a pale rim around their bodies and legs, and I couldn’t tell what they were.  So, I got out the macro attachment for my cellphone and took some close up photos of a few of them.  They looked like small crickets – like tiny brown versions of the Jerusalem crickets, with smooth shiny bodies and long antennae.  I haven’t ID-ed them yet.

Unidentified Camel Cricket, Superfamily: Rhaphidophoroidea

I saw quite a few birds, but most of them were back-lit or in stickery bushes, so I couldn’t get a lot of photos and that was a bit disappointing.  But it was still reassuring to see them… life goes on.

I walked for about 3 hours and headed back home. 

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Asian Ladybeetle, Harmonia axyridis
  3. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  4. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  5. Boxelder, Box Elder Tree, Acer negundo
  6. Buffalo Treehopper, Stictocephala alta [exuvia]
  7. California Buckeye Chestnut Tree, Aesculus californica
  8. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  9. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceus
  10. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  11. California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  12. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  13. California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica
  14. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  15. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  16. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  17. California Wild Rose, Rosa californica
  18. Camel Cricket, Superfamily: Rhaphidophoroidea [small, found on trail]
  19. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  20. Common Fringepod, Thysanocarpus curvipes
  21. Convergent Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens
  22. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  23. Coyote Brush Bud Gall midge, Rhopalomyia californica
  24. Cranefly, Mosquito Hawk, Tipula dietziana
  25. Darkling Beetle, Mountain Beetle, Coniontis sp.
  26. Downy Leather-Winged Beetle Podabrus pruinosus [kind of looks like a Soldier Beetle]
  27. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  28. European Earwig, Common Earwig, Forficula auricularia
  29. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  30. Feral European Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  31. Fimbriate Gall Wasp, Andricus opertus [on Valley Oak leaf]
  32. Fruit-Tree Leafroller Moth, Archips argyrospila
  33. Goldwire, Hypericum concinnum
  34. Green Leafhopper, Nephotettix virescens
  35. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  36. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  37. Lace Bug, Corythucha sp.
  38. Leaf Gall Wasp/ Unidentified per Russo, Tribe: Cynipidi [on Valley Oak]
  39. Live Oak Gall Wasp, 2nd Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
  40. Lupine, Chick Lupine, Lupinus microcarpus
  41. Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
  42. Mugwort Weevil, Scaphomorphus longinasus
  43. Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  44. Oleander Aphid, Aphis nerii
  45. Plum, Prunus cerasifera
  46. Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum
  47. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Western Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
  48. Popcorn Flowers, Plagiobothrys sp.
  49. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  50. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  51. Rose Clover, Trifolium hirtum
  52. Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa
  53. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  54. Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
  55. Western Tussock Moth, Orgyia vetusta
  56. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  57. Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
  58. ?? spider egg sac with black tips

May Day at the River Bend, 05-01-20

Happy May Day.  I got up around 6:30 this morning to wonderfully cool weather: 53°, sunny and breezy. Even though “The Poltergeist” is causing me a lot of pain this morning, I just HAD to get outside for a walk. So, I went over to the American River Bend Park.

When I first drove in, there were several male wild turkeys strutting in the middle of the road, and I could see a female sitting on the ground on the left shoulder. At first, I thought she was down because she was inviting a male to mate with her.  But no.  When one of the males got to close to her, she stood up, and a brood of newly hatched poults ran out from under her into the tall grass.  She followed after them, got them all close her and sat on them again.  It all happened so fast and the grass they poults ran into was so high, I couldn’t get any picture of them. Dang!

Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia

There were hardly any people there, but I did keep running to a man who said he was a teacher.  He was trying to use a phone app to trace the trails, so he can send the information to his students. He wants them to do a stress reducing “sit spot” (sit quietly in one place in nature) and wants to use the trail route to show them where some good spots are.

I thought it was so cool that he was as cognizant of his students’ need for stress relief as he was of their need for education. I told him he was a cool teacher and wished him well. [CLICK HERE for a link that explains the benefits of “sit spots.]

I could hear the mother owl hooting, but I couldn’t catch sight of her or her owlets, so I presumed they moved up into the leafier parts of the trees to take advantage of the shade.       

I found a lot of Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars in various instars.  I got close-up shots of some of the larger ones, including one that was extending his horns. The “horns” (called osmeteria) protrude from the head when the caterpillar is pestered by a would-be predator (or poke-at-it human). The horns are covered in toxic goo that helps to thwart birds and other predators from trying to eat it. 

Among the photos, you’ll see an orange-faced one; it’s a color variant.  I usually only see one of these each year (among hundreds of the black-faced ones).  The bright face, though, lets you see the caterpillar’s tiny black eyes positioned near its mouth.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

The trees were filled with the song of House Wrens, Starlings, Western Bluebirds, Scrub Jays, and Nuthatches.  And I was able to find a few nesting cavities. 

When I pulled the car under the shade of some trees in the equestrian parking area, I was near the trough that is perpetually filled with water for the horses.  Of course, when there are no horses around other critters use the trough as their neighborhood watering hole.  While I was there, a Mourning Dove came in for a drink, and was eventually joined by some Spotted Towhees and Western Bluebirds. The male bluebirds are in their breeding plumage, and their blue is practically NEON.

A Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura,and a Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus

And then a squirrel climbed up into the tree near the car and stared at me through the window.  Hah!

By the way, does anyone else notice that the pipevine plants have waaaay more seed pods this year than in the previous years? I’m finding plants with literally dozens of pods on them where previously I’d usually only see a few.

California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica

I know oak trees will, en masse, produce an overabundance of acorns in “mast years” which is thought by some to be a “stress response” to an upcoming change in the weather. [The trees try to push out as many babies as they can before the change.]  I wonder if the mass of pipevine seed pods we’re seeing now is something similar to that.

One thing that pissed me off:  There was a spot between two trees in the park where there were stinging nettles and other plants growing. The nettles had been full of Red Admiral butterfly caterpillars last week. The park people not only mowed everything down, they “salted the earth” (used Round-Up I suspect) so nothing will grow there. Guh!

Inexcusable destruction.

They could have allowed the plants to stay there and used caution tape to keep people away from the nettles until after the caterpillars had had a chance to mature. Some humans are so unforgivably ignorant.

As I was leaving, I stopped to take some photos and video of a European Starling as it yanked an earthworm out of the ground and whacked it into submission before carrying it off to its nesting cavity to feed its babies. Life goes on.

Because “The Poltergeist” was acting up, I was in a lot of pain after 3 hours of walking, so I headed back home, and crashed for the afternoon. I’ll be going in for a PET scan of “The Poltergeist” next week.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens
  3. Bedstraw, Graceful Bedstraw, Galium porrigens
  4. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  5. California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsuta
  6. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  7. California Quail, Callipepla californica [heard]
  8. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  9. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
  10. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  11. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  12. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  13. Fremont’s Cottonwood, Populus fremontii
  14. Grass Sharpshooter, Draeculacephala Minerva
  15. Hairy Vetch, Winter Vetch, Vicia villosa ssp. villosa
  16. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  17. Live Oak Gall Wasp, 1st Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
  18. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  19. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii [heard]
  20. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  21. Perennial Sow Thistle, Sonchus arvensis
  22. Ribbed Cocoon-Maker Moth, Bucculatrix albertiella
  23. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  24. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  25. Sulphur Tubic Moth, Esperia sulphurella [tiny dark moth with yellow lines]
  26. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor
  27. Vivid Dancer Damselfly, Argia vivida
  28. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  29. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  30. Western Gray Squirrel, Sciurus griseus
  31. Western Tussock Moth, Orgyia vetusta
  32. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
  33. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis

So Much to See Today!, 04-29-90

I got up around 6:00 this morning, and was out the door by 6:30 to go over to the WPA Rock Garden and William Land Park.  There was an odd overcast for most of the day which helped to save off some of the heat we’ve been experiencing lately, so it was about 61°F all the while I was out walking and only got up to about 77° by the end of the day.  Nice!

There were a few other people in the park and garden, but they all respected the social distancing thing, which I appreciated.  The WPA Rock Garden was pretty much showing off with a variety of cultivated and native plants and flowers.  Lots of sages, roses, irises, lilies, and one of my favorites: Tower of Jewels.  I’m sure I located over 70 different species there.

CLICK HERE for the album of flowers.
CLICK HERE for the album of other photos from today. [There were so many, I had to split the images up.]

I was surprised that I didn’t see as many birds and insects as I expected to this time of year.

I then walked around the middle-sized pond in the park.  It’s getting overrun with Sacred Lotus again. Once more, I didn’t see a whole lot of wild birds, but there were plenty of resident geese and domestic ducks around, as well as a few pairs of Wood Ducks.  I did see a pair of Western Bluebirds when they landed near the edge of the pond to get a drink and bathe a little bit.  Oh, and I saw a couple of Double-Crested Cormorants.

Western Bluebirds, Sialia Mexicana

There were also quite a few Douglas Squirrels and Eastern Fox Squirrels running around, and several Red-Eared Slider Turtles in the water and sunning themselves on the banks.

Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans

When I walked around the amphitheater near the pond, I was happy to come across the nest of a Black Phoebe. Mom periodically sat on the eggs/babies while dad kept guard.  I was able to get a few photos of them.

Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans

When I was done at the garden, I drove over to the larger pond in the park and walked around that one, too.  The first thing I notice there was a pair of Wood Ducks in a tree.  The female was checking out one of the manmade duck boxes set up for them, but she didn’t seem all that comfortable with it.  She flew up against the opening, but didn’t go in. I wonder if there was already a bird in there.

I saw Mallard ducklings in a variety of stages from fuzzy newborns to young fledglings.  There was a one tight group of ducklings (which I think were Wood Ducks) that were without their parents.  They were swimming around the pond all the while I was there, peeping and crying.  No one answered their calls and it made me wonder if the parents had abandoned them or had been killed (or stolen). 

Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos,ducklings all by themselves.

There was a pair of dark Muscovy Ducks mating in the water, and I thought it was interesting how the male kept making sure his mate could breathe (by putting in bill under her chin and lifting it up).  I’ve seen Mallards mate in the water and sometimes the females get pushed down so far they can’t get their head up and drown.

When I was taking photos of a couple of groups of goslings, one of the white Chinese Goose (AKA Swan Goose) decided she didn’t like me around there and started to rush me, head down, ready to bite.  I told her “no” a few times, but that didn’t deter her.  So, I took my hat off and held it in front of my thigh figuring that if she struck at me, she’d get the straw hat and not my skin.  The lowering of the hat discouraged her and she finally walked off. Phew!

Canada Goose, Branta canadensis,goslings

While I was dealing with her, though, I could hear a very odd, exceedingly loud honking sound coming from the edge of the pond. When I went over to investigate I realized it was a hybrid goose, probably part Canada Goose and part Chinese Goose.  It’s call was so weird though, sounding like a mix between a scream and a honk, CREE-onk! CREE-onk! CREE-onk!  It was like its voice cracked mid-sound.  I tried to get video of its sound, but every time I turned the camera on it, the goose went quiet.

The Canada Goose X Greylag Goose hybrid.

I walked for about 5 hours (!) and then headed back home.

Species List:

  1. African Blue Sage, Salvia africana
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Autumn Sage, Salvia greggii [deep red]
  4. Balloon Flower, Platycodon grandifloras [deep purple]
  5. Bearded Iris, Iris × germanica
  6. Bear’s Breeches, Acanthus mollis
  7. Beauty Bush, Linnaea amabilis [pink flowers, look similar to Catalpa]
  8. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  9. Black Sage, Salvia mellifera [kind of looks like horehound]
  10. Blue Agave, Tequilla Agave, Agave tequilana
  11. Blue Statice, Limonium sinuatum
  12. Borage, Borago officinalis
  13. Brass Buttons, Cotula coronopifolia
  14. Brazil Raintree, Brunfelsia pauciflora
  15. Bronze Fennel, Florence Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare dulce
  16. Buff Orpington Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Orpington
  17. Buffelgrass, Fountain Grass, Cenchrus ciliaris
  18. Bush Katydid, Scudderia furcata [nymph]
  19. Bushtit, American Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus
  20. California Goldenbanner, Thermopsis californica [kind of looks like broom]
  21. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  22. California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
  23. Calla Lily, Zantedeschia aethiopica
  24. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  25. Cape Honey Flower, Melianthus major
  26. Cardoon, Artichoke, Cynara cardunculus
  27. Cayuga Duck, Pekin Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Cayuga
  28. Chinese Weeping Cypress, Cupressus pendula
  29. Common Columbine, Aquilegia vulgaris
  30. Common Greenbottle Fly, Lucilia sericata
  31. Common Poppy, Red Poppy of Flanders, Papaver rhoeas
  32. Common Stretch Spider, Long-Jawed Orb Weaver, Tetragnatha extensa
  33. Coyote Brush, Baccharis pilularis
  34. Crested Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Crested
  35. Crevice Alumroot, Heuchera micrantha [tiny pink flowers]
  36. Dame’s Rocket, Hesperis matronalis
  37. Domestic Swan Goose, Chinese Goose, Anser cygnoides domesticus [white or gray, knob on forehead]
  38. Double-Crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auratus
  39. Douglas’ Squirrel, Tamiasciurus douglasii [small brown squirrel, white belly]
  40. Dutch Iris, Flag Iris, Iris × hollandica
  41. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  42. Fern, Japanese Netvein Hollyfern, Cyrtomium falcatum
  43. Field Penny-Cress, Thlaspi arvense [“silver dollar”]
  44. Garden Snail, Cornu aspersum
  45. Giant Fennel, Ferula communis
  46. Giant Herb-Robert Geranium, Geranium maderense
  47. Giant Mullein, Broussa Mullein, Verbascum bombyciferum
  48. Golden Columbine, Aquilegia chrysantha
  49. Grass Sharpshooter, Draeculacephala Minerva
  50. Graylag Goose, Anser anser
  51. Hairy Matilija Poppy, Romneya trichocalyx
  52. Hedgehog Holly, Ilex aquifolium
  53. Hellebore, Stinking Hellebore, Helleborus foetidus
  54. Hoary Rock-Rose, Cistus criticus [bright pink, crinkly petals]
  55. Honeywort, Blue Shrimp Plant, Cerinthe major ssp. purpurascens [purple]
  56. Honeywort, Cerinthe major [yellow]
  57. Hoverfly, Common Flower Fly, Syrphus ribesii
  58. Japanese Yellow Woodland Sage, Salvia koyamae [yellow]
  59. Jerusalem Sage, Phlomis sp.
  60. Juniper Leaved Grevillea, Grevillea juniperina [spidery,orange]
  61. Leatherleaf Mahonia, Leatherleaf Barberry, Berberis bealei
  62. Lords and Ladies, Wild Arum, Arum maculatum
  63. Love-in-a-Mist, Nigella damascena
  64. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  65. Mexican Sage, Salvia Mexicana [deep purple]
  66. Moss Verbena, Verbena pulchella
  67. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  68. Multiflora Rose, Rosa multiflora
  69. Muscovy Duck, Cairina moschata domestica
  70. Naples Garlic, Allium neapolitanum [white with green seed center]
  71. Northern Catalpa, Indian Bean Tree, Catalpa speciosa
  72. Pacific Bleeding Heart, Dicentra formosa
  73. Pacific Forktail Damselfly, Ischnura cervula
  74. Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Empidonax difficilis
  75. Pekin Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Pekin
  76. Peruvian Lily, Alstroemeria aurea
  77. Pinkladies, Oenothera speciosa
  78. Red Hot Poker, Kniphofia uvaria
  79. Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber
  80. Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans
  81. Rose, Rosa sp.
  82. Rosemary Grevillea, Grevillea rosmarinifolia [spidery, red]
  83. Sacred Lotus, Nelumbo nucifera
  84. Scarlet Kammetjie, Freesia laxa
  85. Sea Mallow, Malva subovata [kind of looks like hibiscus]
  86. Seaside Daisy, Erigeron glaucus [like fleabane]
  87. Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa
  88. Small Honey Ant, Prenolepis imparis
  89. Smokebush, Smoke Tree, Cotinus coggygria
  90. Soap Aloe, Aloe maculata
  91. Society Garlic, Tulbaghia violacea
  92. Spice Bush, California Sweetshrub, Calycanthus occidentalis
  93. Spurge, Mediterranean Spurge, Euphorbia characias
  94. Spurge, Sun Spurge, Euphorbia helioscopia
  95. Swedish Blue Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus var. Swedish Blue
  96. Sweet-William, Dianthus barbatus
  97. Tasmanian Flax-Lily, Dianella tasmanica [develops bright blue seeds]
  98. Tobacco, Coyote Tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata
  99. Tower-of-Jewels, Giant Viper’s-Bugloss, Echium pininana
  100. Valley Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa varipuncta
  101. Western Bluebird, Sialia Mexicana
  102. Wild Beardstyle, Stalked Bulbine, Bulbine frutescens [spray of orange or yellow flowers]
  103. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  104. Yellow Iris, Iris pseudacorus
  105. ellow-faced Bumble Bee, Bombus vosnesenskii

Travels of a Certified California Naturalist