Today’s exploration traversed grassy hills and flipped (and returned to its original position) almost every rock in my path. My first successful flip of the summer over turned what I believe to be my life Western Yellow-Bellied Racer.
Yellow-Bellied Racer in hand showing off some of its yellow belly
Yellow-Bellied Racer on a rock showing off the fading of its pattern as you near its tail
Throughout the day, the rocks were alive with critters. From Western Fence Lizards to the plethora of insects seeking shelter I even caught a Common California Scorpion before it escaped to a home.
Common California Scorpion
Closer to sources of water; dragonflies, amphibians, and birds came out. I saw a Northern Pacific Tree froglet in metamorphosis surrounded by a flurry of toad tadpoles.
Here is a young Northern Pacific Treefrog, not the froglet
In the same creek I saw an adult frog eyeing me from the other side of the stream. I’m inclined to say it was either a lowland leopard frog or a california red-legged frog but am not confident in either of those. If you know, please reach out to me.
Unidentifed Species of Frog
Leaving the stream, I couldn’t help but photograph this American Painted Lady Butterfly.