Long Ridge OSP

JO, KG and four newbies joined me in scouting on Friday, 8/20/10. We met at Skyline at 6:00, and left the lot at 6:20 to caravan to the alternate parking area.

We started out on the trail at 6:50, after some discussion of logistics. The non-native everlasting pea was blooming, and the seed pods of the Lunaria annua were there. Heading uphill, we passed Yampah, and fragrant Madia. We got to the “open area” at 7:16.

Fog blanket from the bench

Around 7:25, we found a spider turret. A few feet beyond that, JO spotted a BIG surprise–a 70mm Cerambycid, probably Ponderous Borer. I don’t usually wear insect repellent or have other chemicals on my hands, and I wanted to see what the underside was like. In hand, it was very strong, and made a clicking noise when it had enough, so we put it back where it had been (like we usually do).

Ponderous Borer

In one grassy opening in the woods, we heard the pip-pip-pip of an Olive-sided Flycatcher.

The beetle delayed our arrival at the ridge, so we were a few minutes after sunset. There was a small insect in front of the bench. I thought it was a beetle and took a photo. Upon examining the photo at home, there were no elytra (wing covers). Hmm…it looked suspiciously like a cockroach! Who knew there were native cockroaches that live here, in the wild.

Wood Cockroach, probably Parcoblatta americana

A couple of different bicycle riders were out a little late, one passing at official closing time. A couple of bats fluttered by as we had dinner. The temperature was mild, and the sky clear.

California Common Scorpion

We left the bench area around 8:50. Shortly afterwards, I found a small scorpion, California Common Scorpion, Paruroctonus sylvestrii. We looked at the ventral side to see if we could determine the gender (we think it was a male). We found three others.

At 9:19, we arrived at the next intersection and turned left. There weren’t as many turrets as in the past. We found a medium-sized occupied turret. Heading downhill, we heard barking from a Western Screech-owl.

At the pond around 9:50-9:55, we stopped to check for wildlife. JO found a tetragnathid spider.

Long-jawed Orbweaver

Since we had time, we did quiet, spaced-out walks. A deer or two crashed through the vegetation as we waited for the others. The people who left later heard a Great-horned Owl The “newt pond” held water, but there were no newts.

Turning right at the trail leading out at, we came upon a cricket, then noticed there were tiny things crawling around on the ground near it–tiny ants, a little over a millimeter long. There was a small hole into which they went in and out.

We took a few minutes outside the gate to soak in the night, before we left.

Moon and clouds

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