Lizards on a Log at Las Trampas

California Buttercup

California Buttercup

It was a nice weekend in early April and Las Trampas Regional Wilderness was beckoning. There was no rain. It turned out to be a good day for lizards and butterflies. And some early wildflowers were already blooming. The most common were the California Buttercups.

Then I started seeing the butterflies. The first one was the Pipevine Swallowtail. This was a lifer for me (I am still a novice butterfly watcher).  I saw several more later but they all proved elusive for photography.

Next was a Margined White – a lifer.  This was identified later by experts on our flickr group and bugguide, based on this photograph. And soon after that I saw a California Ringlet which is a subspecies of the Common Ringlet. This is a fairly common species in grassy, open areas.

Margined White butterfly

Margined White butterfly

California Ringlet

California Ringlet

 

 

 

Following the Bollinger Creek trail, which runs parallel to the creek, I had tall trees on my left and grassy slopes on my right. The next species to show itself was the Anise Swallowtail which is a really pretty butterfly.

Anise Swallowtail

Anise Swallowtail

Under a fallen tree branch I found this millepede. If you know its identify, I would love to hear from you.

Millipede

At the point where the trail turns left to cross the creek, I stopped to check out an interesting log. I saw a scurrying movement and then spotted a Western Fence Lizard.

Western Fence Lizard

There were several Fence Lizards on the log. To try and get good photographs of the lizards I went a bit close and then stood still for a while. My patience was rewarded by an uncommon sighting. A head poked out of a crack in the wood. Checking it out with my binoculars, I was thrilled to see that it was a Western Skink.

Western Skink

Later I was able to see its blue tail during the few glimpses I got while it foraged under the fallen log and the rotting debri around it. I also saw another skink which had lost its tail. Once before we had a great sighting of a skink at Las Trampas. Spring is a wonderful time to be out on the trail – go out and see what lucky sightings you might get!

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One Comment

  1. maralyne
    Posted 7 August 2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Hello,

    My name is Maralyne and I am an intern with Sierra Club Canada. Sierra club is a non-profit environmental organization. We are currently seeking photographs of endangered species to include in a book that would be used as a part of a fundraising and awareness building campaign. Would you be willing to donate a picture of the California buttercup for use in our book.The aim of this fundraising opportunity is also to encourage the public to be more aware of the wide variety of species that may be lost in the future.
    Sierra Club Canada has been active in Canada since 1963, originally as chapters of the U.S.-based Sierra Club. Our national office opened in 1989, and in 1992 we incorporated to create a truly national presence. Today, we have five chapters across the country: British Columbia Chapter, Prairie Chapter, Ontario Chapter, Quebec Chapter and Atlantic Canada Chapter – in addition to our dozens of local groups in communities all across Canada from Cape Breton to Vancouver Island. The Sierra Youth Coalition is our youth affiliate. Sierra Club Canada is the agent of Sierra Club Canada Foundation, a registered charitable organization with the Canada Revenue Agency.
    Sierra Club Canada has earned an excellent reputation within its constituency and the broader public for its thoroughly researched positions and for refusing to compromise on its ideals. Sierra Club Canada believes in the power of connection, of people everywhere working together to create a better world for all.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,

    Maralyne Narayan

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