Today I also volunteered at Black Point. And, as always, some Naturing was had during my time there.
I arrived early enough that I was able to walk every bit of the gardens. The work I did a couple weeks ago was good! I didn’t see any of the weeds pop up from where I pulled them. Feel pretty good about that!
My California Flannelbush plant is doing well. New baby leaves on it!! A California Scrub-Jay let me get pretty close to it for some photos. Some California Poppies and Wild Daffodils are bringing lovely color to some spots. And, that Common Privet tree is showing its berries.
My job today was to pull weeds (surprise, surprise) around the lower area, where lavender was planted. I pulled Dotted Knotweed, Nightshade, Bermuda Buttercup, White-ramping Fumitory, and some Garden Nasturtium. I REALLY need to get better at taking some before and after photos. SERIOUSLY. I did a pretty great job, if I do say so myself!
During my weed-pulling, I had some ENCOUNTERS.
FIRST, I saw a dead black beetle on one of the cement walls. It was somehow suspended from some foliage somehow. I gently got it out and into a napkin to take home for better photo identification. It appears to maybe be Subgenus Blapylis, per iNat. A beetle! I practically never see them!
THEN, I came across a huge Yellow-faced Bumblebee on the ground. It was moving slowly. And, I worried that I harmed it inadvertently. I picked it up gingerly, and it slowly crawled in my gloved hand. Its legs ARE SO LONG. It looked ginormous. And, I kind of fell in love with it, watching it slowly move about my hands. I set it onto a small flowering plant where it wouldn’t be disturbed. And, when I checked back on it later, it was gone. Hopefully, all is well.
AND THEN, I saw what looked like a curled up slug in the ground. It was a curled up Slender Salamander! Unlike the one I got to see some weeks ago that Natalie found, this one just stayed curled up the whole time. Natalie told me they’ll often play dead. So, I placed it on the ground where it wouldn’t be disturbed. And, it uncoiled itself. Then played dead in that position. And, I left it alone.
I finished up my volunteer time and took a short snack break at Aquatic Park. The tide was lower than when I arrived, and a Great Blue Heron and a Snowy Egret were making the most of it on the mossy rocks. I just sat there, happily watching them. Happily watching the water and the boats. They say seeing green / being outside in nature is comforting / elevates your mood. And, I agree. But, the same happens for me when I see natural water. Feeling especially lucky lately that I have both so easily at my disposal where I call home.