Sunday, March 28, 2010

Plants of the Week!

Spring has sprung. Finally! My job took me to rural Lake County to do some botanical surveys last week. We got to camp out for a couple days which is more camping than I did last year. We are starting the first of many rounds of botanical surveys this month. I am so excited to relearn plants.
At the site there are many rare, endangered, threatened or watch list plants out there. This one is Lomatium ciliolatum var. hooveri.

This pretty one is Fritillaria affinis var. affinis. I love the Fritillaria genus. They are so pretty.

This plant is Dodecatheon hendersonii I think, but I'm not sure. It's written in my field notebook but I am too lazy to get it! These plants are not rare but still pretty.

It should be a fun spring!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Endangered Species of the Week

Last Friday I was out in the field working on a tiger salamander project. It's a trapping project so when there is a 50% chance of rain we have to go out and check the traps to see if we caught anything. Salamanders need wet conditions to move from their upland area to the nearest pond to breed and use the precipitation from the rain on the ground to prevent drying out. I have never seen a tiger salamander before so I have been excited to see one.

As we were checking our traps we noticed a large amount of birds congregating in a oak tree. As we were moving closer we flushed a bald eagle! I don't think they are federally listed anymore but its still exciting to see our national mascot.
Look at at that pretty silhouette. Bald eagles are large majestic birds and it was cool to see one in the field. It was hanging out with these vultures and were all feeding on a dead cow in the field. We spooked them but as we left the area, the birds returned to their feast.
So we continued on our trap check and BEHOLD, there was a tiger salamander in our trap!
I was able to hold it and get a photo taken with her. We determined it was a female and she was gravid. My coworker who has a permit to handle the CTS gave me a tutorial on how to handle and do the required measurements we needed to do. I had experience handling endangered snakes and such so it was more of a refresher.
All in all it was a great field day. Most of the time we only capture tree frogs and small mammals so it was exciting to see something different.

Still no plants of the week. Not much flowering out there yet!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Amphibian of the week

So this week I decided to mix it up a bit! Actually its a bit early for flowering plants but we are heading into amphibian breeding season so hence the new feature. This little guy is is a toad (Bufu boralis).
I think my coworker said it was a western spade foot toad but I am not sure and I forgot to write it down. My fault for not bringing out my notebook in the field.

So I started a new job working with a small consulting firm in Berkeley. I am pretty excited and so far its been fun. There is tons of fieldwork which is nice and a change from what I have been doing. Hopefully all the sites are as pretty as this one!

Don't worry, the plant of the week feature will be back soon.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I know I'm a little late to the party

But I love this album. I've listened to it 3 times today!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I have no idea. November 2008 is quite a long time to be absent. I have no excuse.
Well, I have a good feeling about my blog these days and I am ready to get back into the swing of things. You see, I got this for Christmas!
Ok so Betsy and I both got this for Christmas. I love it! This camera takes way better photos than my other one. It's been fun remembering how to take SLR photos where you have to adjust everything on your own. There is a steep learning code when your used to the point and shoot method of picture taking. Luckily I have my trusty manual at the ready. Betsy laughs at me about this.

One of the great features that I have missed with a point and shoot is adjusting for depth of field.

This was my first attempt at getting all of the rail in focus. As you can see, I am not that good at using the camera yet but I am working on it. My goal is to shoot at least one photo a day.
The camera came with a zoom lens which is nice. I love interchangeable lenses.
We bought this camera to document our lives and family but, (don't tell Betsy) I am excited to take flower photos with it. Look at that picture! Its like your a bug preparing to land on the coyote brush flower! Wow! So lifelike.
I hope this new camera will help me to start blogging with some regularity. I need to restart the Plant of the Week segment. Now, I have no excuse not to.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

When nature strikes back

Today was tough in the field. This morning I had to collect some data
and as I was doing so a bee flew in my hair, panicked, and then stung
me. Lame. My head hurts but luckily I am not allergic.

Then at another site I slipped in the mud. Sort of embarrassing to walk around with a big mud stain on your butt. At least it was a nice day today!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Get out and vote!

Yes, it is finally here. Election day! I am so relieved this election season is almost over. I am also relieved that I figured out what I am going to vote for.

We will soon be able to relate to each other in terms other than yes or no.

Barock the vote!