Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mumday interpreted--urban wildlife adventures + Vote!

My adorable co-workers rappelling into a big cement-lined creek to search for nests. And keeping their eyes peeled for a rare species of woodrat.

This is a barn swallow nest. Mapped that pup.

Biobabbler holding the fort (to boost the rope up when they return).
Kickin' it.

Loved the hyper-urban & wildlife juxtaposition at this site.

 Someone I found in the shrubbery while waiting for the guys to return.

Possible eastern fox squirrel playing statue.
"If I don't  move, you can't see me..."

Okay, spent quality time with good ol' Peterson's field guide to Mammals, prompted by Nature ID's Katie (thanks!), and am rescinding my Wikipedia-inspired (and NOT good) guess, and going back to my in-the-field guess of eastern fox squirrel, Sciurus niger. It's just that when I was in the field I didn't know if they'd been introduced to the west, but it sure looked JUST like the ones on campus at U of Michigan.

Turns out, eastern fox squirrels have been introduced WELL west of their natural range to "Seattle, Washington, and Fresno, Sacramento, and San Francisco, California." And we were in San Jose, so it's not a huge stretch to think that they've been introduced to this city, as well.

I can tell it's been a real bio day: I have TWO field guides propped open next to my computer.

One goal of this blog for me is learning. CHECK!

Cute little black phoebe, perched happily among the horsetails (Equisetum spp.).

This delightful creature careened in my general direction, landing nearby.

Very friendly. The green fig beetle, or peach beetle (yay! that was in my head), a.k.a. Cotinis mutabilis. A delightful quote from my Evans and Hogue Field Guide to Beetles of California re: this creature:

"The adult attacks peaches, figs, nectarines, and other fruits damaged by birds or that have fallen on the ground."

Hee. Attacks fruit. ROWR!

Kind of adorable.

But, as I may have mentioned, there was a PLETHora of fruit falling off the trees into the creek area: avocado, lemon, plum, several varieties of apple, and stunning, voluptuous red pomegranate. SO much food there.

I so badly wanted to bring empty bags to work and fill them with fruit on our side of the fence. But, I resisted. (urf!)

Gorgeous sky I shot while guarding our truck-mit-gear as the guys searched a park area for raptor nests. They ended up RIGHT underneath a sharpie (uh, sharp-shinned hawk) which was eating from a ball of red goo in it's talons. The bird took off, clutching goo, and the guys were so excited they high fived.

I love geeks! =)


So, now I must go and crank out my few thousand words for the day. NaNoWriMo Day 2. But, of course I will make sure that I get out today and...


If you vote, you then have the right to complain. In my book, if you don't vote, you don't get to complain. I've actually stopped people (friends) who are whining about political things and I ask them if they voted. If they say No, I either change the topic or leave.

=) Biobabbler throws it down!


Have a lovely day/week.



  1. Hi, bb. I don't have much comment, except I doubt that's a red squirrel: http://www.mnh.si.edu/mna/image_info.cfm?species_id=400

  2. Hi BB - what a great job you have. Outdoors and up to your eyes in wildlife - and all under a lovely sky. Isnt' that peacock blue beetle a real peach!

    Laura x

  3. What the heck plant is that spider on with all the sticky glands? As a Santa Cruz Mtns resident, I should be able to figure it out but I think your camera is messing with us.

  4. @ Laura: yes, field work is great. I don't get to do a lot of it, so it helps me appreciate it loads. =) It's almost silly to get paid to walk around looking for wildlife. Of course, not every group of hikers will stand around a pile of poop and have a 5 minute discussion re: who pooped it.

    @ Cindy: I found a shot that's further back and includes a flower, presumably from same plant? If I can find your e-mail I'll send it to you. Yea, it IS freaky and I didn't see that until I looked at the photo. Another sneaky creature.


Cool people write inside rectangles....