|Netleaf Leather Flower Seeds (Clematis reticulata)|
Tuesday was a day like that. It had been a long time since my photo buddy, Maralee, and I had been able to get together, and we only had a short time to hike, so we met at San Felasco State Park and just headed out to see if we could find anything. Maralee is a much better birder than I am (she was a co-winner of the June Challenge last year) and she knows where to look for them and how they behave. She was trying to help me see an Acadian Flycatcher, a Yellow Throated Vireo and a Summer Tanager.
I think one reason that we like to go hiking together is that both of us tend to get distracted by anything that catches our eye. We're not the dedicated birders who sit for hours and watch. We are generalists who look at everything! Butterflies, birds, flowers, fungi, snakes--you name it. The first thing we saw was a very fat Fence Post Lizard. Then we found Kidney Leafed Rosinweed flowers. But not too far along the trail, she heard the Summer Tanager. She played a call and a territorial male came right up to check us out. Ding! Another for my list!
|Big Fat Fence Post Lizard|
|Kidneyleaf Rosinweed (Silphium compositum)|
We walked along the trail, catching up on the past month or so and stopping periodically to listen for Flycatchers or Vireos. We heard plenty of White Eyed Vireos and Great Crested Flycatchers, but not the birds we were searching for. Mostly, we heard each other. It's good to talk and to listen. And if you get to mark off a good bird or wildflower along the way, all the better. But sometimes that's not the most important thing.
|A Nice Day for a Walk|
|Tiger Swallowtail Resting in the Woods|
|The Magic Place|