Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Monarchs Overwintering

I was up on Albany Hill today looking for Monarchs. Many were clustering on the west side of the hill, but they are hard to find. They are so camouflaged when they are hanging in the trees. They look just like dead leaves. I was looking for clusters, and others were counting. Over 1,000 altogether. After we were done, I took this pic of one sunning. 

Monarchs are also overwintering in Berkeley in Aquatic Park. First time ever! Or maybe: first time in recorded history! Those are easier to get to. Lots of people are going to view them since this article in Berkeleyside.

I wonder how long they will stay there. They could move on to another location. Or maybe the clump will get bigger and they will stay all winter. Time will tell. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Nailed It!!

Yesterday was the nuptial flight of the termites. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


These pics are from 2009. Oh my goodness, have I been blogging that long? Crazy!

Anyway, I am predicting that today will be the nuptial fight of the termites. They come out of the ground, fly off, find someone special, and mate. Then the males die. They are only good for sex. ;-)  The females lose their wings and start a new colony in some yummy wood in the ground. Like buried two-by-fours or dead roots.

Anyway, the nuptial flight is usually on the first sunny day after the first fall rain. That would be today. So keep your eyes open for swarms of long-winged insects on the ground and in the air. It can be quite a spectacle.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Season Still Going Strong

I just released this Gulf Fritillary yesterday. I still have another caterpillar in the kitchen. Plus Monarchs and Anise Swallowtails. The season just doesn't seem to quit!

I led my last butterfly walk of the year on Tuesday at the UC Botanical Garden. Such fun! It was cloudy, so very few adults. But I took immatures for people to look at. And I told some host plant stories. Plus a horticuturalist found a Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillar for us to have a look at. Two small children came along, both very enthusiastic about bugs. It was a lovely day. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Gulf Fritillaries

Two gulf fritillaries mating. And a third trying to get in on the action.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Ladybug Pupae

 I rarely see even one. But this cheeseweed behind Elmwood Cafe has many ladybug pupae.  Three on one leaf!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Just Published!

 Book to help kids 5-12 years old dicover nature. Fun for teens and adults, too!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Next Event

I'll be at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show in March.

I am planning to do papercrafts with kids, display live specimens and show a movie. I'll be busy! Hope you can attend!

Photo is a Gulf Fritillary on passion vine.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pollinator Posse at the Hayward Public Library.

The Hayward Library invited Tora to give a talk. It was yesterday afternoon. She invited several people along with their displays. Below, two girls are observing Andy's butterfly displays.
About forty people came to hear Tora talk about the Pollinator Posse. Mostly it was kids and parents, but adults without kids attended also.
Erica and Dani had wonderful displays of huge insects and arthropods. They had millipedes, walking sticks, trantulas, etc.

The Hayward Public Library has a seed exchange. I didn't know libraries did that sort of thing.