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Hear That Buzz at the Solano County Fair?

Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fair, holds a bee-themed quilt with assistant Jarod Fernander of Vallejo, 15, a student at the Pleasant Hill Adventist Academy. The quilt is the work of Tina Frothy of Vallejo. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hear that buzz? Honey bees own the flower beds at the Solano County Fair, 900 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo. But bees and other insects claim the exhibit halls, as well....

Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fair, holds a bee-themed quilt with assistant Jarod Fernander of Vallejo, 15, a student at the Pleasant Hill Adventist Academy. The quilt is the work of Tina Frothy of Vallejo. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fair, holds a bee-themed quilt with assistant Jarod Fernander of Vallejo, 15, a student at the Pleasant Hill Adventist Academy. The quilt is the work of Tina Frothy of Vallejo. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fair, holds a bee-themed quilt with assistant Jarod Fernander of Vallejo, 15, a student at the Pleasant Hill Adventist Academy. The quilt is the work of Tina Frothy of Vallejo. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Insects, we have insects! Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of McCormack Hall and assistant Jarod Fernander show some of the insect-themed entries. The butterfly is a Blue Xlipper, Parthenos sylvia ssp. lilacinus, from southeast Asia, as  identified by Art Shapiro, UC Davis distinguished professor of evolution and ecology. In the background are entries ready to be judged or displayed. The fair runs June 27-30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Insects, we have insects! Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of McCormack Hall and assistant Jarod Fernander show some of the insect-themed entries. The butterfly is a Blue Xlipper, Parthenos sylvia ssp. lilacinus, from southeast Asia, as identified by Art Shapiro, UC Davis distinguished professor of evolution and ecology. In the background are entries ready to be judged or displayed. The fair runs June 27-30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Insects, we have insects! Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of McCormack Hall and assistant Jarod Fernander show some of the insect-themed entries. The butterfly is a Blue Xlipper, Parthenos sylvia ssp. lilacinus, from southeast Asia, as identified by Art Shapiro, UC Davis distinguished professor of evolution and ecology. In the background are entries ready to be judged or displayed. The fair runs June 27-30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This pencil sketch of a moth is by Alana Boman of the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club, Vallejo, who entered it in 4-H youth graphics arts, ages 5 to 8, in McCormack Hall, Solano County Fair. The fair runs June 27-June 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This pencil sketch of a moth is by Alana Boman of the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club, Vallejo, who entered it in 4-H youth graphics arts, ages 5 to 8, in McCormack Hall, Solano County Fair. The fair runs June 27-June 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This pencil sketch of a moth is by Alana Boman of the Sherwood Forest 4-H Club, Vallejo, who entered it in 4-H youth graphics arts, ages 5 to 8, in McCormack Hall, Solano County Fair. The fair runs June 27-June 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Madeline Giron of Benicia entered this drawing of a bee in youth graphics arts, ages 14 and over, in McCormack Hall,Solano County Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Madeline Giron of Benicia entered this drawing of a bee in youth graphics arts, ages 14 and over, in McCormack Hall,Solano County Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Madeline Giron of Benicia entered this drawing of a bee in youth graphics arts, ages 14 and over, in McCormack Hall,Solano County Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

What's for Dinner? How About a Green Bottle Fly?

A crab spider dines on a green bottle fly in a lavender patch in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

What's for dinner? A crab spider, camouflaged in our lavender patch, didn't catch a honey bee, a butterfly, an ant or a syrphid fly. No, it nailed a green bottle fly. We...

A crab spider dines on a green bottle fly in a lavender patch in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A crab spider dines on a green bottle fly in a lavender patch in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A crab spider dines on a green bottle fly in a lavender patch in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The crab spider is camouflaged, but its prey, a green bottle fly with its familiar metallic blue-green coloring, isn't. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The crab spider is camouflaged, but its prey, a green bottle fly with its familiar metallic blue-green coloring, isn't. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The crab spider is camouflaged, but its prey, a green bottle fly with its familiar metallic blue-green coloring, isn't. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 4:53 PM

Lovin' the Lavender

The six-acre lavender fields on the Araceli Farms, on the outskirts of Dixon, glow during the Lavender Festival. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Lovin' the lavender... If you attended the Lavender Festival last weekend at the six-acre Araceli Farms at 7389 Pitt School Road, Dixon, you were in for a real...

The six-acre lavender fields on the Araceli Farms, on the outskirts of Dixon, glow during the Lavender Festival. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The six-acre lavender fields on the Araceli Farms, on the outskirts of Dixon, glow during the Lavender Festival. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The six-acre lavender fields on the Araceli Farms, on the outskirts of Dixon, glow during the Lavender Festival. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Araceli Farms are planted with seven varieties of lavender: seven varieties of lavender: Grosso, Provence, White Spike, Royal Velvet, Violet Intrigue, Folgate, and Melissa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Araceli Farms are planted with seven varieties of lavender: seven varieties of lavender: Grosso, Provence, White Spike, Royal Velvet, Violet Intrigue, Folgate, and Melissa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The Araceli Farms are planted with seven varieties of lavender: seven varieties of lavender: Grosso, Provence, White Spike, Royal Velvet, Violet Intrigue, Folgate, and Melissa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Cordovan honey bee, the color of pure gold, takes flight through the lavender fields. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Cordovan honey bee, the color of pure gold, takes flight through the lavender fields. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Cordovan honey bee, the color of pure gold, takes flight through the lavender fields. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Clay's Bees--Clay Ford, owner of the Pleasants Valley Honey Company, Vacaville--pollinate the lavender fields. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Clay's Bees--Clay Ford, owner of the Pleasants Valley Honey Company, Vacaville--pollinate the lavender fields. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Clay's Bees--Clay Ford, owner of the Pleasants Valley Honey Company, Vacaville--pollinate the lavender fields. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum)in the lavender fields. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum)in the lavender fields. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum)in the lavender fields. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Western pondhawk (Erythemis collocate) rests on a lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Western pondhawk (Erythemis collocate) rests on a lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Western pondhawk (Erythemis collocate) rests on a lavender. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) flutters around the lavender fields of the Araceli Farms in Dixon on June 22. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) flutters around the lavender fields of the Araceli Farms in Dixon on June 22. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) flutters around the lavender fields of the Araceli Farms in Dixon on June 22. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Maria Gonzalez of Dixon cuts lavender on the Araceli Farms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Maria Gonzalez of Dixon cuts lavender on the Araceli Farms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Maria Gonzalez of Dixon cuts lavender on the Araceli Farms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the curved knife, perfect for lavender harvesting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of the curved knife, perfect for lavender harvesting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of the curved knife, perfect for lavender harvesting. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Visitors at the Lavender Festival at Araceli Farms stroll through the vendor area. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Visitors at the Lavender Festival at Araceli Farms stroll through the vendor area. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Visitors at the Lavender Festival at Araceli Farms stroll through the vendor area. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Third Graders Learn About Pollinators

Wendy Mather (left) program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program, explains the life cycle of bees to a group of third graders from Amador County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

(June 17-23 is National Pollinator Week.) "How many species of bees are there in the world?" asks Wendy Mather, program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program...

Wendy Mather (left) program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program, explains the life cycle of bees to a group of third graders from Amador County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Wendy Mather (left) program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program, explains the life cycle of bees to a group of third graders from Amador County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wendy Mather (left) program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program explains the life cycle of bees to a group of third graders from Amador County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wendy Mather (left) program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program shows the third graders how to use a bee vacuum in a catch-and-release activity.  (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Wendy Mather (left) program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program shows the third graders how to use a bee vacuum in a catch-and-release activity. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wendy Mather (left) program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program shows the third graders how to use a bee vacuum in a catch-and-release activity. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I can see the bee! There it is! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
I can see the bee! There it is! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

I can see the bee! There it is! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

What kind of butterfly is this? The answer: Monarch! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
What kind of butterfly is this? The answer: Monarch! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

What kind of butterfly is this? The answer: Monarch! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wendy Mather, program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP), tells the students she hopes to see them study entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Wendy Mather, program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP), tells the students she hopes to see them study entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Wendy Mather, program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP), tells the students she hopes to see them study entomology at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Volunteer Julia Wentzel introduced the concept of
Volunteer Julia Wentzel introduced the concept of "pollinator specialists" and engaged the students in creating a "pollinator." They then transferred "pollen" to different shaped flowers. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Volunteer Julia Wentzel introduced the concept of "pollinator specialists" and engaged the students in creating a "pollinator." They then transferred "pollen" to different shaped flowers. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Volunteer Robin Lowry, who managed the “Planting for Pollinators” and “Be a Beekeeper” station, displays a frame. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Volunteer Robin Lowry, who managed the “Planting for Pollinators” and “Be a Beekeeper” station, displays a frame. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Volunteer Robin Lowry, who managed the “Planting for Pollinators” and “Be a Beekeeper” station, displays a frame. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Students placed
Students placed "pollinators" inside flowers. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Students placed "pollinators" inside flowers. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Time to take a photo! Don't say
Time to take a photo! Don't say "cheese!" Say "honey!" (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Time to take a photo! Don't say "cheese!" Say "honey!" (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Matthew Hoepfinger, staff research associate in the E. L. Niño lab,  presented the live bee demonstration. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Matthew Hoepfinger, staff research associate in the E. L. Niño lab, presented the live bee demonstration. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Matthew Hoepfinger, staff research associate in the E. L. Niño lab, presented the live bee demonstration. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hey, I'm a bee! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Hey, I'm a bee! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hey, I'm a bee! (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A little beekeeper shapes a heart. Students took turns trying on the beekeeper protective suits. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A little beekeeper shapes a heart. Students took turns trying on the beekeeper protective suits. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A little beekeeper shapes a heart. Students took turns trying on the beekeeper protective suits. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Golden Orbweavers Ignore Biological Rules

A female Trichonephila clavipes (formerly Nephila clavipes) is a giant compared to her small male (below). The research covers a complex pattern of sexual size dimorphism in this group of spiders, family Nephilidae. (Image copyright by Chris Hamilton, University of Idaho)

Size does matter. Have you ever wondered about sexual size dimorphism in the tropical spiders, the golden orbweavers? The females are sometimes 10 times larger and 100...

A female Trichonephila clavipes (formerly Nephila clavipes) is a giant compared to her small male (below). The research covers a complex pattern of sexual size dimorphism in this group of spiders, family Nephilidae. (Image copyright by Chris Hamilton, University of Idaho)
A female Trichonephila clavipes (formerly Nephila clavipes) is a giant compared to her small male (below). The research covers a complex pattern of sexual size dimorphism in this group of spiders, family Nephilidae. (Image copyright by Chris Hamilton, University of Idaho)

A female Trichonephila clavipes (formerly Nephila clavipes) is a giant compared to her small male (below). The research covers a complex pattern of sexual size dimorphism in this group of spiders, family Nephilidae. (Image copyright by Chris Hamilton, University of Idaho)

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