21 de octubre de 2021

New creosote bush project

In the process of searching for creosote bush galls I stumble upon many other creatures that utilize creosote bushes. It occurred to me to set up a companion project to the creosote bush galls project focusing on those miscellaneous creatures. Organisms Associated with Creosote Bushes is a place to put those observations. Spiders, grasshoppers, tree hoppers, caterpillars, beetles, ants, galls (except for the known species of Asphondylia gall) and other creatures can be included there. For obvious reasons this is a traditional project to which the observations are added manually (rather than automatically as with the creosote bush gall project). There is one required field, Type of Association with Plant; select the most appropriate response from the menu.

Ingresado el 21 de octubre de 2021 por stevejones stevejones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

01 de octubre de 2021

Gall Week

With Gall Week beginning tomorrow, I scouted some of the local creosote bushes for galls. There were very few, but other things made up for it. Four caterpillars and a couple of spiders caught my eye. Kinda surprised me to see that many caterpillars living on creosote bush.

Ingresado el 01 de octubre de 2021 por stevejones stevejones | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de septiembre de 2021

Local grasses

Site reconnoiter for potential as tour site of native and non-native grasses; focus is on perennials but there are a couple of native annuals tossed in.

Ingresado el 27 de septiembre de 2021 por stevejones stevejones | 9 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

05 de septiembre de 2021

Insect explosion

The numbers and types of insects have exploded locally, one result of the abundant and well-spaced rainfall this summer. Quite a contrast to last summer.

Ingresado el 05 de septiembre de 2021 por stevejones stevejones | 12 observaciones | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de mayo de 2021

Homebound

I had hoped to be a more active participant in the Greater Phoenix CNC, but had an incident Friday night - intraocular bleeding that left my left eye foggy. It's kept me off the road, though I've done some observations in the neighborhood. Hopefully the fog lifts enough for me to be more active in making or confirming IDs.

Ingresado el 03 de mayo de 2021 por stevejones stevejones | 9 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de marzo de 2021

Confusing comb-burs

It's that time of year when the comb-burs (Pectocarya spp.) are popping. Four of the local species are darn near identical vegetatively; three of them are fairly common locally (northeastern Maricopa County) and one is rare. This observation shows the differences in the fruit of the three more common ones, and this one is of the local rarity, P. setosa.
Some description based on a guide I wrote some time ago:
P. heterocarpa: Tips of nutlets bent slightly forwards. Marginal teeth are not spreading; teeth are fewer to missing on one nutlet.
P. recurvata: Nutlets curved backwards. Marginal teeth on fruit regularly spaced, hooked. This is the most common species of the three locally.
P. platycarpa: Swollen margin. Teeth irregularly spaced, hooked, with fattened base; teeth smaller and more numerous at the tips of the nutlets.
And for a bonus here is its slightly larger cousin, Harpagonella arizonica. Fruit differ from the four-nutlet, x-shaped plan of the pectocaryas.

Ingresado el 04 de marzo de 2021 por stevejones stevejones | 2 observaciones | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de enero de 2021

Cylindropuntia whipplei ssp. enodis

I was just tipped off to a recent paper noting a subspecies of Cylindropuntia whipplei found in northwest Arizona and southern Nevada, C. whipplei ssp. enodis. Its principal difference (as discernible in photos) is its fruit with absent or much-reduced tubercles. Also, as noted here, the fruit can proliferate (like chain-fruit cholla). A search of iNaturalist observations turned up a number of matching plants, especially around Kingman, AZ.

Ingresado el 27 de enero de 2021 por stevejones stevejones | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de diciembre de 2020

Paucity of observations

I haven't been posting many observations this fall. There's not much worth observing, at least not in the plant world. Most species of fall-flowering plants have taken the year off, having received so little rain. The drought has also cut down on the numbers of other organisms. The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy's fall butterfly count was substantially lower this year than last. But in pursuit of observations for this desert mistletoe quick-quest, I photographed some drought-stressed individuals, and even found a flower. I also documented something I've been witnessing out my window, as the desert cottontails are resorting to nibbling the bark of palo verde trees to get them through the drought.

Ingresado el 04 de diciembre de 2020 por stevejones stevejones | 16 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

27 de septiembre de 2020

Here we go again

Sears fire. Estimated containment date 15 October.

Ingresado el 27 de septiembre de 2020 por stevejones stevejones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

11 de agosto de 2020

Nonsoon

In normal years by August some rain has fallen in the area and the summer ephemerals and summer-flowering grasses and shrubs have awakened to the monsoon. These are not normal times. This may portend a new normal; what that new normal will be only time can tell. I will not live to see it, for it will take some time for stability to return.

So beyond a single mid-July shower of 0.05" the local skies have been clear, and the dew point recently has been in the thirties and forties rather than the 55+ of a normal monsoon.

Nonetheless I paid a visit to Rackensack Canyon today knowing that the chance of seeing flowers was nearly nil. Beyond one flowering tamarisk surrounded by a cloud of pollinators, a handful of Maurandya antirrhiniflora flowers and some Euphorbia melanadenia cyathia the area was flower-free.

But the target of my hunt was the rich gall-producing fauna in Rackensack Canyon. A few new (to me) Quercus turbinella galls revealed themselves. Oddly, the Atrusca capronae galls that were abundant in their thousands last summer in the canyon were nearly absent. I saw only two today. But the novel ones made the trip worthwhile. I also hope that I've gotten some better photos of some interesting leaf galls of Celtis reticulata that @megachile found of interest. The sharp projection noted there do appear to be found only on the abaxial surface, but intermixed with galls lacking the projection. Could the projections be remnant exuviae?

Ingresado el 11 de agosto de 2020 por stevejones stevejones | 37 observaciones | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario