Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another hike at LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area

Emma and I haven’t done much hiking lately because of the miserably hot and muggy weather.  So, when today dawned beautifully, we headed back over to LaSalle F&W.  It’s only about six miles or so from the campground, and since we usually visit in the afternoon, I thought we’d give it a go in the morning for a change.


Today I was able to figure out that some of the fields in the area before getting to the wetlands are planted with wildlife friendly crops.


These are not those giant sunflower plants.  They’re only about two feet tall.  Seems pretty obvious that they also don’t use herbicides in between rows.  Although, it was a little puzzling to me what the ground cover is since there were no tall plants (weeds) out in that field.


As we got to the first parking area, a male indigo bunting took flight.  Nuts!  He could have given me another second before he left.



As we drove along the dike to the lake area, the milkweed pods were forming and these other plants were blooming all along it.  Such an interesting bud that flower has.

_MG_2822 _MG_2821

We got out at the second parking area to walk around.  Two Eastern kingbirds were perched over one of the wetland areas.  The one on the left is the adult, and the one on the right is a youngster.  The reason I know this is because I asked them.  Smile  I’m the bird whisperer, don’t ya know… 

Actually, if you look very closely, notice how the tail feathers of the bird on the left are frayed and it’s beak is solid black.  The bird on the right has unfrayed tail feathers and you can just detect some pink at the base of its bill.  Young birds have new feathers and when born their gapes are rather swollen and pinkish.  Very soon the adult bird will begin its yearly molt of its feathers, and sport a whole new set for fall migration.  Just like buying a new wardrobe for school in the fall.  (end of ornithology lesson)


There is another long dike at the end of the parking area to hike with the swirling Kankakee River on the left…


and the water lily wetlands on the right.


I wish this wildlife area labeled the plants and bushes that grow along the way so I’d know what I was seeing.  Most people come here to hunt or fish so I guess I’m in the minority.  The butterflies were all over the place today taking advantage of the numerous blooms.


There were also examples to be found of the coming change in seasons.  I do enjoy fall in the north, but I’m afraid I’ll be heading south before it’s into full swing.  As I walk along with my ‘wild child’, Emma, I’m amazed that she has at least learned to stop dead in her tracks if I tell her, “I’m taking a picture”.  Crazy, but it’s true!


                                                                   THE END!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. I look forward to seeing your pictures every day and you never disappoint, Judy. Even Emma knows you do good work. That's why she waits. Thanks for always taking the time to post the best. Ann

  2. I am getting addicted to those "end" pictures:)

  3. Smart Emma! No barking at the birds! or pulling on the leash.


  5. Dogs are alot smarter than we sometimes give them credit for and probably she's heard you say it a hundred times or more. LOL

  6. Emma knows how much we all appreciate all your gorgeous pictures. So she deserves a special treat tonight. Love the bird lesson. It's fascinating how you know all this stuff.

  7. nice ending!!..and great photos as always!!

  8. Your photos are simply the "best in blogland" - fantastic!

  9. Love your photos. Your story line is great too. What can you say about that Emma other than one great furkid!

  10. I often wish more wildlife & conservation areas would identify plants as well. Nice that Emma knows not to walk into a photo or startle an upcoming bird shot.

  11. lovely series. Love the bunting in flight


  12. That looks like a wonderful place for a little kayak exploration. And the shrub with the pretty white/gold balls is buttonbush. (http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=CEOC2 I just made arrangements to get cuttings from Trinity River NWR on Tuesday and plan to get some from our survey site 4 this P. Already have 4 bins of them growing roots. They feed 40 some species of brids and make butterflies crazy. And they will grow in water or on land. A wonderful yard plant. We're going to plant lots of them on the rookery islands as cormorants and wading birds like to nest in them.

  13. I love the picture of the male indigo bunting! Great shot with his wings blurring but the rest of the shot in focus!

  14. Emma is a smart girl, and understanding that you want her to stop for taking a picture is proof of how smart she is. Lady responds to the command "Wait" and she stops dead in her tracks. You can overlook a lot of behavior if they get the important commands down pat.

  15. HEY>>>I actually know that white flower with the cranberry throat and strange bud..That is on a Rose of Sharon bush...I have one out by our birdbath...They are late to bloom, but get a gazillion flowers..(I learned that word "gazillion" from watching our Congress fight over deficit spending :-((

  16. Once again...do love the photos. The Indigo...ready for liftoff...priceless!

  17. Thank you for the pictures and thank you Emma for being such a good fur kid.

  18. How cool is it that your eye sees the smallest thing as an opportunity to point the camera lens. In the area of MD where my daughter lives there are fields and fields of sunflowers. When it full bloom there are traffic backups with people out taking pictures. Reminds me of Texas hill country Bluebonnet season. Doesn't appear that you are holding up any traffic!