It was, though.
And it will be again when it's rebuilt.
The raging inferno known as "Camp Fire" that started Nov. 8 on Camp Creek Road, near Pulga, Butte County, California, ranks as the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state's history.
As of today: 48 fatalities, 130,000 acres burned, and at least 8,817 structures destroyed, including almost all of what was the city of Paradise.
“Ninety-five percent of the town is gone,” Paradise council member Michael Zuccolillo told the San Francisco Chronicle in a news story published Nov. 10. “The remaining 5 percent of buildings are barely standing. I felt like I was living in a bad dream. It was unrecognizable. I had to keep asking, ‘Where are we?' All the landmarks are gone. Block by block, nothing. Anybody who had a house in Paradise probably doesn't anymore.”
"Anybody who had a house in Paradise probably doesn't anymore.”
On the UC Davis front, a couple with ties to the Bohart Museum of Entomology lost their home.
Entomologist Brennen Dyer, a specialist at the Bohart Museum, and his wife, Carol, are reeling from the tragedy. Carol barely escaped with her life.
Dyer, who grew up in Paradise and earned a bachelor of science degree in entomology from UC Davis last spring, related that he and Carol had been renting a house there while he was attending college--first at Butte Community College, and then at UC Davis. "I was a tutor at my community college," he said, "and became one again for Lynn's entomology lab." That would be Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and UC Davis professor of entomology.
It was Professor Kimsey who encouraged him to set up a gofundme page.
"Brennen and his wife Carol, lost their home in Paradise in the Camp Fire on Friday," Kimsey related. "I encouraged him to start a gofundme page to raise funds to pay for housing. Even though he's renting a room in an apartment in Davis, it's not enough room for both of them (she lived and worked in Paradise). Carol only managed to save some clothes before escaping the fire. They have no money saved due in part to student loans and will need several thousand dollars for first and last month's rent and security deposit for an apartment in Woodland."
"Also, the donation jar at the Bohart Museum (located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane) will go to them and any profits from the gift shop, so come and shop," said Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator. "This starts now and will go through Sunday during our open house on Urban Entomology from 1 to 4 p.m."
On the gofundme page, Brennen wrote: "It's hard for Carol and I to ask for help, but we have to. We lost our home in Paradise to the Camp Fire. Carol barely escaped with her life. My childhood home, along with the rest of my hometown, is gone. The only way forward for us is to rebuild our lives. I'm trying to find a house or duplex for rent near Davis. I only recently graduated from UC Davis and we have no savings so we can't afford to secure a new lease. We need $3000-5000 for deposit and first month's rent. I think we can get by under our own power after we have housing, but securing a place is the top priority."
The gofundme address is: https://www.gofundme.com/bandcparadisecampfire
We can do this!
"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."--Rabindranath Tagore
When we think of orange and autumn, we think of the marriage of the Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae), and the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia).
The silver-spangled Gulf Fritillary, a showy orange butterfly, looks like two different species. When it spreads its wings, it's orange. The underwings: silver.
"Dazzling," agrees butterfly guru Art Shapiro, UC Davis distinguished professor of evolution and ecology.
"This dazzling bit of the New World Tropics was introduced into southern California in the 19th Century --we don't know how-- and was first recorded in the Bay Area before 1908, though it seems to have become established there only in the 1950s," he says on his website.
"It can be quite common in the East and South Bay --particularly in Berkeley--and has been found breeding spontaneously as far inland as Fairfield where, however, it is not established. There are scattered records in the Central Valley and even up to Folsom, perhaps resulting from people breeding the species for amusement or to release at social occasions."
The Gulf Frit bred in Sacramento in abundance on Passiflora in the early 1960s, Shapiro relates. "It seems to have died out by the early 1970s, however. Intolerant of hard freezes, it still managed to survive the record cold snap of 1990 that largely exterminated the Buckeye regionally!"
Its host plant: Passiflora or passionflower vine. Plant it and they will come (at least in this area)!
"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."--Nathaniel Hawthorne
Mark your calendars!
The next open house at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus, is set for 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 18. It's free and family friendly.
"The focus is urban entomology," said director Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology. "We'll have out examples of all the wonderful household pests/friends and garden pests, along with the kinds of things they inspect restaurants for."
Think of such beneficial insects in the garden as lady beetles (lady bugs) and praying mantids, and such pests as cockroaches and booklice in homes and restaurants.
What are booklice? These nearly microscopic insects, Liposcelis bostrychophila, or "psocids" (pronounced "so kids"), are common pests in stored grains. They're usually unseen because they're about a millimeter long--about the size of a speck of dust--and are transparent to light brown in color.
At the open house, look for scores of displays dealing with urban entomology. The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) will take part. A family arts and crafts activity is also planned.
The Bohart Museum, home of nearly eight million insect specimens, is the seventh largest insect collection in North America and houses the California Insect Survey, a storehouse of insect biodiversity.
In addition, the Bohart features a live "petting zoo," comprised of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks, tarantulas and praying mantids; and a year-around gift shop, which is stocked with T-shirts, sweatshirts, books, jewelry, posters, insect-collecting equipment and insect-themed candy.
Public weekend hours for the academic year 2018-2019 are:
- Sunday, Nov. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m.: "Bring It Home: Urban Entomology"
- Saturday, Jan. 12, from 1 to 4 p.m.: "Time's Fun When You're Studying Flies"
- Saturday, Feb. 16, times vary: (campuswide) Biodiversity Museum Day
- Saturday, March 9, 1 to 4 p.m., "Eight-Legged Wonders"
- Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., (campuswide) UC Davis Picnic Da
The Bohart Museum's regular hours are from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. It is closed to the public on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and on major holidays. Admission is free. More information on the Bohart Museum is available on the website or by contacting (530) 752-0493 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Henrietta, our Stagmomantis limbata praying mantis, perches on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia).
She is as patient as she is persistent.
The drone fly, aka syrphid and also known as a hover fly or flower fly, makes the fatal mistake of touching down on the same blossom.
Henrietta eyes it hungrily. Faster than a blink of the eye, she snares it, clutching it between her spiked forelegs.
"Well, of course, I like drone flies," she appears to be saying, between mouthfuls. "Thank you for asking."
Praying mantids are not known for their table manners. It's grab, hold and eat.
The cycle of life in the garden.
Talk about the unexpected.
“Look!” says Jim.
He pauses by the kitchen counter.
"Over there!” he says, pointing. I don't see anything except the half-filled coffee pot.
Then I see it. "There," as in “over there,” is a praying mantis clinging to the wall and staring at us. It is like finding a grizzly bear in Kenya. (Yes, there is a grizzly bear in Kenya, on a private reserve, the Ol Jogi wildlife conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya)
Praying mantis expert Lohit Garikipati, entomology student at the University of California, Davis and an associate at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, identified our kitchen guest as a Stagmomantis limbata, a bordered mantis native to North America. “Looks like she wanted to come in for some free food!” Lohit quipped.
That's how we acquired Henrietta (which means home ruler) . Apparently she hitched a ride on the back of Jim's jacket as he was removing a patch of Mexican sunflowers. She opted to depart her "ride" in our kitchen.
By the half-filled coffee pot. Praying mantids don't do coffee.
We placed Henrietta in an aquarium, screened at the top, and kept her for a week, feeding her drone flies and crickets. We provided her with an upright stick just in case she wanted to deposit an egg case, an ootheca.
Several days later an ootheca, about an inch long, appeared in the aquarium. Not on the stick—she chose to deposit it on the floor.
What does an ootheca look like under a powerful microscope? Amazing. Lynn Epstein, UC Davis emeritus professor of plant pathology, photographed it with a Leica DVM6 microscope owned by the Department of Pathology and the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (see below).