Nalle Bunny Run 2018-09-15

This morning was the monthly group walk on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run. Only three people had registered for the walk and no one showed up! So for the first time in ages I got to tromp around the place by myself. There have been recent rains, including last night, and the preserve was quite wet. Nearby rain on the weather radar caused me to leave my big camera behind, so I only took iPhone photos.

I was happy to find this little Lace Cactus off trail. There's a small patch of them on the westernmost trail that I always point out to visitors, and I'm glad they're growing in more spots!

Lace Cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii) - 2

Near that patch of other lace cactuses, I found two strange fungi that looked like whitish brains! A naturalist friend told me they're probably puffballs:

Puffballs (Family Lycoperdaceae) - 2

I was hoping to see south-bound migrating birds and there were a few around. The most numerous were over 20 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers throughout the preserve, usually in the tree canopy. Briefly, I spotted a soaring Osprey, the first I've seen this fall. A Belted Kingfisher flew by, also a first-of-fall observation for me. And down on the sandy prairie I found a Baltimore Oriole, a common migrant moving through Austin right now.

A few interesting resident bird observations: Two Common Ravens flew over the gate while I was waiting for attendees. On the lake in front of the rental house I saw a Wood Duck that at first I thought was a juvenile bird. But actually it was a male in non-breeding plumage, something I was not familiar with! The Northern Cardinals I saw were almost exclusively on the sandy prairie. I've noticed before that there seems to be some seasonality to where cardinals occur on the preserve. In the spring and summer they're spread out all over it. In the fall and winter they're almost exclusively on the sandy prairie area. A "micro migration" perhaps?

Water was flowing in the drainage just east of the main driveway, and there were some beautiful little pools, sometimes rimmed with cedar elm leaves:

Flowing Water - 1

Flowing Water - 3

I made a few plant observations (see attached) including one I was especially happy about. Back in May 2013 I found this Southern Catalpa tree in the dense oak-juniper woods just east of the gate. I haven't been in this area for a long time since it's usually not so interesting to visitors, and the trail through it has become overgrown. But today I decided to try and find this tree again and I did! Now it's over 12 feet tall!

Southern Catalpa (Catalpa bignonioides) - 3

See the attached iNaturalist observations.

Here's my complete eBird list.

And here are a few more photos on Flickr.

Posted by mikaelb mikaelb, September 15, 2018 20:55

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Camphorweed Heterotheca subaxillaris

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 09:23 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

This is one of the most common plants on the sandy prairie area, Camphorweed
(Heterotheca subaxillaris).

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Chinese Tallow Triadica sebifera

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 09:15 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

Nearby two mature trees, many sapling Chinese Tallow trees are growing.

Photos / Sounds

What

White Lace Cactus of Texas Echinocereus reichenbachii ssp. caespitosus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 08:28 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

I was excited to stumble upon this little Lace Cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii) off trail, in a spot I don't think I've found one before.

Photos / Sounds

What

Puffballs Family Lycoperdaceae

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 08:35 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

I found two different fungi near each other that looked like white or tan brains! A naturalist friend says they're some sort of Puffballs (Family Lycoperdaceae).

Fungi

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Fungi Including Lichens Kingdom Fungi

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 08:25 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

The preserve was wet from recent rains, and mushrooms were everywhere. This was the largest one I found.

Photos / Sounds

What

Puffballs Family Lycoperdaceae

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 08:37 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

I found two different fungi near each other that looked like white or tan brains! A naturalist friend says they're some sort of Puffballs (Family Lycoperdaceae).

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Catalpa Catalpa bignonioides

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 10:31 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

Looking at my iNaturalist observations, I originally documented this volunteer Southern Catalpa tree (Catalpa bignonioides) back in May 2013 when it was less than 4 feet tall. Now it's well over 10 feet tall with a substantially thick trunk!

Despite the slight difference in location, here's the same tree in 2013: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/274203

Photos / Sounds

What

Texas Kidneywood Eysenhardtia texana

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 10:00 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rougeplant Rivina humilis

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 08:55 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Coarse-backed Red Paper Wasp Polistes rubiginosus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

September 15, 2018 09:10 AM CDT

Description

Taken on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. No one showed up for the scheduled group walk, so I was able to go out on my own for the first time in months. I really enjoyed it! Because rain was probable, I left my big camera in the car and just took iPhone photos this morning.

This is one of two large orange wasps I found in one of the Purple Martin gourds, which for some reason, have never been used by Purple Martins.

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