Monday, June 30, 2014

Today's walk report: 062914, another weekend report

Temperature's rising...

It's certainly summer in SoCal (especially in this Valley!) and that typically means later walks and less light to work with.

Friday, 062714. A nice evening stroll into the garden...

Black chinned hummingbird on desert willow.
This rufous hummingbird seemed a little ticked off over something.

Night blooming cacti are currently in abundance.

Another dove on a wire.

Saturday, 062814... A little earlier today and we were really sweating it.

Cabbage white (Pieris rapae)

Wings open... These are not the markings common to images I've found and photos I've taken in the past of Pieris rapae. However, it looks like a cabbage white for the most part and I come up empty in searching a more positive ID. Maybe it's a gender thing? Any corrections are welcome.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on narrow-leaved milkweed.

I find it remarkable how well the birds pick the dried out silver sage flowers for seeds, all without disturbing the husks.

Sunday, 062914...

It was hot so the walk started late. Shadows were besieging the garden upon our arrival. I went straight to the milkweed to visit monarch caterpillars and it turned out to be a wise decision.

Paper wasps are known to eat destructive insects but I noticed it left the monarch caterpillars alone, for the most part. The caterpillars thrashed a bit too when the wasp got too close.

Paper wasp and monarch caterpillar, lower left corner.

This one is at peace.
and a ladybug minds its own business.

While the sun sets behind a sea of white flowers...

Thanks for coming along!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Today's walk report: 062214: Yesterday and Today

It's been a really busy last couple of weeks, please excuse our absence.

Rewind to yesterday, 062114. Summer Solstice.

Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
Docken says...
and today...

California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi)
Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
 Cardinal Meadowhawk (Sympetrum illotum)
Fly on the fountain
Again,  Cardinal Meadowhawk
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
Tiny cactus flowers
Carpenter bee on Bog sage (Salvia uliginosa)
Very small and very dead lizard
5 doves
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica), bumming sandwich bits from Docken.
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
This guy was driving the same speed we were waking so Docken and I stopped to kiss.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Today's walk report: the last 10 days

There were a couple of "no-walks" and one solo walk since the last report. These images represent walks over the past 10 days.

5/30, solo walk...

Agapanthus, in the front yard.
Blue darner dragonfly.
Cactus flowers.
Red tailed hawk catches a grasshopper.
The same bird, up close.
Two crows, sun gazing.
  5/31... another solo walk.

Cooper's hawk on a wire.
Romneya coulteri, Matilija Poppy.
Salvia uliginosa, Bog sage.
Female Rufous hummingbird on Salvia darcyi.
Not much happened on the photo front until 6/6 and I'm back with Docken (yippee!)

Female Rufous hummingbird in a desert willow tree.
American bullfrrog.
Agave flowers, final stage.
This bumblebee's eyes were amazing but I couldn't get a very good shot off to really show them off. The consolation in this image is the tiny aphid traveling on the underside of the Salvia darcyi flower.

I really liked the way the background looked through the lens but not so much in the actual image. Nevertheless, this is a reminder for me to find out what this blue salvia is.

Another female Rufous on Salvia darcyi..
Another Cooper's hawk.
We found out what's going on with a pair of red-tailed hawks we're accustomed to seeing. They've been hanging out around "home base" a lot. It's nesting season...

I'm pretty sure this is mom.

and her nest is here. We watched her fly a rather weighty looking tree branch into this spot. You can just make her out in the picture.

 Meanwhile, we spooked this coyote back down the hillside. We spotted it chasing a young jack rabbit up the hill toward us but fortunately it wasn't too interested after it became aware of our presence.

onto 6/7....

A side view of the bullfrog. This is my 2nd year with this frog. American bullfrog's live an estimated 8-10 years in the wild

A young rufous hummingbird on silver sage.

While a Lesser Goldfinch munches away on the silver sage seed pods.

and momma red-tailed continues with her nest building efforts. Here she's pulling a small branch from a conifer tree...

...and takes it to her nest.

Dad's nearby and seems rather disinterested.

finally, today, 060814...

Salvia darcyi and Salvia Salvia uliginosa.

It's very unfortunate but I've only seen one other monarch this spring before this one today.

This is a young carpenter bee. I watched carpenter bees and bumble bees today both vying for the same flowers out of 1,000s of Salvia darcyi blooms.

Honey bee on Salvia uliginosa.

A little culture on the way out? All they needed to do was open with John Philip Sousa's, March, "The Thunderer" and we were out of there.

My companion, Docken... she makes everything wonderful.