Monday, August 29, 2005
The upper marsh gives one the impression of being alone. The silence is beautiful. The bees quietly buzz 10 centimeters above around the ground. There is so much to learn up here. Water seeps from the hills during the rains and salt water squeezes through the sands from the ocean. I find new animals all the time. Shrews, six types of dragon flies, tiny velvet ants....
This is the second deformed Cicindela I have found at Mugu. The first one was Cicindela hemorrhagica this one is Cicindela senilis frosti.
Could they have become deformed because of the stress of the storms from last winter? or from water causing objects to deform their pupal cell? or could be it because of some substance in the pore water?
These two beetles were smaller then normal which usually indicates poor nutrition... what could have happened? Could they have had conditions so stressful during their larval stage to force them into complete metamorphosis before proper development?
The numbers of deformed wild insects are usually much smaller then the commercially grown insects like meal worms or crickets. I am surprised to find living tigers with such deformities! They were so easy for me to catch them... a bird would have had them for a small snack.
Brown pelicans float on the wind above the water looking for tasty bits just near the surface of the water.
When they see something... they fold their wings, face downward, and dive.
Gosh! To be able to do that!
Dancing about the upper marsh is a fly - an Otitidae fly that lays its eggs in the burrows... Whose burrows? Well, there are Halicitidae bees and Cicindela beetles....
It struts and flips its wings, it scurries sideways and drops out of sight into a hole of .... which insect? perhaps both????
Can you find the fly with the pointed face?
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The drop traps in the area are collecting ants, wasps, beetles, flies, an occational baby lizzard, moths and lots of spiders.
What could be the differences between the Ventura Marsh at Mugu and the Riparian brush in the Mountians?
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Can you count the number of animals in the next picture? there are three mammals and one reptile.
They aslo bring charcol and make small fires to cook their hamburgers. Sometimes, they do this under a tree. I guess to get out of the sun, but I doubt that they think about the fire escaping into the very dry brush all around them....
In an earlier post I took a picture of a roll of toilet paper next to the river left by pick-nicers. They also leave tons of diapers.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
The mist was still hanging above the mountains that morning. Birds were in small flocks here and there. The sound of the waves were behind me. There were a few damsel flies I had not seen before. flitting about. Tomorrow, I will bring my net and see if I can catch and identify them.
This is why I love Mugu.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
We catch, measure, and release animals. This mudsucker got to have its picture taken.
Salicornia can be nibbled. I first ate it in a salad in Canada harvested from the Queen Charlotte Islands. I don't recommend eating it where municipalities (like Ventura or Los Angeles or anywhere near a city in the upper watershed) dump their road run-off because, it can take up metals and other anthropogenic chemicals. But, I can tell you it is salty like a pickle.
Here is a spot in the marsh where many plants live together - in one meter square.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
This is a black bear in the San Gabriel Mountains. One of the contracted workers who is re-building roads washed out from the spring rains, watched this bear walk down the road in the bike lane (are bikers tasty?) and then turn into the day camp grounds where families enjoy weekend lunches.
It is too bad that people are not careful about leaving a trail of trash where ever they go.... The rule of thumb is; people go as far into the woods as a man can carry a cooler of beer... (This is a funny image. And oddly enough holds true for parks and forests near cities.... I did not make this up on my own... this is from someone who works in the Forrest and has observed many people in the woods...). The unfortunate thing about many forests is that people leave tons of trash in areas where people like to go... which encourages hungry bears to visit, too. It is kind of like people set traps for themselves.