Thursday, May 20, 2010

Signs of summer's approach

I walked through the landscape this afternoon.

Ceraunus blue butterflies are finally emerging. A Gulf fritillary was nectaring on the remains of the Nolina blossoms. Yucca is in full bloom, but the recent weather knocked over some of the plants with the tallest flower stalks. I also saw Common buckeye, Barred yellow and possible a Cassius blue.

Asclepias tuberosa and feayi are blooming. Very little Natal grass is blooming except in the fire lanes so far. All of the freeze killed grass is still brown.

The burn piles on the west side are still unburned.

The new hog wire fence has been installed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rain arrives in plenty

It has rained over the past two days. I checked the gauge this evening and it read 2 inches.

The Bonamia is beginning to bloom. The vines are plentiful across the landscape.

Polanisia tennufolia is in bloom, too.

This evening a Great Horned Owl flew across the landscape as I was setting up for night insect work. The sky tonight was lovely. It was that bright early evening blue, perhaps clarified by the rain, which gets rid of haze.

The bug survey was uneventful. Ant lions, a few beetles, moths, leafhoppers and flies, but nothing I was hoping for.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bugs and benches

I'm still doing some regular evening bug monitoring to see what the light will attract.

I prepared the bench that was one of the insect observation platforms and installed a second on the north side to replace the one that was vandalized a couple of years ago.

Meanwhile, a Common Nighthawk makes its regular sortie over the open preserve sky, but this week I didn't hear the Chuck-will's-widow. Maybe it moved on.

I'm still slowly mining trash from the windrows along the north fire lane. I want to get some of the work done before the area becomes overgrown again.