|July 6, 2018, Lewis's Woodpecker|
Date: May 15 and July 6, 2018
Place: Bizz Johnson Trail, Susanville, California
Susanville Trailhead address: 601 Richmond Rd. Susanville
Our hike started at: 200 Miller Rd. Susanville
Length: about 2 miles in and out
We discovered the Bizz Johnson Trail back in 2014 on the tail of a spring break road trip. We didn't walk far then, but we did enjoy a wealth of nature richness - both wildflowers and wildlife, and of course - the beautiful scenery.
On the road trip I did with my friend Anenet last May we stopped at Susanville on our way from the Lake Shasta area to the Eastern Sierra. There was no way we were gonna pass through town without hiking a bit of the Bizz Johnson Trail.
Before I get any further I would like to say that on that hike we made a surprising sighting, one that caused be two months later to divert a family trip especially to walk this trail again. The photos in this post are from both of these hikes.
|May 15, Where we joined the Bizz Johnson Trail|
We started west with the Susan River on our left.
|May 15, Batchelor's Button, Centaurea cyanus|
|July 6, California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica|
|May 15, Mushroom with resident|
|May 15, Chokecherry, Prunus virginiana|
|May 15, Woolly Mule's Ears, Wyethia mollie|
|Checkerspot butterfly on Mountain Butterbeard, Senecio integerrimus|
|July 6, pale swallowtail|
|July 6 the first bridge.|
|May 15, Antelope Bush, Purshia tridentata|
|May 15, Sphinx Moth and Southern Mountain Phlox, Phlox austromontana|
|May 15, the second bridge|
|May 15, False Lily of the Valley, Maianthemum stellatum|
|May 15, Mountain Blue Penstemon, Penstemon laetus|
|May 15, California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii|
|July 6, California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii|
|May 15 the way back|
We took it slow and easy on the way back. Lots of butterflies fluttered about us, like colorful flowers that were detached from their mother plants and gone a-wondering.
|May 15, Cerulean Looper|
Butterflies are much fun to see and very hard to photograph. Some of them did cooperate with us.
|May 15, Checkerspot|
|May 15, Lewis's Woodpecker|
|May 15, Lewis's Woodpecker|
|May 15, Susan River|
Later that day, as my friend and I stopped for dinner in Reno, I downloaded the photos to my laptop and sent Pappa Quail my images. His reply was quick and profane: what we've seen was a Lewis's woodpecker, the only woodpecker that he hasn't seen yet. And now my friend and I had!
We had another interesting encounter on our way back to the trailhead - a gopher snake that took its time to cross the trail and didn't seem to mind us two hikers hovering over it to get a close-up photo.
|May 15, Gopher Snake|
Pappa Quail was doubtful that the woodpecker would be there that much time later but he went along with my plan. Sure enough - they were there at the very same spot where I had seen them in May, only on our side of the river. Pappa Quail and the elder chika stood there for a very long time taking numerous photos of this beautiful woodpecker. One of these photos heads this blogpost.
|July 6, Lewis Woodpecker|
|July 6, Western Wood Pewee|
|July 6, Susan River|
The first grosbeak we saw on our July 6 hike however, was female.
|July 6, Black-headed Grosbeak, female|
|July 6, Wood Duck, female|
|July 6, Carex sp.|
|July 6, Black-headed Grossbeak, male|
|July 6, Downy Woodpecker, female|
|July 6, Downy Woodpecker, male|
|July 6, Black-headed Grossbeak, chicks|
|July 6, Black-headed Grossbeak, female|
The Bizz Johnson Trail was teeming with birds that day. The excitement of seeing the Lewis's woodpeckers and the family of grosbeaks didn't minimize any the fun of seeing other birds, even as common as the northern flicker.
|July 6, Northern Flicker|
|July 6, Bullock's Oriole|
|July 6, California Quail|
|July 6, Acorn Woodpecker|
|Santa's summer home|