Saturday, November 27, 2010

sunrise from home
November 27, 2010

The later sunrise this time of year is a bonus here. Unfortunately, I don't have other recent pictures to share on Nature ID. Wishing everyone a lovely December. Happy holidays!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

habitat ~ 11/25/10 ~ Monterey Bay Recreational Trail

Turkey Trot
November 25, 2010

It was beautiful here for Thanksgiving this year. Andy took these pictures as he ran to the start at Lover's Point for the decidedly unofficial, annual Turkey Trot. As I understand it, the goal is to run towards Asilomar and back within 1 hour exactly. Whoever returns closest to the 1 hour mark gets an ugly trophy to hold and keep safe until next year. We have several pictures of friends and I'm still figuring out if sending pics as an e-mail attachment is couth.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

rainbow ~ 11/20/10 ~ at home

rainbow from home
November 20, 2010

Yep, it's the season for rainbows. The recent rain has been refreshing and it hasn't been too cloudy or windy, yet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

black-tailed deer ~ 11/19/10 ~ at home

Columbian black-tailed deer
Odocoileus hemionus columbianus

I believe these three are the mother and her twin females that I spotted back in May of this year. The buck that visited at the end of October stayed around for a couple days and is now gone. I'll admit, I was a little nervous taking out the trash for a few days, because he liked to hang around under the oak tree next to our bins and he'd startle me as he quickly got up from his rest.

Three things to note: 1) the deer seem to love the end of our driveway as a gathering and resting spot, 2) notice the bright green grass in November, and 3) notice the darker winter coat than the chocolate brown in spring.

ps 01/23/11 - For those friends who have dismissed my research into figuring out which subspecies of deer we have on the Central Coast of California, I present this great CDFG pdf, with much thanks to Jim Coda.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Veterans Memorial Park
November 14, 2010

Yep, this is a bit of a different view point from my usual sunrise pics from home. Andy had a last minute invite to run the Big Sur Half Marathon in place of his running friend Bill Gates who was in Geneva or something. No, not THE Bill Gates, but we still had a good chuckle over people calling him Bill and being announced at the finish line. After I dropped him off for a 1 mile warm-up, I found this pretty view from the hill as I was wending my way back home by car, because the main road was closed for the run.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

habitat ~ 11/11/10 ~ Garland Ranch - Garzas Creek

November 11, 2010

Showing the end of autumn color around these parts. Hey, it's California on the coast. I've been very tempted to take pictures of garden trees in town with their bright reds, oranges, and yellows, but that wouldn't feel honest for a nature blog. The best native show, besides poison-oak, comes from the bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) and western sycamore (Platanus racemosa) with their massive yellow-orange crunchy leaves now nourishing the ground. Once we get a little more rain in the next month, everything will start turning bright spring green in time for Christmas. For a great blog post on native California fall color, check out Town Mouse and Country Mouse and for a series of California fall color links, check out Natural History Wanderings.

In case you missed it, I linked to Las Pilitas Nursery in the common name above. Be sure to read to the end of the description. Whoever writes their descriptions has a healthy sense of humor. My favorite is still their description of the California wild rose.

ps 11/20/11 - Andy took these pictures during one of his trail runs. I also added western sycamore above.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

painted tiger moth
Arachnis picta

I'm setting the caterpillars free in one of my compost containers, because there's a nice supply of various young shoots. The 2nd instar caterpillars are now over 5mm in length and about ready to molt again. I turned the vinca over for the last pic to show how they seem to like a bit of overhead protection during the day. Here are my blog posts to when the mother laid eggs (10/17/10) and when they hatched (10/26/10).

ps 11/08/10 - They ate my 2 tomato shoots to the nub in one day. Good golly, they are little pigs!

pss 02/23/11 - Those small, heart-shaped leaves are hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), a non-native wildflower in the Brassicaceae family. Thanks to a friend who pointed them out in her garden I now know what they are. Both of ours have grown enough to set seed with tiny, thin seed pods that pop when touched. Not wanting them to spread to my container plants, I pulled them all out. I hope the caterpillars, if any are left in this compost container, are okay.