Monday, April 13, 2015

Phalaenopsis stuartiana

Phalaenopsis stuartiana, still in bloom after about a month.  Aren't Phalaenopsis wonderful!  This species is originally from the Philippines.  However, this one is a line bred variety that is much fuller and larger flowered than the original species.

Anna's Hummingbird on a Fence

Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna, on a fence

Friday, April 03, 2015

Phalaenopsis philippinensis

Phalaenopsis philippinensis.  This orchid is native to Luzon where it grows pendent on the trunks of large trees and where it is somewhat protected from the elements.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Anna's Hummingbird on Chuparosa

A female Anna's Humingbird, Calypte anna, feasting on Chuparosa (Justicia californica) nectar.  The chuparosa is one of the finest nectar producers in the desert, refilling fairly rapidly with nectar.  The hummingbirds, having learned this tidy little fact, do rounds from chuparosa flower to chuparosa flower, coming back to each flower in intervals, giving each flower time to refill with nectar!  Studies have shown that hummingbirds will seek out the flowers that offer the nectar with the highest sucrose content (not fructose or any other sugar, just sucrose!).  Yep, they have a discriminating sweet tooth!

San Diego County Orchid Society Show AOS Awards

Cymbidium Hazel Fay 'Amber' AM/AOS

Epidendrum goodspeedianum CBR/AOS

Epi Pacific Classic 'Duke' AM/AOS

Epi Pacific Classic 'Orange Julius' HCC/AOS

Epi Pacific Darling 'Firey' HCC/AOS

Lycaste Chita Impusle AM/AOS

Paph (Shin-Yi Surprise x rothschildianum) HCC/AOS

Phalaenopsis lobbii 'Jenny' AM/AOS

Phalaenopsis lobbii 'Jenny' CCE/AOS

Zygopetalum New Era 'Windflower Too' AM/AOS

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Desert Iguana

Typically, when I think of iguanas, I think of the giant, green South American Iguana or the lava rock colored, Ocean loving, Galapagos Iguana.  Thus, I was a bit surprised to spot this stealthy little Desert Iguana flitting across the landscape to dive into a hole in the sand.  Of course, once you really scan the area, it becomes apparent that the area is just littered with holes in the cliffs and in the sandy soil and that "SOMETHING" is probably living in those holes, likely just waiting until the heat of the sun has passed to come out and browse.  Some of those holes are rather large, being perhaps eight inches across or larger!  At least one of those holes, likely belonged to a large (16"?) Chuckwala lizard that we spotted on a previous trip!  In any case, here's the iguana!

Desert Iguana, Dipsosaurus dorsalis, in Hellhole Canyon, Anza Borrego.  These lizards are very heat tolerant and will come out even in mid-day, even on the hottest of days (it was probably in the high nineties when we spotted him)!  They are omnivores, generally subsisting on the leaves and flowers of the creosote bush, but also eating insects, carrion and fecal pellets (to establish gut flora).  They are found in desert terrain in Southeast California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Baja.  Of some interest, this lizard runs with his tail up, like the dinosaurs were supposed to!  I don't know if that is because the ground is really hot so he's minimizing contact, or if it just makes him a whole lot faster (and he was indeed speedy)!