Journal archives for April 2018

April 10, 2018

Tussock Moth Caterpillars

As my 4-year-old granddaughter said, "It's calepitter day!!" They were everywhere in Edenvale Garden Park: on the ground, on the wooden fences, the sidewalk, tree trunks, hanging from the trees, on picnic tables and benches.

I'm fascinated by the seemingly endless variety of colors and patterns shown by these Tussock Moth caterpillars. Here are my observations:



"There are several species of Tussock Moths in the genus Orgyia that are found in California, and … it may be impossible to determine the exact species with an image since all members of the genus have very similar looking caterpillars and there is also much variation within the species. See this BugGuide image for comparison:"

    "The full-grown western tussock moth larva is 1.5 to 2 inches in length, generally gray in color with numerous colored spots, four prominent white tufts of hair on its body, and two black tufts on its head and one on its posterior end."

Good photos:

Posted on April 10, 2018 02:52 AM by truthseqr truthseqr | 22 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 22, 2018

Sierra Azul OSP 11th Annual Wildflower Survey

This year I chose to participate in the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD) 11th Annual Wildflower Survey at Newhagen Meadow on Saturday April 21, 2018.

Led by Amanda Mills, Resource Specialist, this hike was moderate in length (3 miles, 4-5 hours) with variable difficulty starting on a road then going off-trail into a serpentine outcrop/meadow where plant species unique to serpentine grow. Portions of this hike were off-trail, steep and brushy with some poison oak.

Our group had several botanists, so I learned a lot. The following link shows all the observations for this day:

All observations are marked "Private" because this is a closed area and the trail crosses private property.

I learned a bit about native grasses - there were many in the meadow, and heard this little rhyme for differentiating sedges, rushes, and grasses:

"Sedges have edges, rushes are round, grasses have knees that bend to the ground."
The 'knees' of grasses are joint-like nodes found along round, hollow stems. The stems of sedges and rushes are solid; in cross-section the stems of rushes are round, while those of sedges are triangular and so have edges.

Posted on April 22, 2018 10:06 AM by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 29, 2018

City Nature Challenge - 2018

My totals: 451 observations of 257 species

Day 1: Los Alamitos Creek & part of Almaden Lake (~4 hrs)

135 observations including 115 taxa:
3 mollusks
26 birds
3 mammals
1 ray-finned fish
3 reptiles
12 insects
66 plants
1 fungus

Day 2: Sierra Azul OSP (Limekiln / Priest Rock Loop; 5.5 hrs)

172 observations including 143 Taxa:
6 birds
2 mammals
1 amphibian
4 arachnids
15 insects
105 plants
10 fungi

Day 3: Bear Creek Redwoods OSP (4.5 hrs)

96 observations including 76 Taxa:
8 fungi
45 plants
2 mollusks
3 birds
7 mammals
4 arachnids
7 insects

Day 4: Santa Teresa County Park & Los Alamitos Creek Trail

55 observations including 48 Taxa:
1 mammal
11 birds
2 arachnids
20 insects
14 plants

Posted on April 29, 2018 10:38 PM by truthseqr truthseqr | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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