Sunday, May 2, 2010

squid boats

It's like Christmas lights on the bay in May. We have never seen so many boats out on the water in the 4 years we've lived here. Okay, maybe I was wrong in thinking they came out only during the moon cycles. Did some kind of fishing season open up? I still need to look into this.

ps 05/07/10 - They were still out there last night, but not quite so many. Tonight there aren't any. Do squidermen take the weekend off? Don't know what else to call them 'cause they're not catching fish per se.

snakefly ~ 05/02/10 ~ at home


The Chinese calendar says it's the year of the tiger, but for me it's the year of the snakefly. I even saw one recently while I was in Oregon. Here I am prepping dinner and this guy is hanging on the kitchen window. Oy! I wonder what they eat.

ps 05/11/10 - Unbelievable, there's another snakefly on our balcony.

habitat ~ 05/02/10 ~ Fort Ord - BLM InterGarrison

Fort Ord vernal pool
May 2, 2010

There's still plenty of water. For more information on vernal pools, if you've never heard of them, check out California Wetlands Information System. I'm now unsure who is in charge of this land - it may actually be BLM land, after all. You'll notice I have 2 locations for Fort Ord. Each is quite different in habitat, besides being accessed by different roads. Click on the vernal pool label below for an interesting comparison to last year. We definitely have had more rain this year.

sky lupine & rose clover ~ 05/02/10 ~ Fort Ord

sky lupine & rose clover
Lupinus nanus & Trifolium hirtum
Fabaceae (for both plants)

I was a little disappointed to learn the rose clover is invasive. No wonder I couldn't find it in any of my wildflower books.

Of course, the sky lupine is a native. There are 27 species of lupine in Monterey County. I have a ton of pics of various lupine. I haven't delved into lupine ID yet, so those posts will have to wait.

I really like this picture.

common ringlet ~ 05/02/10 ~ Fort Ord

common ringlet
Coenonympha tullia california

Kissing butterflies, anyone? Like Korean wedding ducks, these are apparently doing well. Glassberg made an odd comment, "As the Supreme Court has said about pornography, it is difficult to define, but you'll recognize it when you see it." Huh? These are extremely common here, in fact I think it's the one butterfly I see the most. They flutter and "hop" within about 2 feet off the ground through the grasses.

I have so many flower pics, that I thought I'd break it up with some butterflies...

popcorn flower ~ 05/02/10 ~ Fort Ord


CNPS rates this a rare species in that it is limited in its distribution. I'm almost certain of this ID because Vern Yadon talks about it in his book. Even though Plagiobothrys has 69 matching records on Calflora, this particular plant is found in vernal pools and wet meadows, exactly what is found at Fort Ord.

ps - I could be totally wrong, too! Vern says it's easy to identify based on peculiar nutlets. What the heck are nutlets?

variable checkerspot ~ 05/02/10 ~ Fort Ord

variable checkerspot
Euphydryas chalcedona

I have many pictures of the variable checkerspot for the simple fact they hold still long enough to take a halfway decent picture of them. I don't actually see them as often as my pictures suggest in relation to other butterflies.


At Fort Ord, these seem to bloom right as the footsteps of spring start fading. I've often seen them side by side, one blooming and the other not. Sun cups are in the evening primrose family and are also called golden eggs.

catching my blog eye

I really enjoy reading blogs and linking forward, especially now that my e-mail and browser are set-up on a new, speedy computer. I still have many files and pictures to transfer... erg.

Found this Matthew Will's blog entry to be interesting. Reminded me of an unknown cottony tree I saw last year. Makes me wonder if I've been looking at things a bit too simplistically for ID.

Speaking of galls, you must check out Blue Jay Barrens' apple cedar rust gall post. Amazing!

I appreciate the information people care to share through blogs. There's lots to be learned from first-hand experiences.