Striped Ladybug

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Yesterday Leonard and I walked the Wildflower Trail at Ash Creek Wildlife Area near Lookout CA (Modoc County). Our spring is very late this year, so wildflowers were not blooming in profusion. But aggregations of striped ladybugs (Paranaemia vittigera) were … Continue reading

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Deer and Antelope Play

Mule Deer and Pronghorn

Leonard and I really do live “where the deer and the antelope play”. These “antelope” of musical fame are actually pronghorn (Antilocapra americanna), not antelope, as they are commonly called. But we all incorrectly call them antelope.

At the Ash Creek Wildlife Refuge across the road from our house, mule deerĀ  (Modoc County CA) inhabit the rocky slopes of Pilot Butte throughout the year. In the spring, pronghorn, mostly females, join the mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) on Pilot Butte. They will drop their fawns in about a month.

The pronghorn and mule deer readily mingle and appear to get along without conflict. Leonard and I enjoy seeing these mammals associate. The words to the “Home on the Range” chorus always seem to run through my mind when watching them.

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Desert Sage

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Most people have heard of purple sage. Even as a native Pennsylvanian, I read Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage in my youth. However, when I first encountered Salvia dorrii, it was introduced to me as desert sage. I … Continue reading

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Beach Knotweed

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Beach knotweed (Polygonum paronychia) is a native perennial found at low elevations amid the coastal dunes and sandy beaches along the Pacific coastline. These specimens were growing at Crissy Field State Recreation Site near Brookings OR in late October. The … Continue reading

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Northern Shoveler

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I am calling 2019 “The Year of the Shoveler”. No matter where Leonard and I have observed waterfowl this year, northern shovelers (Spatula clypeata) seem be present in larger numbers than we ever remember seeing before. These shovelers were photographed … Continue reading

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Savannah Sparrow

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I always believed that the Savannah sparrow’s (Passerculus sandwichensis) common name referred to its preferred habitat; open areas, usually with short grass. To my surprise, Alexander Wilson (1766 – 1813), a Scottish-American ornithologist, named the bird after a specimen he … Continue reading

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Least Sandpiper

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The smallest of the Caladrine sandpipers (genus Caladris) are called “peeps” or “stints”. The least sandpiper (Caladris minutilla) is the smallest of the “peeps”. (The other two common “peeps” are the western and semipalmated sandpipers.) Identification of the Caladrine sandpipers … Continue reading

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