Today I went to Pt. Reyes for my CalNat class. This time, we spent the day at and around the Clem Miller Environmental Education Center. It’s a cool place!
Again, it’s late. I’m tired. This’ll be short. For me.
We spent half the day going over the chapters we read in the handbook, met and heard from our guest speaker naturalist (who I connected with, as he worked with the naturalist I did an informational interview with that works at Black Diamond Mines now), and did two naturalist walks.
Highlights include getting my best looks ever at a Barn Swallow (gah, those colors), seeing a Banana Slug (always a pleasure!), newtome Pale Flax (so dainty!), learning the pine needle difference between the two pines at Pt. Reyes, spotting a newtome gall (Coyote Brush Stem Gall Moth and seemingly being the only person in my class who knew what a gall was?), newtome California Milkwort, newtome Marsh Crane Fly, seeing one Checker Lily (and, that’s it), newtome Salmonberry (flowers and fruit!), and the best is for last. And has no photos.
Ok, so I’m driving out at the end of the day. I’m one of the last folks to leave. No one’s in front of or behind me. I drive slowly past a group of folks on the road and then notice what looks like a black cat ahead, trotting on the road away from me. Huh. Drive a little closer. Someone’s house cat is on the road. Drive a little closer. WAIT. It stops to turn back and look at me.
A FLIPPIN’ BOBCAT! A FLIPPIN’ BOBCAT!! OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!
I’ve never seen a bobcat in real life. And, THIS WAS MOST CERTAINLY IT! The sun was in front of it, so it looked black to me. I couldn’t see the full neck hair area until it turned to me. Then, it quickly scampered up the hillside and out of sight. And, I could see the variations of color on it.
And, I frickin’ just sat there frozen and didn’t think to whip out my binocs OR my frickin’ digital camera!!! So. I can’t share it. But, I saw it. It saw me. It was awesome.
On my way home, I intended to make a quick stop to investigate whiteish lupine I’ve seen on the side of the road. I did that (Chick Lupine!) and noticed a man on the other side of the road with his phone out, trying to take photos of something in the grass. I took a peek. Hard to tell what he was looking at. But, then I saw it. A Western Meadowlark just sitting on the ground. Not really moving, except for its head. Definitely the best looks I’ve had of it. SO GORGEOUS! What a treat to see it so well and admire its beauty.
All in all, another lovely day full of so many things in one of the most beautiful places I know. And, I get to do this three more times!