Cascade Canyon Preserve (5/29/2023)

Today we took a day trip to Fairfax. I have so missed regular Naturing, what with all the studying I was doing for my final exam and working on my final paper. Super excited to spend quality time outside today with Brian!

Right after I visited Cascade Canyon for the first time, thanks to Logan, Brian said he’d love to see this tucked away place with a waterfall at the end. Took a while to get him here, but we made it. And the waterfall was flowing nicely for us.

I’m going to let my photos tell my adventures, for the most part. It’s late and whatnot. But I do want to jot down some things I’d like to especially remember.

I SAW A SKINK! It was a whopping TWO WHOLE SECONDS of a brilliant flash of electric blue that zipped across the trail in front of me! I’ve only heard of them in the Sierras, so I was ECSTATIC when the friendly Park Ranger we encountered at the end of our visit confirmed that that is what I saw!! Yes, it was just a blue blur, but it was EXCITING!

It was so nice to see the place at a different time of year. Different flowers, different birds, no fungi. Was super neat to see a couple Checker Lilies with their seed pod lanterns out! I had no idea they did that!

Saw some newtome California Milkwort, and the pretty pink flowers are seemingly everywhere right now. Also saw a handful of butterflies, including the Common Ringlet, California Pipevine Swallowtail, something that looked like a Lorquin’s Admiral, and possibly an Anise Swallowtail?

So happy to have spotted a Greater Bee Fly and that it posed kindly for me. They are so attractive. And SO MANY Western Columbines leading up to the waterfall!

A good deal of birds were out, though Brian was able to get good looks at them compared to me. Heard an Olive-sided Flycatcher but never found it. Saw a Life Bird (for both of us), the Black-throated Gray Warbler (which we thought was a Black-and-white Warbler). Spotted Towhees. Yellow Warbler (that Brian saw). Allen’s Hummingbirds (I think). Warbling Vireo. And good looks at an Ash-throated Flycatcher at the very end.

Oh! And newtome Forest Scurfpea! I don’t understand the name AT ALL, but I love it!

I think those are the highlights. We were so lucky it wasn’t crowded on the holiday. Often had the place to ourselves. Next time, it’d be great to explore more of the other trails in that canyon. Get to know the place a little better. And the new things that will be there then.