Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve (5/2/2022)

Today I needed to be in Berkeley in the evening for rehearsal, so I did my Naturing in Eastbaysia! I checked out that volcanic thing called Sibley. Did you know we had a volcanic thing??

The Visitor Center at the trailhead had some nice stuff, like bathrooms (yay!) and information about the volcanic activity that used to be there. Overall, the place had some neato things, including some newtome whatnots. But, it seems like you go there to see where volcanoes once were and to get some views.

I did the Round Top Loop. And, I think I missed the lupine peak. Most had gone to seed, but a perhaps newtome lupine, the Broadleaf Lupine (?), was hanging in there in the shade. Also saw Rose Clover and Ithuriel’s Spear and Silver Lupine and Miniature Lupine and Common Fiddleneck and newtome Dog-Rose (?) and Narrowleaf Mule-Ears and newtome Blow Wives and Western Blue-Eyed Grass and newtome Mediterranean Lineseed (just one random plant?) and Common Snowberry and newtome Tangier Pea. Wished more of the newtome flora weren’t introduced, but what can you do.

And, about that. The place is seemingly overrun with non-native weeds, like Italian Thistle and all kinds of other stuff. What was native was easily outnumbered. Maybe that’s why I didn’t fall in love with the place?

As for fauna, I saw newtome Black-margined Flower Fly (I think?) and an unusual-looking Western Fence Lizard (or, maybe it was just its pose?) and Willow Apple Gall Sawfly galls and BY FAR the best looks and photos ever of a Band-tailed Pigeon. While admiring it, a couple stopped to ask me if I was looking at a raptor. Told them what it was, and the gal repeated it as she clearly had never heard of such a thing! I told them the backs of their necks were gorgeous if you had binocs to see it. And, we commented on how it sounded like an owl hooting. It was nice to share that with them.

Oh! And, newtome Painted Lady butterfly! Though, I am pretty bad at telling the Lady butterflies apart… Also, newtome Blue Elder! AND, newtome Genista Broom Moth at the very end.

I’m curious about other areas in Sibley, though from what I could see it didn’t look like a ton of biodiversity nearby. But, who knows? Do you have a favorite trail or spot there you’d like to tell me about?

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