Saturday, March 22, 2008

Morning Stroll

I was supposed to go skiing with some girlfriends today but after The Bad Day and a bum knee, I wasn't quite feeling up to a long day on the slopes. Instead, I slept in and then Bailey and I went for a long stroll in O'Neill Regional Park. It's a weird feeling to have Good Friday off, mostly because not many people (including Chris) get a holiday. It almost felt a bit like I was playing hooky (except it was perfectly legit). Anyway, due to the bum knee, we had a very leisurely stroll up the hillside. Bailey kept himself occupied by chasing lizards while I stopped to take lots of pictures (and give the knee a rest).
The various parental units and siblings that we have dragged up the hill on our favorite hike might not recognize this landscape since it appears drastically different from the brown and baked hills of its usual form. Spring is always lovely in So Cal. Very green.

Dog from afar.

Dog up close.

Hmm. Dangerous world, eh? Kudos to the person that can spot the hummer.

Thanks to Wiki, this caterpillar has tentatively been identified as a Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa. He was crawling up the side of the house before we left this morning.

Random beetle.
This is perhaps my greatest find of the morning, a Western Fence Lizard! Thanks to the folks at CAHerps for the identification info. Click here for more info on my lizard.
Did I mention that this is a dead lizard? I'm guessing that it met an unfortunate end after an encounter with a mountain bike traveling at a high rate of speed.

Here is the really beautiful part. Check out that blue belly and the yellow legs!

Hey! Go find your own lizard, mister. Noses off, please. This one is mine.
Finding a live lizard is significantly more difficult. This was as close as I could get.