Tuesday, May 10, 2011

crusing No Cal backroads found a STUNNER and gorgeous friends

I guessed it was a Calochortus of some kind.
I could NOT wait to look it up;
practically hopped and clapped every 30 minutes or so.

(click on me, soooo much cooler big)
(tangled with the beautiful but, alas, non-native invasive rattlesnake grass, Briza spp.,
my guess based on distribution is B. minor, little rattlesnake grass)

I'd never seen this before. SO BEAUTIFUL!!!

Kinda shy, it faces downward.

And, God Bless Calflora, it's Calochortus amabilis,
a.k.a. "golden fairy lantern"
(my favorite name, such cute imagery, 
and they do face downward to light the tiny pathways)
"golden globelily", or "short lily."

This GLORIOUS plant is native to California,
and endemic.

ENDEMIC, baby! Meaning, you wanna see it,
driving through back country roads in the spring?

Come to California, Sweet Cheeks.


Sorry, just kinda freaked at how gorgeous it is.
(AND I just drank 2 cups of coffee.)

AND I also got to see these, so still STOKED.

click me! click me! click me!

This is a species of Delphinium (a genus).
which are blue and native.

 Hm.... looks like I have more work to do. =)

Wiki says most Delphinium species are toxic and: 

"Despite the toxicity, Delphinium species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Dot Moth and Small Angle Shades."

Uh, I'm thinkin' partly "because" they are toxic they are food plants of larvae, 'cause that probably makes the larvae/adults very untasty, yes? Isn't milkweed, the famous food for the famously nasty-tasting monarch butterflies toxic? Although I get "despite" 'cause it might cause tummy aches. =)

Speaking of, also saw this, barely. Sent to moth friend to see if he knows...

According to my mothy friend this is an erynnis skipper,
so Margarethe (see comments) is spot on.
A skipper is a type of butterfly.

Check these gorgeous babies out--so glossy, gotta click on it.
These are Sisyrinchium bellum, blue-eyed grass; love-ly. (sigh)

These I actually knew right away--phew! =)

Kinda remember 'cause their scientific name took me
FOREVER to memorize for some reason.
Until I visited a friend who worked at, what, USFWS?
Anyhow, she had only one sticky on her computer screen
and it said:

Sisyrinchium bellum 
blue-eyed grass

 and that is all.

Guess it's not just me who had a tough time remembering it.
And, for some reason, that sealed it. In my brain forever.

Uh... it's an aster...
and a beetle of some sort...

 Any of y'all know the acronym GDYC?
I learned it from a USFWS botanist.

Still, I'll give it a shot, but not counting any chickens...

So, we had a lovely day driving around the country.

And among the small country lanes we drove on, was this:

Yup. Pulling over for that one.




  1. Your moth seems to be a skipper rather than a moth, and you beetle is most likely a Nemognatha, a Blister Beetle or Meloid. Gorgeous wildflowers! Nothing here it's too dry

  2. Awesome. I thought the antennae looked butterfly-y but knew my friend would know. Skipper--interesting, pretty good sized. And 1,000 thanks for the beetle lead, too. =) MUCH appreciated. =) Any help with any unknowns is always very much appreciated.


Cool people write inside rectangles....