Archivos de diario de enero 2021

16 de enero de 2021

Hot Winter

Hi Wild Ones!

I dropped out of communication for a bit (overload). Am back on the Central Coast (Suze, love your observations from here). It's funny that I was a nature freak growing up and here I am learning so much about nature still. Thank goodness our brains continue to welcome new information as curiosity waves the butterfly net around.

Peregrines were rare in the 60s and 70s, having been decimated by human actions. Now I'm reliably welcomed by a peregrine in Pismo as I drive north on the 101. It nests on an enormous boulder between the north and southbound lanes.

Otters suffered similar --perhaps greater-- injustices and when they returned to Morro Bay, it was newsworthy. This week I spotted one southeast of Diablo in the SL Port area. Astonishing to me. Yet (and this gives me such hope) a quick iNat search shows they're plentiful to Nipomo now. Here's an informative article about these bobbing bears https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-morro-bay-otters-20170324-story.html

I'm in awe of what I've been surrounded by and either didn't notice or took for granted. Until recently, I lumped many species together. A sparrow is a sparrow. Oh dang, there are so many sparrow species! Gulls, mule deer, alligator lizards, manzanita, limpets, chitons, lichen, moss. Wait, what, we have corals and sponges? What are they anyway? I'm truly amazed. And now I know that there are not just mule deer on our ranch but Columbian black-tailed mule deer, the youngest subspecies.

While the lid of this wonder box is cracked and brightly beckoning, it has been hotter than ever -- hit 91 in SLO yesterday. You had to travel over the coastal range to Paso in August to experience that when I was growing up. It's crispy dry; frightening in [now] year-round fire country. Los Osos/Baywood/Morro Bay are not the fog zones we used to know. Fog is still here but it's greatly reduced and no longer provides a seasonal cooling effect for SLO. Doesn't stay long enough for the dew to truly dampen.

Okay, I'm blabbing. Nerves are inflamed as the 20th approaches. We've divided my house with hubby standing guard in LA and me up here with my mom (who is getting her first vaccination on Monday, hallelujah). I'm thinking of you WW as I take this ALL in. Stay safe and vigilant. Aaaand, although my pics are from a compact, I have several pier piling pics that are loaded with creatures -- if anyone wants to play a game of "seek and ID", I'd be happy to send them along. Otherwise, I'll eventually get to them.

xoxo
Tracy

Ingresado el 16 de enero de 2021 por redrovertracy redrovertracy | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de enero de 2021

Leaf miners and Gall Wasps

As we continue to go through a rather dry winter, with only very few flying insects, blooming flowers, refreshed lichens, mushrooms and mosses to observe, two groups have left their marks of which some are to see year round: leaf miners and gall wasps.

There's a great project on leaf miners:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/leaf-mining-insects-of-california

Some are easy to ID as their host plant is part of their English name. Examples we should be able to find:
Toyon Leafminer, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/469764-Stigmella-heteromelis,
Poison Ivy Leaf-miner, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/215950-Cameraria-guttifinitella,
Morning-glory Leaf-miner moth: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/214958-Bedellia-somnulentella.

We have 43 Oak Gall Wasp species in Los Angeles County:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?locale=en-US&place_id=962&preferred_place_id=1&subview=grid&taxon_id=205775&view=species
Some have dropped off their hosts by now or are so shriveled and dry that they are really hard to find, but a few are observable even now.

In my (limited) experience, if I can see an oak apple in an oak, chances are other gall wasps have used that tree too.

As to IDs, noting the host plant (and/or including pictures of the host plant) seems to be essential for the ID.

Any other tips?

Ingresado el 08 de enero de 2021 por andreacala andreacala | 8 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de enero de 2021

Happy New Year 2021

If you're like me, the start of a year is a good time for all sorts of house keeping things, like new folders on the computer, possibly a new desk calendar, or a new box for paper docs...

It's also a good time to look if any of your iNat IDs have Maverick status and to resolve mis-identifications.

There's a handy link to check on this:

https://www.inaturalist.org/identifications?user_id=andreacala&category=maverick

All you need to do is replace andreacala with your own user ID.

I had three, two concerning Susan's observations plus one other.

===

As to a theme for the month of January, I'd love it if "marine life" would continue. There will be low tides in about ten days that are during daytime hours, Susan is on a roll as to nudibranches, we may find a dock...

There's no rain on the horizon for the first half of January, so fungi, lichens, mosses etc. will have to wait a bit, unfortunately.

But maybe one of you has a brilliant idea?

Hugs all around!

Ingresado el 01 de enero de 2021 por andreacala andreacala | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario