Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dedication to Learning

A nice warm and sunny day, perfect for a tour of the new Outdoor Learning Landscape, a project of the Feather River Land Trust and several cooperating landowners, donors, school district, etc. (See the sign on the middle photo of the series.)  After listening to a few remarks by various leaders of the project, we walked a trail from the entry point off the bicycle path by the high school more or less due north to a large parcel of farmland west of the junction of Lee Road and Quincy Junction Road.  The photos are of some of the more interesting things I saw.  From the top: The Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana, is a non-native frog, and is invasive in many parts of California.  But, it's also tasty.  I can't help but love the frog because whenever I see one I reminisce on my many hours and days of keeping frogs company in the southeastern states where the Bullfrog is native. The Filaree, AKA Storksbill, Erodium cicutarium, is a member of the Geranium family or the Gentian family, depending on which field guide you like.  My family used to raise Geraniums, and i can certainly see a resemblance.  Filaree are blooming profusely all over American Valley at this time.  They, too, are non-native.   The fourth photo from the top is probably a Yellow Jacket feeding on Filaree.  There are so many wasps and flies that look like Yellow Jackets, I'm not confident of the ID on this one. 
The sixth photo down is of Teasel, some species of Dipsacus, also a non-native.  This is the dried stalk of last season's plant.  The new leaves of this year's crop are just now breaking ground.
The next photo is of a Tree Swallow as it left the nesting box.  I'm trusting the ID of birders who were on this hike.  I don't see small birds very well, so I was lucky to get this shot. Now you know why most of my photos are close-ups.  Photo Number 8 is Johnnytuck, AKA Butter and Eggs, Triphysaria eriantha.  There's another flower found locally that is called Butter and Eggs, too.  In fact I found some blooming last summer along Quincy Junction Road, not far from this reserve.  Triphysaria was once placed in the Family Scrophulariaceae, but is now usually placed in the Broomrape family, Orobanchaceae.  Last, a ball of seeds, placed in a creekside willow as a bird feeder.  The Redwing Blackbird on the entrance sign seemed particularly appropriate today as the Redwings were plentiful today.  After the tour, I drove down Lee Road to the old apple tree where I enjoy photographing tiny things.  My next post will be of my findings there which include more dandelion photos.

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