On Saturday 9/26, KG, JH and I scouted this preserve, starting around 6:25. We parked at LR10, and checked out LR09. Two deer separately hung around. There were quails clucking, and a robin chortled.
We left the big open intersection at 7:00. Heading up to the ridge as the light faded, we decided to check some holes. There were quite a few very tiny spiders in webs, and lots of crickets on the trail, and one tarantula in a hole in the trail bank. A surprise was finding two Black Widows in their webs along the trail bank.They were shy, and scurried for cover. There was also at least one scorpion in a hole.
Along the way, a Western Screech Owl barked, seemingly at us, for disturbing it.
The bench was in darkness when we arrived at 8:30. The temperature was pleasant, but some areas along the trail were quite warm. There were three spiders in webs at the front lower part of the bench. They bounced around and dashed for cover.
After dinner, we swept the road with UV. Lots of smallish scorpions were hanging out. I wondered what they were doing just sitting there.
We arrived at the gate at the other end around 9:15. We found a couple of occupied turrets, but didn’t find a lot of turrets. There were more scorpions in holes and up in the duff above the trail bank, and one red reproductive termite. Two tarantulas showed up in trail bank burrows, and a couple of small spiders sat at their burrow entrances.
A deer’s eyeshine showed up above us along the trail.
The water was almost completely covered with duckweed. The partial moon was out, at 9:50. After listening to a few soft water noises, a Red-legged Frog emerged. It might have been the same one we saw before; it seemed perfectly happy to sit with its head out. We heard another Western Screech Owl trill behind us.
As we approached the turn to the trail leading to the trailhead, the temperature on that part of the trail was cool. We listened to another owl call from farther away. A large owl flew over, above me so I didn’t see it, but I was facing the right direction to see a meteor fall. A mammal crossed the grass, but went behind the vegetation so we couldn’t get a better look. It was smaller than a deer, and didn’t seem to move like one.
I checked out LR09 after we got back to the car before 10:30. There was a fire break behind the gate, but other than that, there didn’t seem to be a trail there.
Photos are here.