Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kids' Discoveries

When the kids find out I'm the camp naturalist, and figure out what that is, they continually bring me their findings. Yesterday a bright young entomologist-in-training brought me a beautiful Mexican Tiger Moth, Apantesis proxima, in a plastic gallon jar. He and his buddies were thrilled to confirm what they had in my field guide. The larvae of this moth develop on mallows, the most common local example of which is the Checker Mallow, Sidalcea glaucescens, blooming abundantly in and around camp at this time. Then, on our Saturday morning "bug walk," we stumbled across a Singing Cicada, Okanagana tristis, emerging from its skin on a rush.
We then walked around and checked on various lichens growing on rocks and tree bark and decided that this example (next to bottom photo) of Witch's Hair Lichen growing on the bark of a California Black Oak was the most photogenic. That's the whitish, hairy stuff just above the patch of moss.
The bottom photo is of Deer Brush, Ceanothus integerrimus, which plays host to many kinds of moths in this area, perhaps the most impressive of which is the huge Ceanothus Silk Moth which was featured on this blog recently. They seem to like living their last hours and days in the restrooms at camp.

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