Monday, March 15, 2010

ciào for now

Pinnacles National Monument, East Entrance
April 16, 2009

I've been so active on Nature ID lately that I don't want to leave some of you hanging. I'm heading to Italy and will get back to blogging in a couple of weeks. Sorry, most travel pics aren't posted here since they're outside of my "local nature" criteria for this blog. "Local" is defined as within a couple hours drive from the Central Coast of California. I'll publish your blog comments and reply once I return.

I spotted the first crane flies of the season in our stairwell last night. I'll be sad to miss capturing pics and posting the steady procession of at least 5 different crane fly species in the coming weeks. It's really quite a sight and I've been planning to document the timing of the different crane fly emergences since I started this blog last year... but who can say no to Rome?

As a heads up, the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History is hosting the 49th Annual Wildflower Show, with much hard work by the local Monterey Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, on Friday, April 16-Sunday, April 18, 2010, 10am-5pm each day. It's well worth the $3 donation if you're interested in native plants! Usually, there are easily over 675 species and considering our spring rains, I'm expecting a bonanza year. I suggest going first thing Friday when all the cut wildflowers are still fresh. Vern Yadon, former director of PGMNH and author of Wildflowers of Monterey County initiated this annual wildflower exhibition and despite his gaining years is dedicated to spending an exhausting Thursday before the show-opening to ID every plant specimen brought in from the area (note: for some rare plants, he's managed to grow in pots to avoid the whole cutting issue). The CNPS members sell recommended plant ID books and will answer your questions. Last year I researched online and figured the CNPS's show is consistently the 2nd largest in the world, in terms of identified, wildflower species count. The granddaddy of them all is Western Australia's Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show. Some wildflower shows in South Africa are impressive, but they don't seem to be as consistent.

May you all enjoy the early weeks of spring's blessings!