Archive for May 2012

Bike-powered one-man Yolo County Micro-Odonta-Blitz   1 comment

A weekend spent chasing dragons and damsels (of the insect variety)

Day 1: 05.26.12

Vic Fazio Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area: (1300-1430)
Low 70s, partly cloudy, becoming mostly cloudy
SW wind 15-20mph
I biked here and hiked in a couple of miles, but dragonfly-wise, it was very quiet, even by edges of still-wet pools
Common whitetail:1 immature male
Black Saddlebags 1
Both in wind-blown flight (no photos)
Also spotted:
dozens of great and snowy egrets
1 green heron
5 red-tailed haws
Wildhorse Ag Buffer (a trail and some grasslands between the golf course and the ag land)
Black saddlebags: 7 or 8
Blue dashers: 2 males
Darner spp. (possible California or blue-eyed — hard to tell as they came zipping by
All in wind-blown, sideways flight (no photos)
Also seen (non-Odes):
2 burrowing owls

Day 2: 05.27.12

Putah Creek, Winters, Private Property
1200-1430
Mid 70s – Low 80s, few clouds
Light SW Breeze: approx 10mph, but the creek is largely sheltered
American rubyspot (my first sighting ever) 1 male; 1 female (verification for female appreciated)
Tule Bluets
Exclamation damsels (also a first for me)
Vivid Dancers
Pacific Clubtail
for photos, see:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36618387@N06/sets/72157629927356662/
Not photographed, due to the fact that they were not landing:
Western Pondhawk: 1 female for sure; several possible males, but could not get a good enough look, so they could be Blue Dashers
Flame skimmers
Widow Skimmers
Common Whitetails
1 unknown brown and tan dragonfly with a skimmer-like body
Possible variegated immature meadowhawks (far bank, so hard to tell)
One likely darner species (I’ll get you yet, my little pretty…)


North Davis Pond
1430-1445
Low 80s, sunny
Light SW breeze

Numerous Blue Dashers (scores)
Common whitetails (a few)
Pacific forktails (a few)
Widow skimmer (a few)

This is a different mix than previous years.  Blue dashers are by far the most abundant species this year (and most, by far, are male).  No flame skimmer visible. No bluets visible.

Day 3: 05.28.12

Today I decided to bike out to a location on Cache Creek where I used to go rock-hounding with a friend.  It is located behind the Wildwings golf course and housing development, just off state highway 16.  It is kind of an interesting place.  The Creek is a public access area, but you have to go through a private housing development to get to it.  The entrance of the development says “No Trespassing.”  Luckily, I have a standing invitation from a resident.  Oddly, every street in the place is named after a species of duck, but I haven’t seen a single duck any time I’ve been in the Creek.  A private airport, gravel pit and the Cache Creek Conservancy all border the place.
On the ride in, I had a nice push from the wind.  I stopped and inspected the well-flooded irrigation ditches along Co Rd 99 where it looked like that would not piss anyone off.  Only Pacific forktails were seen.
The ride from Davis is mostly good, with nice bike lanes for most of it.  Highway 16, though is kind of scary, with microscopic paved shoulders and psychotic drivers (the most courteous drivers are those in odd-looking farm-vehicles).  My previous theory that those who bike up to Clear Lake have a death wish stands reinforced.  The gopher snake body count on Yolo County Roads is becoming distressing.
Cache Creek
Behind the Wildwings Housing Development, outside Woodland, CA.
upper 70s to lower 80s, very few clouds
SSW winds 15-20mph winds, but the creek was sheltered
Tweleve-spotted skimmers
American rubyspot (M/F)
Western pondhawk (M/F)
Emma’s dancer (thanks Ray Bruun)
California or Aztec dancer (verification appreciated)
Flame skimmer (1M)
All IDs made from Kathy’s http://southwestdragonflies.net site.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36618387@N06/sets/72157629942807108/
Not photographed, since they would not hold still:
Black saddlebags
Some sort of mostly blue darner (blue-eyed, California?)
Tule bluets
Not photographed because I have plenty of photos:
Pacific forktails
Common white-tail
Other critters seen:
jackrabbits
lots of lizards
red-winged blackbirds
mockingbird
red-tailed and Swainson’s hawks
Common buckeye
Honeybees
Sweat bees
deer


Riding back, I got to understand that 20mph wind is more than it sounds like, especially when you bike directly into it for 16 miles.  

The drainage ditches that had held only Pacific forktails in the morning now also boasted Black saddlebags.

Winters California Supports the Victim of a Drunk Driving Tragedy   Leave a comment

On May 18 the car of my friend Michael Hendrix was T-boned by a drunk driver. His daughte, who was riding in the passenger seat was severely injured and remains in a coma. The drunk was, of course, uninsured.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Road 31 and Road 95, near the Davis Airport.

Today, the community of Winters, CA. (a community of just over 6000 people) came together to support the Hendrix family, both emotionally and financially for a spaghetti feed catered by the Buckhorn restaurant and held at the Winters fire station.

Marie’s story can be viewed at
<a href=”http://mariesmiracles.blogspot.com/&#8221; rel=”nofollow”>mariesmiracles.blogspot.com/</a>

For those who wish, donations may be made at any First Northern Bank branch. Ask for the Marie Hendrix Medical Fund trust account. I assume checks may be mailed, and a PayPal option is in the works.

The drunk driver was Rogilio Cardenas, 30, of Davis. He, of course, sustained only minor injuries.

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