Saturday, November 15, 2008

Buckeyes and Wildlife in the Foothills of Calaveras County

Last Thursday, November 13, I was out at a ranch near the Town of San Andres in Calaveras County. It's at an altitude of about 1000 feet and the vegetation consist of grasslands, oak woodland, and chaparral. There are two stockponds and a creek. The rancher is doing a fantastic job of managing his property and there also is an abundance of plants and wildlife.

I saw two buckeyes, both fresh adults. I also saw a couple variegated meadowhawks and about a half dozen damselflies. Birds observed - broadwing hawk, turkey vultures, and western meadowlarks. One of the stockponds was dried and had thousands of dead clam shrimp on the bottom.

The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are quickly being covered with ranchettes - large homes on 5-20 acre lots with vineyards and/or horses. It is good there are responsible ranchers, or soon there would be no habitat left for native wildlife.

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