Monday, February 15, 2016

Death Valley Wildflowers

Hey guys! The wildflowers are crazy at Death Valley right now! I spent a good portion of the weekend looking through pictures here and wishing I could see this rare and majestic natural event. As discussed in class, seeds have a great advantage of being able to remain dormant for extended periods of time in harsh conditions. Obviously, the seeds of these wildflowers have to stay alive over the infamous hot, dry summers, awaiting the winter rains that fall irregularly before they can develop into their mature sporophyte form to continue reproduction.
    Anyways, if you are a strange human being like me, you should check that link regularly for updates on what's poppin' in the park and if you happen to be going, please let me know....

Also, happy SoCal spring! Saw lots of early avian courtship behavior over the weekend such as singing Horned Lark (at Armour Ranch Rd), Song Sparrow (lots of them), California Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, and Purple Finch (this morning at Devereux) while many of the overwintering birds are starting / already developed into their breeding plumage. Diving ducks seem like they're starting to move around, with the composition of species at Devereux Slough changing quite a bit over the past few weeks. Lepidopterans are also starting to get active - got lots of Sara Orangetip at Sedgwick Reserve on Saturday and a Mourning Cloak and Anise Swallowtail yesterday at Carpinteria Saltmarsh and Coronado Dr. respectively. Got my first Hooded Owlet moth last week in Manzanita Village as well. In terms of plants, got my first blooming Woolly Paintbrush and Blue Dicks of the year, also at Sedgwick Reserve. Lots of Polypody ferns, a few Southern Maidenhair (Adiantum is the best), and some Gold Fern (fave local non-Adiantum) sprouting by Tequepis Trail. Wow this rant was longer than I hoped it would be happy spring bye!!!

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