Thursday, March 31, 2011

Phalaenopsis Haur Jin Fancy

Phalaenopsis Haur Jin Fancy enterred at the San Diego County Orchid Society Show.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Springtime in the Back Yard

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

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

Ascocentrum miniatum

Ascocentrum. This was labeled as miniatum but it is perhaps garayi ...or Sagarik Gold). This well grown little Ascocenda is native to Southeast Asia where it grows in deciduous forests.

Here's Looking at You...

Secretary Bird warily watching itself in the glass.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Koala Cameo

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

Duck Attack

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

Foaming at the Mouth?

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


Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, eating bamboo. It gives new meaning to toothpicks doesn't it? Apparently, pandas have to eat around 40-80 lbs of bamboo a day, partly because of bamboo's low nutritional value.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Wooly Bear

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

Ficus villosa

Ficus villosa, Borneo. Those hairs...keep this little Ficus from being eaten by browsing animals.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Dendrobium obtusisepalum 'Diamond Orchids' AM/AOS

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

Just for the Color

Some pictures are all color and light!

Aloe After the Rain

Aloe species blooming after the rain. Most Aloe bloom only once a year, but when they bloom, they put on quite a show! Luckily for them, the leaves are also amazingly attractive in all sorts of geometries and patterns.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Pacific Mistletoe

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.