Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.

The Joy of Portable Dogs   Leave a comment

It’s been a while, so here is a little something.  This past weekend, Justin and I decided to take Buddy and Buster,the wiener-dogs, for a bike ride.  As they are little, they fit nicely into my son’s bike baskets, which he loves.  I think the best part for him is watching people for their reactions.  When they notice, it is usually a smile or a grin.  We were not disappointed this time.  Smiles all around.  One person kidded that the dogs needed helmets.  I think he is right.

Well, enjoy:

Note the dog-ear turn signal:

For higher res see: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36618387@N06/6539507885

Namaste,

Stephan

Posted December 21, 2011 by dragonbreathpress in Biking, Davis, Uncategorized

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Turkey-Day Gratitude   Leave a comment

Hello all.  Lest I forget about the gratitude part of Thanksgiving, here it goes.  Today I am grateful for:

1. Time with family
2. A roof over my head
3. The rain
4. Good food
5. Friends
6. A relative peace in Davis today after the tensions of the last week….
7. A small, intimate, and delicious dinner with family at my parents’ house
8. Traffic only part of the way there, clear on the way back.
9. People driving (mostly) safely
10. A cool, spooky fog on the way home, but good visibility
11. Happy greeting home from the critters
12. Being around healthy behavior for the holiday.

Namaste,
Stephan

Posted November 24, 2011 by dragonbreathpress in Uncategorized

Shame on you UCDPD!   Leave a comment

WTF!  Where am I living? What year is this?  What happened to the freedom of assembly?  In the video below, obtained from YouTube and the AP, a University of California at Davis police officer calmly and systematically pepper-sprays a line of seated, passively resisting Occupy protestors:

(The video sometimes starts with an ad, so please be patient)

This is unacceptably brutal.  The officer responsible should be immediately and decisively punished: fired and arrested would be a good start.  A thorough dousing with pepper spray would also be a healthy consequence.  In fact, if each protester sprayed by him were to be given the opportunity to spray him back, I would not object.  All other officials who stood by without intervening should also face immediate disciplinary action.  If this does not happen, we face a slippery slope of escalating police brutality.  Does anyone remember Kent State?  Four Dead In Ohio.

The pain inflicted by using pepper spray is tantamount to torture when used on peaceful protestors.  We used to find torture unacceptable, but that is changing.  First it is okay to torture terrorists, then liberal protestors.  Who is next?

Any “civilian”  pepper-spraying innocent people would certainly be punished.  Let’s have the same justice served on brutal police officers, otherwise we risk becoming no better than the countries we criticize.  I do realize that this does not rise to the level of Libyan or Syrian etc. police tactics, but it does make us look like hypocrites.   A uniform does not give you those kinds of rights.

I biked by probably three minutes before this happened.  People were chanting and loud, but peaceful.  There was no riot.  Nothing to justify this disgusting act.  UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi has a chance to make this right, but to do so, she needs to act quickly

I am ashamed of my alma mater.

Waxing poetic…   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is quite amusing:

Waxing poetic….

Posted November 16, 2011 by dragonbreathpress in Uncategorized

Sacramento Mineral Society Annual Gem Show Aug 11-13, 2011   Leave a comment

Celebrate

VETERAN’S DAY

Weekend

Sacramento Mineral Society’s

75th Diamond Jubilee

Gem & Jewelry Show

November 11~12~13

Fri~10am-5pm | Sat~10am-6pm | Sun~10am-4pm

Scottish Rite Temple

6151 H St, Sacramento, CA

(across from Sac State University)

Fossils, Opals, Jade, Meteorites, Gemstones, Gold, Rock Slabs, Crystals, Beads, Specimens and more…

Adult Admission – $5.00

Kids 12 and under FREE with paid Adult

FREE  PARKING

For map, directions or information, contact:

www.sacramentomineralsociety.org

 

$1.00 off Admission with this coupon

Posted November 10, 2011 by dragonbreathpress in Uncategorized

Hello fellow bloggers, cyclists, rock-hounds, nature enthusiasts and other nutters   Leave a comment

I am just getting started here — putting my thoughts out to the world.  I hope to inspire, enlighten or, at least, entertain some of you.  I already know that I will not be posting daily, but rather when i have something that needs saying (in my mind at least).  Please feel free to add your own nuggets or comments, but please keep them civil.  Inappropriate content will be removed as soon as I become aware of it.

I look forward to getting to know more of you.

Namaste,

Stephan

Posted August 25, 2011 by dragonbreathpress in Uncategorized