Friday, April 18, 2014

Photo Quiz Phriday Answer, Genius Steepers & NEW Photo Quiz...

Photo Quiz Phriday Answer

So many great guesses re: WHAT the heck I was doing here:

I was NOT weighing a stool-for-tiny-people (it's actually a pitfall trap lid/shade).

I was weighing a lizard, which was in a little plastic bag,
which SPINS AROUND in the breeze when held by a Pesola spring scale
'cause lizards weigh ALMOST NOTHING.

SO, I was holding the lid to block the wind so I could weigh that pup accurately.


This was all part of the reptile & amphibian inventory,
as designed & implemented by the fabulous Dr. Robert Fisher & all his peeps, at USGS.
Such a great group, the USGS Western Ecological Research Center's San Diego Field Station.
The TINY Cabrillo NM was super lucky to be able to team up w/them.

Behind me is 1 arm of a 3-armed Fisher trapping array.

Genius Steepers

I know this may sound lame, but ALL THE GUESSES WIN!!
They were SO fun & funny &/or accurate.

(w/hyperlinks to their blogs, if they have one)

John Beetham for:
"It looks like you're weighing a stool."

(bb: I 100% look like I'm weighing a stool + bonus points for unintentional wildlife doo-doo pun)

Imperfect and Tense for:
"Are you wondering who has stolen the majority of your vehicle,
as you've been left holding just the steering wheel and column shift?"

(bb: Great imagination & more likely than you might imagine
+ bonus points for British English vocab lesson)

Cindy for:
"You are weighing a land mine (craftily disguised as stool by Navy wonks) to see if it is still active
before you start stomping through the coastal scrub looking for orange-throated whiptail.

(bb: She clearly is READING MY SOUL as this is SO close to what my life was like back then--
working in a Navy bunker & crawling through the CSS* looking for Cnemis**)

sclancy for:
"Calibrating your portable sundial"

(bb: SUPER imaginative + I-wish-I'd-thought-of-that-then)

"hmm, can't be weighing 'cos you're holding it with your other hand.
Reading something off a gauge? Temperature?"

(bb: She's SO close, I AM weighing it, AND the scale is a gauge.)

Thanks everyone!! You cannot know how much your answers amuse & impress me. =)


This one is SUPER HARD, if you're going for accurate,
but could be fun if you're going for creative.
This pup was sticking out of an old stump by the garden.

It's about 2 cm tall.
I had to ask around 'cause I had NO idea.
But, now I know, and I'm psyched about it.

The reward for inspired/accurate guesses is



*CSS = coastal sage scrub
**Cnemis = verbal shorthand for Cnemidophorus hyperythrus, a.k.a. orange-throated whiptail lizard, NOW called Aspidoscelis hyperythra, so says the EVER FABULOUS & useful

Friday, April 11, 2014

What WAS I doing? PHOTO QUIZ PHRIDAY phieldwork phun...

 Just got this photo from a USGS friend & figured I'd share it
'cause it initially confused ME, staring at the me of years ago,
wondering what the h I was doing.

Then I remembered & laughed.
So, WHAT do YOU think I am doing?

Based on presence of chamise, I think it's one of the Navy sites,
near Cabrillo National Monument, in San Diego,
my employer at the time (hence kickin' NPS ballcap).
Based on the buckwheat, it's fall.

Per usual, any and all (family friendly) guesses (in comments) are greatly appreciated,
whether fueled by decades of wildlife experience,
or just a bowl of sugary cereal & NO clue.

And please forgive me for showing a photo where I am SO COOL in blue coveralls. =)
Don't hate me 'cause I'm stylish.

The reward for the most accurate guess & most creative guess is:

Steeping in the Glory of Your Own Genius

I will post the answer next week, and winning guesses.


xoxo biobabbler

Monday, April 7, 2014

5" snow to green in 1 week + mystery kill = same ol' same ol'

Our greenhouse, post-snow, on April Fool's Day, appropriately enough. 

Shimmery: watching snow fall in the morning as things warm up. 

Meanwhile, under cover of snowness, still growing in the greenhouse:
Basil babies are SO symmetrical, I just love them. CUTE cotyledons. 

Close up of spinach babies, some still sporting their seed case. EXTRA cute.

I didn't crop out the yellow on the right so I'd remember to tell you that I FINALLY figured out
how to foil the mice et al. that would eat my baby plants.
Put 5 gallon buckets (yellow or otherwise) upside down on a table,
put plants on top of that. DONE!

I am SO not a designer, but I love how the lavender & oregano look together.
Happy accident.

I'm taking overview photos of the garden, now and then,
so MAYBE, later this year, I'll have some cool time lapse thing. Maybe.

Depends upon whether my garden ever stops looking like
an "AFTER TORNADO" photo. *sigh*

Was just wondering if we'd see any baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii)
post-snowfall, then spied this:
Just the one, but I'll take it.
Such a lovely flower, such a brief show.
I heart them.

And I found a partial spine & pelvis in the back of our property, near the violets,
so I'll probably be looking this pup up today to try & ID it.

This is near where I've seen most of the carnivores cruising through;
coyotes, foxes, bobcats, lion.
Makes you wonder what goes on in the night.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Is it me, or should this be a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle?!?

Geese (presumably snow & Ross's) at Merced NWR, January 2014.

Someone enduring a long winter might appreciate this advanced puzzle challenge.

Or not. =)


Monday, March 17, 2014

BAM! Turkey glamour KNOCKS me out in 1 photo

This stunner paraded by 20 minutes ago...


Can't resist 2 more.

Never caught it perfectly focused, etc.,
but that back turns to orange/copper FIRE w/the right angle.

An embarrassment of riches, for sure.


Friday, February 21, 2014

plant that blooms so hard you can HEAR it, and a tiny little beauty

 Tiny Beauty

also known as stork's bill because of what their seeds look like which,
incidentally, can feel like STEEL stabbing through your sneakers.

It's a flat little plant, blooming this month, but I never knew
until I stared rudely at it w/a macro
how amazing its architecture is. Stunner.

(seeing individual pollen grains makes me swoon)

Blue anthers? Hot pink stigma? What?!? 

Little honey bee excitedly floating from flower to flower in February.

I'm curious why the bee is sipping where she's sipping.
Where does the lovely nectar come out?
Is it there so that the plant can brush against the bee's tummy
to pick up and deposit pollen?

These are my questions.

Hark, I Hear Spring!

Practically the only other thing blooming right now
(with HUGE thanks to randomtruth for correcting my mis-ID!):

However, this plant blooms in SUCH GREAT abundance, you can HEAR it.

You'll be outside in the garden, kicking around, pretending to work, when:
Hark! What is that low buzzing coming from the ENTIRE property?

That's when you realize there are LEGIONS of bees ALL OVER
these tree/shrubs, and giant bumblebees seem to be setting up territories
to guard their particular patch o' manzanita blooms.

Pretty smart to bloom early when the bees are THIRSTY for fresh nectar
and hardly anything else is blooming, so you get LOTS of attention.

And I didn't see this bug until I uploaded the photos:

And only took one photo of this clump, so that bug WINS!

No idea what it is.
Besides GREAT at being overlooked.
Just like the red stemmed filaree.

I love "discovering" amazing things that have been there all along.
Nature: the more you look, the more you walk around, gobsmacked.

Love it.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

stormy sky

 Yesterday, just before sunset,
right before it rained.


I heart mammatus clouds.

Ever need to see amazing nature-things?
Google mammatus clouds & hit "images."