- Author: Scott Oneto
- Author: Rebecca Miller-Cripps
In recent weeks, Master Gardener hotlines and UC Cooperative Extension offices in the Central Sierra foothills have been bombarded with the question, “What is this bug? They're all over my strawberries!” Samples have arrived in jars and bags, with the sample insects in “living and breathing” condition and also in a decidedly “squished” state.
The identification of all these various insects is the same. It is the bordered plant bug (Largus succinctus or Largus sp.) The adult is pretty easy to identify, but the immature nymphs can sometimes be a bit more difficult, as they don’t look anything like the adults. The nymphs (immature stage) lack fully developed wings. Their color...
- Author: Anne Lombardo
Why shouldn’t the chicken cross the road? Because statistics show it is very likely she will be run over! According to the Humane Society of the United States, over a million animals die on our roads every day.
Wildlife statistics gathered by the California Roadkill Observation System created by the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis have recorded almost 22,000 animal deaths on California roads in the last four years. Roads are an additional danger beyond those that Mother Nature already has in store for the wildlife of our state and it is one we bear the responsibility for. The loss of each animal affects its population numbers, it reproductive capacity and any...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
|Walter Clevenger, left, checks the feathers of a robin.
California Naturalist Jen Cubias records data.
Before dawn at UC’s Sagehen Creek Field Station north of Truckee, wildlife biologist Walter Clevenger sets up almost invisible nets to capture birds rising from their roosts.
After measuring their wings and gently blowing aside the...
- Author: Aubrey White
The origins of interest in biochar, a charcoal-based soil amendment, are almost mythic in nature. In the Amazon Basin, a rainforest region with typically infertile soils, segments of soil have been discovered to be almost black in color and rich in nutrients. The soil’s color is derived from its high organic matter content, believed to originate from historical charcoal applications added to the soil some 2,500 years ago, either intentionally or as a waste product from cooking.
Recently, there has been a growing interest in whether the fertility of these “amazon dark earth soils” can be replicated in modern farming practices, and a new UC Davis database helps users and researchers better understand that...
- Author: Andrew Sutherland
Many gardeners are adding fountains, ponds, and other water features to their landscapes. Water gardens are beautiful and calming, but, if not managed properly, can add an unpleasant element to the landscape—mosquitoes. How can you help prevent mosquito infestations?
Mosquitoes can be managed using an integrated approach that relies mostly on prevention, using biological and chemical controls when necessary. The key strategy is to eliminate all potential breeding sites; even one ounce of standing water can support a population of larvae. What can be done, however, when an outdoor space contains a water element? Here are a few tips.
Water features in...