Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Leucospermum (Protea family) blooming in the back yard. While it would be inaccurate to say that the back yard is "awash" in flowers, there are a lot of fun things blooming. The Leucospermum have been in bloom for a week or two now and the hummingbirds have been busily pollinating them. The seeds will actually germinate as well although I haven't actually raised any up past seedling stage.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Opuntia microdasys (bunny ears), closeup of glochids. These are really nasty if you brush up against them but, from afar, are fairly attractive. This one is growing in the back yard. For you non-cacti growers, Opuntia is the genus that includes prickly pears. Glochids are, as you can see, little tufts of spines in the areoles of the cactus pad.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Pleurothallis gargantua. This is one of the largest species in the pleurothallis alliance, capable of growing several feet tall. They are native to the cloud forests of Ecuador where they grow at around 4000-7000 feet.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A Koala cameo. 9 times out of 10, the koalas are napping when I come by their exhibit. This time, however, he was up and chowing down eucalyptus leaves like a locus on the warpath. The weirdest thing is that he looks vaguely familiar. Do animals ever remind you of people?
Monday, March 21, 2011
A territorial display between two ducks. The one being chased is a wood duck. The chaser is possibly a greater scaup. The scaup managed to bite the wood duck on the wing at some point before the wood duck escaped.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Bactrian camel, Camelus bactrianus, female. Why do camels foam at the mouth? Reduced appetite and foaming at the mouth is a sign of estrus! There is nothing wrong with Mrs. camel, she's just in heat. Note, there are only about 1000 wild Bactrian camels left, mostly inhabiting the Gobi desert.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
Wooly Bear Caterpillar floating down the stream. This is the larvae of a moth in the family Arctiidae, possibly a tiger moth. They were all over the hiking trails and even in the water were they probably fell from overhanging foliage. It's Springtime in Southern California!
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Friday, March 04, 2011
Dendrobium obtusisepalum 'Diamond Orchids' AM/AOS. This was one of the recent awards at the San Marino Judging Center for the American Orchid Society. Dendrobium obtusisepalum is a shade-loving, native to New Guinea where it grows on small shrubs and on trees at about 2500 ft.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Pacific Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum; also known as oak mistletoe and Western mistletoe. These have berries right now. While these are toxic to humans, many birds eat them, excreting the sticky, pulpy seeds on trees that they roost on, thereby spreading the mistletoe.