Filoli Nature Preserve

JO and I scouted here for a docent enrichment, escorted by JR and JD. We got on the trail at 12:45. The weather was a little muggy, and overcast. I had never been on a hike here, so I was looking forward to seeing the area. The last time that I’d been here was with a few women from work, before 1997.

We first went towards the wet meadow. There were long-jawed orbweavers in the oaks. Under a hand lens, we could see the spurs on the inside edge of the male’s chelicerae. We also found six-spotted orbweavers. It seems to be a good year for them. There were a few solitary bees, but we saw no bumble or honey bees during the whole trip.

Wild Turkeys were out in the meadow, and there were several deer. The grass was tall. At the rush patch, there were also several deer beds (probably the source of the tick I found on my neck later while driving!). We found black aphids, red mites, a jumping spider, and many leafhoppers.

Heading through some oak woods, we found Sierra Dome Spiders, and in the meadow off Dundag Trail, a large velvet ant. There were small grasshoppers there, and a sweep of the grass resulted in numerous Collembola, some red soft-winged flower beetle larvae, and more red mites.

Out in the grassland again, another sweep gave us a green lacewing larva and ladybird beetle larva. Turning left along the fence, we found some willow galls,  two Ellychnia (California Glowworm) beetles, a tussock moth caterpillar, and a pile of black caterpillars that turned out to be a pipe cleaner! The part of the fence that had not been replaced held lichen and Trentepohlia, a green alga that is orange.

We continued along the creek, not finding any Hyptiotes in the redwoods. The narrow trail up to the pond rose about 240′. Along the way, we found a large turret, a rolled up sword fern frond lined thickly with silk and a spider inside, and a Pamphiliid sawfly. The remains of a blue eggshell lay broken on the forest floor.

Crustose lichen

The pond water was blue-green, and I could see through it to the bottom. A newt sunk slowly down.

We returned a different way through the woods, making a loop. A native rose had two clusters of spiny galls that reminded me of gooseberry.

We returned to the parking lot close to 4:00, having covered about 2 miles.

During our hike, I noted these birds:

Wild Turkey
House Wren
Black Phoebe
Brown Creeper
White-throated Swift
Violet-green Swallow
Purple Finch
Oak Titmouse
Nuttall’s Woodpecker
White-breasted Nuthatch
Pacific-slope Flycatcher

See the photos here.

For more info, see the Filoli website.