Thursday, January 01, 2009

Visiting over the Holidays...

Taking the train out to Oklahoma this time, my son will be coming with me. We will share the small room-ette and I will take the bunk... I may regret that decision, because my back has been killing me, but if Russ wants to read all night he can and I won't notice.

Looking out the windows is very relaxing... and it is striking how different so much of our country looks from this vantage point. The trees are different. The soils are different.

These two pictures were of Texas, which is most of the trip going to Oklahoma. It is not a straight shot. The train follows the outline of the state and then makes a bee line through the center to Chicago, stopping along the way in other states' cities.

My daughter's group was playing, at the restaurant where she works, on my birthday - the day after Christmas. Here she is setting up two hours before her set.

My son and daughter are special people.Very talented. Anna's mural at the restaurant where she works.

Russ stayed for a week but they got to talk. Good things.


I have been in over my head. It's been interesting but at times, difficult.

My job at Mugu with Tetra Tech (Chadux, in Alaska) is wonderful. I am glad to get back to doing insects. Now, I am writing my paper for the Navy.

Here is a note to me.... which I have sent on to others...

Another day to find Cicindela oregona and/or Cicindela hirticolis gravida... no luck... end of their season.... I think.... though, I did find a tiger out by the main drag a bit north of the "Mugu Lagoon" on the map in Central (C) mudflats. It was too quick and I could not rouse it again from the Saliconia in the blowing Santa Ana winds. It was 94 degrees F today at Mugu... October 22... This Cicindela looked like a C. oregona... This is the right time.... This is crazy weather!

I wish I could have gone yesterday.... I almost did but phones, oh phones...

I visited section (A) but only at the entrance of the Upper Marsh just after the bridge. The Telegraph weed (Heterotheca grandiflora) that has grown there is mostly dead. I did not see the Wandering Skipper (Panoquina errans) However, in the sticky traps in the Firing Range (B) several Umber Skippers (Paratrytone melane) were caught. I suggest looking there next year for the Wandering Skipper. The difference is the light colored edge of the wings. Also, any place that has lots of Distichlis spicata spicata..... and Asteracea just might have that little skipper...

I then tried to look for C. hirticolis gravida

The last time I visited these dunes (one month ago) I found Globose Dune Beetle (Coelus globosus ) and the cleptoparasite of Anthophora sp. , Zacosmia maculata, which breaks into the cell cap of her host (Anthophora), oviposits and then re-closes it. Zacosmia is reported to be from Baja California. (But Mugu's tiger, Cicindela gabbi is also a tiger from Mexico). I found this bee tumbling along the dunes... It should be called the Tumble Bee.

Mugu's Mexican tiger, C. gabbi...

Mugu's C. hemorrhagica...

By the way... it seems that I am finding more and more insect internet sites with wonderful photographs!!!! For this email - the map is Google's (I altered it), and the other shots in this email were mine... but the shots in the links are what makes a lot of this study possible!!!! .

I love the dunes at Mugu. There is so much trash.... from the ocean !

See those plants.... they have these terrible seed pods that get into your shoe and poke you with sharp spines... They tumble across the sands just like the Zacosmia maculata.

So finally, I hunted for tigers at the Airport... which is the little square west of C. No tigers but lots of these wonderful curious dragon flies, Varigated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). There were a few in the Upper Marsh but there were many in West Salt (just above the dunes near the fence in F). I walked back to my car after walking the open pannes looking for tigers I saw all of these Meadowhawks holding tight with the winds in the vegetation. Little gossamer wings reflected the light from the sun (which was on the decent). There are quite a number of different Odonata. Many hunt in the upper marsh but they were all over.

Mugu has several species of dragonflies (5). I had not met a Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) until Mugu.

Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum)