Bunny flashback

Back in June 2015, I did a lot of early morning hiking around Negro Bar with a small, cheap Cobra Digital camera that ran on two AAA batteries. At the time, 8 megapixels seemed like a lot, and even though the colors came out looking a little odd, and the picture quality was somewhat grainy, it was lightweight and easy […]

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Bumbling around

There’s far too much yellow star thistle growing along the American River bike trail. While the flowers may look pretty, these plants have some fearsome spikes — it’s definitely no fun getting these stuck into your socks! Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to completely eradicate such invasive species. And since the bumblebees apparently seem to love them, it’s probably a losing […]

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Morning meetup

During my hikes around Lake Natoma, I frequently hear the sounds of scurrying in the weeds or catch a quick glimpse out of the corner of my eye as some critter scuttles away from the top of a nearby rock or log. This morning, though, I came around a corner of the trail and locked eyes with this gorgeous Western […]

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January at Negro Bar

One of my favorite trails through the state park runs parallel to (and just a stone’s throw from) very busy Greenback Lane; and yet if I can get out early enough it can be a great place to snack on juicy blackberries, listen to all sorts of bird songs, encounter some Valley Quail, or maybe even spot a blacktail buck. […]

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Rowdy redhead

I see a lot of acorn woodpeckers as I hike around my area. It’s also not uncommon to spot acorn woodpecker granaries — storage trees where the birds drill holes to store acorns and other types of nut. But this male (females have a black cap with red only on the back of the head) was extremely busy working on […]

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Bewick’s Wren

When I heard a small critter scuttling around inside this dead log at Negro Bar State Park, I just assumed it was a squirrel. But instead, out popped this busy little Bewick’s Wren. Luckily, it paused in its labors just long enough for me to shoot a few pictures. Nimble and acrobatic, Bewick’s Wrens often hang upside down as they […]

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Wings

Today was a very good day for spotting birds — plus one dragonfly. This morning I also realized that very often when I’m hearing the sounds of birds I’m not truly listening. The rufous-sided towhee (above) was practically yelling at me, and I would have never even seen him if I hadn’t chosen that moment to pause for a drink […]

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