This was a busy day, but in a fun way. I got up at 5:00 am and headed out to Woodland to go to the ibis rookery at the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency facility off of Road 102 and East Gibson Road. Then I headed out to the WPA Rock Garden, and later in the day, I attended a Monarch monitoring training. Phew!
Last year when I went to the rookery, the water was a lot lower in the settling ponds. This year, the water is a lot higher, so all of the scrubby trees and tules the ibises were able to nest in before are now under water, and there was no real shore for them to rest on. All of the birds were clambering to get into the high branches of the few trees that weren’t submerged, and I saw some pretty brutal fights over nesting spots. I also watched as several of the birds pulled dried grasses up from the edges of the pond and flew them over to line their nests.
Some of the ibises, though, had already settled in, and a few of them already had eggs laid in their nests. The eggs are a bright neon-turquoise color so they’re easy to spot even at a distance.
Amid the ibises there were also Great-Tailed Grackles, American Coots (and a few babies), Killdeer, Black-Necked Stilts, Western Kingbirds and Western Meadowlarks. I also saw quite a few Black-Tailed Jackrabbits and Desert Cottontails. I saw Coot courtship behavior, which I’d never seen before. (I’d read about it but never saw it “live”.) The male and female chased after one another with their wings arched up and their tiny tail fanned out to show of the white patches on it. They’re kind of dorky-looking birds to begin with, so seeing them hunched up trying to look sexy was a hoot. Hah!
CLICK HERE to see the album of photos. You can also CLICK HERE to access the feature article I wrote about the rookery in 2018 as published in the Lake County News online newspaper.
I took quite a few photos, but because the sun was coming up behind the birds, a lot of the stuff was in silhouette and I had to force the iris of the camera open to let more light in on the subjects. I might go in again before class one morning to get different light. The area where you view the ibises is relatively small, so I was able to cover it in about an hour or so.
American Coot, Fulica americana,
American Wisteria, Wisteria frutescens,
Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna,
Bear’s Breeches, Acanthus mollis,
Bird of Paradise, tree, Caesalpinia gilliesii,
Black-Necked Stilt, Himantopus mexicanus,
Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus,
Blue Corn-Lily, Aristea ecklonii,
Bush Katydid nymph, Scudderia pistillata,
Butterfly Bush, Buddleja davidii,
California Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum,
Caper Bush, Capparis spinosa,
Cardoon, Artichoke Thistle, Cynara cardunculus,
Cleveland Sage, Salvia clevelandii,
Common Toadflax, Linaria vulgaris,
Day Lily, Hemerocallis sp.,
Desert Cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii,
Desert Willow, Chilopsis linearis, (pink flowers)
Dianella, Dianella ensifolia, (blue seeds)
Field Bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis,
Fig, Common Fig, Ficus carica,
French Lavender, Lavandula stoechas,
Garden Snail, Cornu aspersum,
Gerber Daisy, Gerbera jamesonii,
Giant Fennel, Ferula communis,
Golden Feverfew, Tanacetum Parthenium aureum,
Great Mullein, Verbascum Thapsus,
Great-Tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus,
Green Bottle Fly, Lucilia sericata,
Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea,
Grevellea, Grevilerulea sp.,
Jacaranda Tree, Jacaranda mimosifolia,
Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous,
Lacy Phacelia, Phacelia tanacetifolia,
Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia,
Leafcutter Bee, Megachile sp.,
Love-in-a-Mist, Nigella damascena,
Mojave Prickly Poppy, Argemone corymbose,
Money Plant, Silver Dollar Plant, Moonflower, Lunaria biennis,
Myrtle, Myrtus communis,
Northern Catalpa, Indian Bean Tree, Catalpa speciosa,
Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui,
Pincushion Flower, Scabiosa atropurpurea,
Pinkladies, Oenothera speciosai,
Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium,
Red Mite, Spider Mite, Tetranychinae sp.,
Rose, Rosa sp.,
Smokebush, Smoke Tree, Cotinus obovatus,
Spice Bush, Calycanthus occidentalis,
Statice, Sea lavender, Limonium perezii,
Steely Wings, Salvia canariensis,
Tree Aeonium, Aeonium arboretum,
Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis,
Western Kingbird, Tyrannus verticalis,
Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta,
White Lily of the Nile, Agapanthus africanus var. albus,
I got up around 6:00 this morning and futz around a little bit so I could get to the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery around 7:00 am (which is when they open their gates). The cemetery has several gardens, so I was basically looking for pretty flowers and pollinator species. It was 54° when I got there, and almost 70° by the time I left.
The gardens include an extensive rose garden, a make-shift Japanese garden, a perennials garden, and a natives garden. I spent most of my time in the perennials garden because there are so-so many different plants there all crammed into a small place. Everywhere you look, there’s something different growing.
As I probably mentioned before, I suck at identifying cultivated plants, so my ID list may be pretty shallow this time around. The roses are all going to be marked “Rosa sp.”, because I don’t know the different varieties. Same with the irises and most of the geraniums. The gardens have placards for some of the plants and flowers, but I wasn’t paying attention.
Inside the cemetery, which abuts another large private cemetery, are smaller cemetery areas: one for firefighters, one for the Masons, and one for athletes. Some are decorated with plants; others are bare.
The place was inundated with Painted Lady butterflies all warming themselves on the stones and drinking from the flowers. They photo-bombed a lot of pictures. I was kind of upset to see some kind of weevils sucking the life out of a wide array of the plants. I think they were Fuller’s Rose Weevils (Pantomorus cervinus). Everything from daisies to roses to irises were rendered ratty-looking by them. The little buggers were chewing on everything. It seemed like an unusually bad infestation.
I also found some pinkish aphids that looked like they had a blood-spot on the back of their bodies. I haven’t IDed them yet. When I first saw them, I thought they were insect eggs, they were so tiny, so I was surprised when I was able to “explode” the image with my cellphone and see they were actually aphids.
Most of the irises were done blooming, but there were still a few that were showing off here and there. If I had gone in April, I would have seen a lot more. Still, I found ones that were all dark purple, a mix of purple and lavender, blue and white, all sky-blue, all white, peachy-pink, a mix of pale tan and lavender, a mix of orange and maroon, etc. I love taking photos of their fuzzy “tongues”.
I also saw a lot of succulents in an unusual variety of colors. Some were the standard green, but some were so dark brown they looked almost black, and there was one that was pale yellow with green stripes. Really pretty.
I’m not much of a rose fan, but I really like the trailing roses, and there’s a variety that looks like candy canes which I think is really pretty. I was a little disappointed that the hydrangeas, which I think are gorgeous, weren’t really in bloom yet – but they give me an excuse to go back there in the next few weeks…
When I stopped at the fountain to rest for a minute, a woman came up with her Corgi – and the dog jumped right into the fountain, kicked around for a minute and then laid down in the water. Hah! The woman says she comes to the cemetery a lot, and the fountain is her dog’s favorite resting spot.
If I were going to be buried in a cemetery, this would be the kind of place in which I’d like to end up. (But I want to be cremated, and my ashes scattered in a forest.) This cemetery is “full”, though, so it won’t take in any new bodies unless the person/family already owns a family plot there, so someone sells you their plot. They do let people volunteer to take over the care of the plots, however, and you can really tell which volunteers have the greenest thumbs. Some of the more well-tended plots are overflowing with flowers and greenery; just beautiful.
The place has been around since the 1800’s, so the majority of the trees inside of it are HUGE; 30-, 40-, 50-feet tall and just so impressive. There’s a double line of weeping cypress along one walkway that are magnificent.
My walk was very nice; slow paced and relatively quiet (except for the community-service-hours-gardening crew and their leaf-blowers), with nice weather and sunshine. I also got to see a few birds including crows, Northern Mockingbirds, a pair of Mourning Doves, Anna’s Hummingbirds, and a pair of Western Bluebirds. Sometimes the birds would perch on the headstone or on the top of the spire-like monuments, and the photo opps were really neat. One of the hummingbirds was drinking at the flowers of an aloe plant, and rather than hovering under the flowerheads to drink, it perches on the stems of the plant… so, again, a nice photo opportunity.
Revisiting the stonework and taking photos of the headstones, mausoleums and monuments also adds to the experience. Some of the headstones face west (to the setting sun) while others face east (depending on the individual’s beliefs); some have flowers carved into the stone (full ones for the adults, buds for the ones who died too young), and then of course there was the ones with lambs on them (for children). It’s all so interesting… I need to start going there more often again.
I walked for about 3 ½ hours and then headed back home.
1. 14-Spotted Lady Beetle, Propylea quatuordecimpunctata,
2. Aloe, Aloe maculata,
3. Amaryllis, family Amaryllidaceae,
4. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna,
5. Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis,
6. Assassin Bug, Zelus luridus, (green)
7. Autumn Sage, Salvia greggii, (red)
8. Baby Sage, Salvia microphylla, (red and white)
9. Bearded Iris, Iris × germanica,
10. Black-Eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta,
11. Blanket Flower, Gaillardia x grandiflora,
12. Bloody Crane’s-Bill, Geranium sanguineum,
13. Blue Flag Iris, Iris versicolor,
14. Boxelder Bug nymph, Boisea trivittata,
15. Brass Buttons, Cotula coronopifolia,
16. California Bumblebee, Bombus californicus,
17. California Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa californica,
18. California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica,
19. Carpet Bugle, Ajuga reptans,
20. Ceanothus, Ceanothus sp.,
21. Clematis, possibly the Romantika Clematis, Clematis sp.,
22. Cleveland Sage, Salvia clevelandii,
23. Common Indian Blanket, Gaillardia aristate,
24. Common Yarrow, Achillea filipendulina
25. Convergent Lady Beetle, Hippodamia convergens,
26. Crimson Bottlebrush, Melaleuca citrina
28. Daylily, Hemerocallis sp.,
29. Deer Fern, Struthiopteris spicant.
30. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger,
31. Eggleaf Spurge, Euphorbia oblongata,
32. European Honeybee, Apis mellifera,
33. Everlasting, Anaphalis sp.,
34. Firecracker Flower, Dichelostemma ida-maia
35. Fortnight Lily, African Iris, Dietes iridioides,
36. Foxglove, Dalmatian Peach, Digitalis sp.
37. Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, (purple with spotted tongue)
38. Frémont’s Bush-Mallow, Malacothamnus fremontii
39. French Hydrangea, Mophead or Big-Leaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla,
40. French Lavender, Lavandula stoechas
41. Garden Geranium, Garden Pelargonium, Pelargonium ×hortorum
42. Geranium, family Geraniaceae,
43. Gerber Daisy, Gerbera jamesonii,
44. Gray Pine, Pinus sabiniana
45. Green Lacewing nymph, Chrysoperla carnea,
46. Green Metallic Sweat Bee, Augochloropsis metallica,
47. Hedge Nettle, Stachys sp.,
48. Hens-and-Chicks, Sempervivum tectorum,
49. Hoverfly, Flower Hoverfly, Syrphus torvis,
50. Hummingbird Sage, Salvia spathacea,
51. Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens,
52. Ivy-Leafed Geranium, Pelargonium peltatum
53. Jerusalem Sage, Phlomis fruticosa,
54. Jupiter’s Beard, Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber,
55. Lace-cap Hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla normalis,
56. Lamb’s Ears Stachys byzantina,
57. Lindheimer’s Beeblossom, Gaura lindheimeri (white spidery-looking)
58. Long-Jawed Orb Weaver Spider, family Tetragnathidae,
59. Lyre-leaf Greeneyes, Berlandiera lyrate,
60. Macartney’s Rose, Rosa bracteata,
61. Mexican Firebush, Hamelia patens
62. Mexican Snowball, Echeveria elegans,
63. Monkeyflower, Diplacus sp.,
64. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
65. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
66. Pagoda Village Succulent, Crassula capitella ssp. thyrsiflora
67. Painted Lady butterfly, Vanessa cardui,
68. Panicled Hydrangea, Hydrangea paniculata,
69. Pincushion Flower, Scabiosa atropurpurea,
70. Pink Jelly Bean Sedum, Sedum rubrotinctum
71. Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea,
72. Purple Rose Aeonium, Aeonium arboretum,
73. Purple Sage, Salvia leucophylla,
74. Purple Salsify, Tragopogon porrifolius,
75. Radiation Lantana, Lantana camara,
76. Ranuncula, Ranunculus sp.,
77. Red Bush Monkeyflower, Mimulus aurantiacus var. puniceus
78. Red Dome Blanketflower, Gaillardia pinnatifida
79. Ribwort, English Plantain, Plantago lanceolata,
80. Rock Purslane, Cistanthe grandiflora
81. Rose Campion, Silene coronaria,
82. Rose, Rosa sp. (cultivated)
83. Rosemary Grevillea, Grevillea rosmarinifolia,
84. Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis,
85. Sage Leaf Rockrose, Cistus salviifolius
86. Showy Phlox, Phlox speciosa,
87. Silver Ragwort, Jacobaea maritima
88. Silver Ragwort, Jacobaea maritima,
89. Smoke Tree, Smokebush, Cotinus coggygria
90. Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora,
91. Spring Starflower, Ipheion uniflorum,
92. Spurge, Albanian Spurge, Euphorbia characias,
93. Spurge, Euphorbia sp.,
94. Stalked Aeonium, Aeonium undulatum,
95. Striped Rose, Henri Matisse Rose, Rosa polyantha or Rosa chinensis x Rosa multiflora
96. Sunburst Aeonium, Aeonium decorum,
97. Tower of Jewels, Echium wildpretii,
98. Trailing African Daisy, Freeway Daisy, Dimorphotheca fruticose,
99. Trailing Bellflower, Campanula poscharskyana,
100. Trailing Lantana, Lantana montevidensis,
101. Tropical Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica,
102. Valley Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa varipuncta,
103. Waveyleaf Sea Lavender Statice, Limonium sinuatum,
104. Weeping Cypress, Cupressus cashmeriana,
105. Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
106. White Prickly Poppy, Argemone albiflora,
107. Yellow Queen Columbine, Aquilegia chrysantha