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Independence Day and a Monarch

A monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, eclosed today (July 3) and is drying its wings on Hot Lips salvia, Salvia microphylla. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

We call it the Fourth of July or Independence Day. Our 13 American colonies rose up against the monarch of Great Britain, King George III, and declared themselves free and...

A monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, eclosed today (July 3) and is drying its wings on Hot Lips salvia, Salvia microphylla. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, eclosed today (July 3) and is drying its wings on Hot Lips salvia, Salvia microphylla. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, eclosed today (July 3) and is drying its wings on Hot Lips salvia, Salvia microphylla. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Friday, July 3, 2020 at 5:14 PM

Leave Me Alone, Please--I'm Eating!

A monarch caterpillar feasting on a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

"Leave me alone, please--I'm eating." The monarch caterpillar feasting on the tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in Vacaville, Calif., kept doing what monarch...

A monarch caterpillar feasting on a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch caterpillar feasting on a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar feasting on a tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar stretches out on a leaf, binge eating. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch caterpillar stretches out on a leaf, binge eating. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A monarch caterpillar stretches out on a leaf, binge eating. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Well, hello there! But move along, please. Can't you see I'm eating? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Well, hello there! But move along, please. Can't you see I'm eating? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Well, hello there! But move along, please. Can't you see I'm eating? (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The milkweed is always greener on the other side. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The milkweed is always greener on the other side. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The milkweed is always greener on the other side. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, July 2, 2020 at 3:05 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Food Yard & Garden

The Bees of Bodega Head

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, returning to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

There's more to Sonoma County's Bodega Head than the stunning views, crashing waves, nesting seabirds, and bursts of flora and fauna. The sand cliffs are also the...

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, returning to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, returning to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, returning to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, edges closer to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, edges closer to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, edges closer to her nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Bay. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A bee-ant encounter: The  digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, encounters an ant, Formica transmontanis, as identified by ant specialists Phil Ward and Brendon Boudinot of UC Davis. Both species nest on the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A bee-ant encounter: The digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, encounters an ant, Formica transmontanis, as identified by ant specialists Phil Ward and Brendon Boudinot of UC Davis. Both species nest on the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A bee-ant encounter: The digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, encounters an ant, Formica transmontanis, as identified by ant specialists Phil Ward and Brendon Boudinot of UC Davis. Both species nest on the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, excavating a nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, excavating a nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A digger bee, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, excavating a nest on the sand cliffs of Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Four digger bees, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, appear in this image at Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Four digger bees, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, appear in this image at Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Four digger bees, Anthophora bomboides stanfordiana, appear in this image at Bodega Head. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A view from Bodega Head. Most tourists are unaware of the digger bees that inhabit the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A view from Bodega Head. Most tourists are unaware of the digger bees that inhabit the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A view from Bodega Head. Most tourists are unaware of the digger bees that inhabit the sand cliffs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at 3:01 PM
Focus Area Tags: Environment Natural Resources

What's for Dinner? Drama on a Sunflower Blossom

A praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, spreads out across a sunflower blossom in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

What's for dinner? If you're a praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, perched on a sunflower, sometimes it can be a long wait. Breakfast fades into lunch,...

A praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, spreads out across a sunflower blossom in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, spreads out across a sunflower blossom in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, spreads out across a sunflower blossom in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gotcha! The praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, snags what appears to be a green bottle fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Gotcha! The praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, snags what appears to be a green bottle fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gotcha! The praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, snags what appears to be a green bottle fly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis nymph,  Stagmomantis limbata, finishing dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, finishing dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The praying mantis nymph, Stagmomantis limbata, finishing dinner. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 3:50 PM

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly: What a Treat to See

A female widow skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa) rests in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

She probably eats a lot of mosquitoes. After all, we just observed National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, June 21-27, didn't we? We spotted this female widow skimmer...

A female widow skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa) rests in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A female widow skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa) rests in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A female widow skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa) rests in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Side view of a female widow skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa) in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Side view of a female widow skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa) in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Side view of a female widow skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa) in the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

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