Saturday, April 25, 2009



The UC Botanical Garden plant sale was yesterday and today. The pictures posted show all the lovely plants ready to be taken away to loving homes. The sale was rather mellow, fewer people than normal. I think the economic downturn has affected the plant sales.

I had three rather interesting entomological encounters. First the plant pathologist at the sick plant clinic asked for help identifying some eggs. They were enclosed between two pieced of tape. When I asked what plant they had been on, but nobody knew. What kind of eggs wouldn't be glued down? In fact, I think they were not eggs, but slow release fertilizer. The mystery eggs were not eggs at all!

Then I saw boy, maybe 8-10 years old, wearing a mantis tshirt. I told him about a mantis I had for a pet for awhile. When he asked how long it lived, I told him not long because I killed it for my insect collection. His face just fell! I wish I had lied to him! But still, I had a good time finding plants for him that would support butterflies and moths. I hope he forgives me...

Then there were these two men who saw my California Tortoiseshell picture next to the ceanothis. The torties lay their eggs in the ceanothis blossoms. One of them said, "I have never seen a tortoiseshell in Berkeley!" Of course, I had to stop him and tell him that the picture was taken right across the street from where he was standing. I told them to look for adults in the middle of march when the ceanothis starts to bloom.

Well, maybe we didn't sell a lot of plants, but we had a good time and we all learned something.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Sunday afternoon, I gave a talk for the San Francisco Rose Society. They had no projector, so I brought my own tv to show a butterfly lifecycle video and do a powerpoint presentation. It was a small audience, so my 26" screen worked out fine. It was my first powerpoint ever, and I was very nervous about that. I was also nervous about getting the laptop and tv to work together. But, luckily, there are a few techie geniuses in my family, so everything went off without a hitch. My main message (plant caterpillar food) and secondary message (don't kill the caterpillars with insecticides) seemed to go over pretty well. So well that I was asked back to speak to the Golden Gate Rose Society. Two rose societies in San Francisco? Who knew? Andy came along, of course. He is always great at finding something to say when I become tongue-tied. He also sold plants and showed people the live specimens. We had a great time and met some nice people. And I guess we will be doing it again soon.