Point Reyes (4/9/2022)

Today was the first day of my California Naturalist course at Pt. Reyes!

Given the hour and energy I have, this’ll be short. For me.

First of all, I’m so glad I’m doing this. Second, I’m so glad I’m able to do this. Third, I’m so grateful to Brian for helping me do this.

Our first day was at Morgan Horse Ranch. We got an overview, did intros, went over logistics/expectations, had lunch, did a short Naturalist-led walk, talked about the chapters we read in advance from the California Naturalist Handbook, and were then done for the day.

My instructor is great. Our guest Naturalist was awesome. And, the place was so full of EVERYTHING, and we did a REALLY SHORT WALK. Before we even did that, California Poppies and Sky Lupine and Redmaids were filling all available meadows. Seriously, ALL. So many birds were all around us and above us at the ranch that I can’t even begin to list them all.

And, our walk was fantastic. We did the Morgan Trail to the water tower to the Kule Loklo Trail and back. We saw lichens and lupines and bees and beetles and flies and the most amazing color of Pacific Bleeding Hearts and heard a Wilson’s Warbler and ladybugs (SO MANY) and something that looked like Cramp Balls but can’t be but might be per iNat and a single Checker Lily in bloom (that I got to show folks that it’s so worth turning the flower upside down to see the true colored beauty inside the petals) and newtome flower Western Star Flower (so pretty!) and Giant Chain Fern and an Acmon Blue butterfly that stood still for me (!) and an Amanita mushroom larger than my hand and a gorgeous Bullock’s Oriole and Western Bluebirds. Plus, A TON of other stuff I didn’t take the time to note as I knew it already. WHUT!

So, yeah. Incredible walk. Even had a moment where our Naturalist leader spotted like three different things without even moving, which made me think (of course) of that ohsotrue Naturalist Walk comic. It was hard not to laugh out loud.

I am loving the structure and formality of the class. I need to pack WAY LESS in my backpack going forward – a lesson I THOUGHT I already learned from my last CalNat course… Oh, and I met some nice fellow birder folks!

Ended the day quite satisfied. And, we barely saw Pt. Reyes today. Can’t hardly wait to see and learn more about one of my absolute favorite places in the world in the weeks to come.

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