Meandering down the trail in May, stopping every few steps to draw something else, I tried to find differences between last May and this. As I’d noticed before, there were more vines this year, including western morning glory (Calystegia occidentalis). There were abundant pipevine swallowtails (Battus philenor) both years, and this visit I spotted a mating pair and was able to get close to sketch them.
It seemed to me that there were many more Clarkias along the creek trail, including Clarkia unguiculata (elegant Clarkia) and Clarkia purpurea (four-spot).
Bumblebees were busy in the Klamathweed (St. John’s wort, Hypericum perforatum) and I watched a Chalcedon checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona) on poison oak. A few gray pines (Pinus sabiniana) that seemed to still be growing after the fire now have so few green needles left that it seems they may not make it after all.
A couple of my usual views: Cold Creek and Blue Ridge. I’ve been trying to capture them each time I visit, for an ongoing record of seasonal changes as well as changes over the years.
I hadn’t yet spotted an alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata; I wrote an older synonym on the sketch) in the reserve, so I was glad to finally spy one darting across the trail in front of me. They are zippy and more shy than fence lizards.
I started to draw the coyote mint (Monardella villosa) and then noticed a lady beetle (Coccinellidae) larva on one leaf.