There is a wonderful gem of a wildflower that sprinkles certain hillsides with the three colors of white, lavender, and blue. The Bird's-eye Gilia (Gilia tricolor) is a leafy annual that blooms robustly during early spring in open grasslands and hillsides of the Coast Ranges, foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, and the Central Valley.
The five white petals are tip-fringed with lavender, but the yellow-throat is often hidden by the blue pollen-covered stamens. This native species is a great wildflower for collecting, pressing, and drying as the colors do not fade.
Bird's-eye Gilia is a very common wildflower currently in bloom at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center.
For those of you following the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center's BLOG posts you know that the exciting construction of the "Rod Shippey Education and Field Lab" facility is underway. When the doors open this fall to this unique and state-of-the-art "outreach" facility we envision a long future of natural resource and ag-related interpretive displays to entertain and educate the visiting public.
Currently open until this upcoming Friday, is a search for a Student Assistant Intern who will work under the direction of the HREC director to design and create educational display materials for the new building facility. The requisition number for the search is #20120159 through: jobs.ucop.edu/applicants/ Pay is slightly over $10 per hour.
The focus will be to effectively interpret biodiversity, land and water resources, and best management practices for riparian, oak woodland, and wetland habitats in the Coast Range of Northern California, based upon 60+ years of research at HREC. The intern will develop educational materials that will assist visitors, and the public at large, to comprehend the resource values, threats, and solutions.
So, if you know any college student who might be interested in such an internship position this summer, please inform them ASAP as the application deadline is this Friday.
Fairy longhorn moths, in the family Adelidae, compose a family of monotrysian moths (monotrysia ==> female has a single genital opening for mating and laying eggs ... in contrast with most other Lepidoptera) within the Order Lepidoptera. These moths are widespread across the world, especially across North America and Eurasia. They are considered rather primitive "micromoths"... and all of the species are rather small in size, with wingspans ranging from 4 to 28 millimeters. The males of many of the species have especially long antennae, sometimes 1 to 3 times as long as the forewing.
The Three-stripe Longhorn Moth (Adela trigrapha) is a common, but easily overlooked, diurnal (daytime active) moth that can be found in the grassy-forb, meadow, areas in the oak woodlands of Mendocino County. They are common right now at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center. The three-stripe longhorn is one of two Adela species having three white bands on the forewing ... the other being the Adela eldorado species. These fairy longhorn moths feed in sunshine on nectar from a variety of wildflowers.
The UC Hopland Research & Extension Center certainly must be one of the few large property ownerships in Mendocino County that is relatively free of Yellow Star Thistle. This noxious weed species is the worst noxious weed pest in California if one looks at the annual biomass production.
HREC has been almost free of this pest for decades due to persistent and diligent control of this species .... however there are still problem spots, especially along the borders of the Center. If you have followed the past BLOG posts, you might recall that we placed a special effort on applying herbicide via helicopter to some of these remote "problem spot" locations. However, on-the-ground follow-through treatments are necessary in order to gain 100% control in these locations.
Here you see Steven Poor, HREC's Principal Agricultural Technician, applying Milestone herbicide to one of these problematic locations in an area that has not been grazed by livestock in over 50 years.
The Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus used to be C.viridis) is the only indigenous rattlesnake species in the Northwest and North Coast regions. However, even though a single species, there are several subspecies and appearances can be quite variable. The local "Northern Pacific Western Rattlesnake" (C.o. oreganus), is the subspecies found here at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center.
This is the only venomous snake found in the Northwest and North Coast regions ... and all subspecies have relatively short, thick tails with distinctive rattles that the snake can "buzz" when alarmed. Newborn rattlesnakes, about 6 inches in length, only have a single "button" rattle and are silent even when they try to "buzz" their tail.
All have a distinctive tail color pattern of encircling rings of light and dark ... with the more mature specimens having tails that resemble rings of black and white. This tail pattern can look similar to the pattern on the harmless Common Kingsnake. So, if such a snake tail catches your eye ...remember, "IF BLACK AND WHITE IT MIGHT BITE".
These snakes are becoming more active with the warmer weather, and have been commonly found near den sites within the last week here at HREC.