With the warmer sparing weather, the gopher and California king snakes are out in numbers. I’ve seen three in the past week, two of which were stretched out on the edge of the Rodota Trail near between Llano Rd. and Merced Ave. Both were about 3.5 ft. long. I encouraged them to move out of the way of bicycles and Rollerbladers. I haven’t seen any gopher snakes on the trail yet, but last year I encountered an individual in the same area that was nearly 5 ft. long.
The field adjacent to that stretch of the trail was largely mowed by last week and I imagine more than a few of these great snakes were caught by the mower, along with voles and other denizens of the field. I noticed buzzards and other birds working the new-mown strips.
The wildoats and other annuals have nearly obscured the narrow-leaved mule ears (Wyethia angustifolia), but they were spectacularly numerous along the Rodata trail between Sebastopol and the Sebastopol Rd. trail head. Best I’ve seen in several years.