Like the commercial says, there’s plenty to see and do. I was glad I got an afternoon to visit Joaquin Miller Park, tucked away in the corner of Oakland. It’s over 500 acres and I hiked about 6 miles of it (plenty left to do for my next visit!). I was traveling light so I just took my camera and water bottle, and I regret not taking my extra lens for some better close up pictures of some of the insects. It was a bit cool so it wasn’t exactly teeming with insects, but there was still some entomological awesomeness to be found!
Caught sight of this orb weaver pretty soon after I started and thought it was cool so started snapping off shots (still learning to use the new camera…). I was pretty impressed. But then I noticed this:
See him up in the corner? Just a guy looking for a little love on a nice spring day. Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to be going for it. He would pluck on her web and she would dart over, but then dart back to the middle. I didn’t stay for too long, wanted to give the little lovebirds some privacy.
I chased after this fly for a good long time, still not totally sure what it is. With the way it was flying I was guessing a syrphid fly, but looking at the mouthparts I wonder if it is a tabanid?
Many of the wildflowers were blooming and I saw a couple of small butterflies, one monarch that flew off before I could even think to take a picture, and a lone honey bee. These purple flowers were teeming with bumble bees and all of them had nice full pollen baskets.
Overall it was a fantastic afternoon with stunning scenery. It meant I had to stay up late to finish my training presentations for the next day, but I think it was totally worth it. I need more practice with my camera (and need to take my other lens!), but there is so much entomological awesomeness out there, I think I will have plenty of opportunities.