Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Today's walk report: 052416

Furry critters and duck tales...


An Echinopsis cactus flowers.


Docken duck gives the camera a curious look.

A female rufous hummingbird, currently in abundance.

Some type of Echinopsis cactus flower (or so I believe).
Alyogyne hakeifolia.
Water iris (Iris virginica).


Blue hibiscus (Alyogyne huegelii).
California Towhee. She later gave up on managing the pine needles and dropped them all.
Carpenter bee on Salvia.
A cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae) butterfly.
There was a great disturbance with A LOT of squawking from a pair of  mockingbirds as this Cooper's hawk moved into their neighborhood... briefly.

Accipiter cooperii.
Docken duck. She's a pretty girl.
These are the same Echinopsis cactus flowers from yesterday. They don't last long.
Eric duck floats in.
Immature Anna's Hummingbird.
Same as above.
Male Anna's hummingbird perched in an Eremophila bush.
Male Anna's hummingbird enjoying Salvia microphylla 'Berzerkeley'.
Vanessa atalanta in a palo verde tree.
My pal, Rusty, aka, a selasphorus sasin (Allen's) hummingbird.


Desert willow.
Hey, look! It's Docken duck again.
Palo verde flowers everywhere.
Another immature Anna's (Calypte anna) hummingbird.
Mourning dove.
As one enters the garden. The palo verde trees are overwhelming in full bloom.
Some opuntia flower.
This is a tad strange. This CD had been in the curbside strip between two houses for weeks, it was flipped to the recorded side all that time but on our first walk after the death of Prince it was flipped to the label side.


Female rufous hummingbird.
Probably a female Anna's hummingbird.
Our favorite male Anna's hummingbird.
Alyogyne hakeifolia, slightly more open.
Female Anna's hummingbird.
A northern mockingbird and a scrub jay facing off.
Another shot of the male Anna's on Salvia microphylla.
 043016, Walk #2. Look I have to eat a rock now.

Although this wasn't much of a walk. We drove all but the final .15 miles to the garden. We had decided on our early afternoon walk to make another trip and see about capturing some video of the male Anna's hummingbird you see in the previous picture. I guess there was some rushing to get out of the house and we failed to bring our usual batch of oatmeal for ducks, Docken and Eric. Eric duck had some in the A.M. walk while Docken duck was mysteriously absent.  We showed up in the garden about 5:40 P.M. and there were no ducks. WHEW! Because wouldn't they be upset to see us without any food?

The video with the Anna's hummingbird wasn't going too well. On our last couple of outings he had taken nectar from a large Cleveland sage bush that was right in front of the bench we were sitting on but not this time. Suddenly at about 6:40 P.M. what do we hear--the ducks come flying into the pond. We're sitting slightly around a bend about 20 yards from the pond and my Docken (the human one) says let's not let them know we're here, I feel so bad I didn't bring any food. Well they must've heard us because just a few minutes in they take off again, circle us, land and then come walking over. I'll tell you again... these are our ducks, they know us well. You may watch the rest of the story unfold by viewing the following video.

050116, May day...

A female Anna's hummingbird in desert willow flowers.
A female Rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) on grevillea.
A female Rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) on Salvia darcyi.
A tattered gray hairstreak on grevillea.
A male Calypte anna in a Sequoia tree.
Vanessa atalanta on grevillea.
No ID.
A carpenter bee on Iris pseudacorus.


The stars of the day were a scurry of infant ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi). They were thoroughly entertaining to watch.

Looks like someone gave them some almonds.
This little guy was a crack up and also cute with his mom.
The 1st Passiflora incarnata.
This agave spire is finally opening after months.
More palo verde flowers covering whatever is beneath.
While Eric duck sleeps a ground squirrel moves in on his organic oatmeal.

A floating desert willow blossom.
A macro closeup of a grevillea flower.
Yet to get a personal name this male Anna's has been around for some time now.
Romneya coulteri. This poppy is on our backyard wishlist.
A scrub jay keeps his eye on me.
A female Rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) on Salvia clevelandii.


Only a day later and the young ground squirrels were bolder than the day before. However mom was keeping an eye out for them and the front door.

Another female Rufous on Salvia darcyi.
Meanwhile our friendly male Calypte anna sat on a regular perch.
Our ducks in the pond.
Our ducks in the fountain.
A hover fly and milkweed bug on narrow-leaved milkweed.
Seemed like a pretty big baby to me, I wondered what this young mockingbird was sounding off about--then mom flew in to show me, it wasn't quite ready to feed itself.


Bee on a water lily.

The female rufous hummingbirds practically own the Salvia darcyi.
And I just had to check on the new batch of ground squirrels. I'm glad they don't live here though.
Contradicting their name this adult ground squirrel was high in an Eremophila bush.
Our regular male Anna's right around dusk.

Some salvia flowers mingling with the milkweed.


Continuing in the "furry" portion of today's w.r. theme here was a big surprise. That little animal below is a  long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata), also known as the bridled weasel. Way back on 012114 I wrote about an encounter I had with what I thought was a weasel and the confirmation of said weasel by the garden curator.  Today I came face to face with this critter and I'll tell you, we were both surprised. I was trying to follow an Allen's hummingbird around a large bush of grevillea and suddenly this mustelid was looking right at me. It scurried away and I frantically tried to get some shots off with my camera. Apparently these animals are not all that uncommon in southern California but this was news to me and I've spent most of my life here.

Mustela frenata. I think it's a girl, can you tell?
Male Anna's near and...
Yep, I took this picture again.
This sparrow was eyeing some oatmeal Docken put down by the fountain.
She subsequently left with a mouthful.
Meanwhile this scrub jay stopped in for a drink.

Salvia apiana (White Sage).

I confess, I wasn't too with it this day...

but it was a beautiful day.
Some type of Ozothamnus.


First, I went to grammar school here. I spent K-6, seven years of my life in this place. Most of that sucked but that's not the point of posting the anniversary announcement. The point of that is the 60 year thing. I also passed that milestone during the creation of this walk report, April 18th, 2016. Fortunately, for the most part, I don't feel 60.

Bee on a rose
Monarch butterfly on a butterfly bush.
Male Anna's hummingbird on kangaroo paws.
Sphaeralceaincana (orange globe mallow).
Some opuntia flower.

That's all for now, thanks for coming along. Please feel free to comment.