Wayne's Trivia Notes #17
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Wayne's Trivia Note #438 (12 April 2017)

In my extensive checklist of wildflowers & weeds in the hills north of Palomar College (1970-2003) I never recorded this unusual European wildflower. This spring it is blooming in profusion on the north side of Owens Peak. BTW, the Northern Harriers are back and doing some spectacular flying maneuvers!

Wayne's Trivia Note #439 (13 April 2017)

Click On Above Newsletter Masthead To See Arboretum Newsletter #11 PDF File

Latest Palomar College Arboretum Newsletter #11 (April 2017): Our campus is now recognized as an official arboretum. It takes a few seconds for this large PDF file to load. Please click on above masthead to open newsletter.

Wayne's Trivia Note #440 (15 April 2017)

A very camouflaged rattlesnake in the Merriam and San Marcos Mtns north of Owens Peak. A good reason for wearing snake leggings if you frequently walk off trails through dense brush.

Wayne's Trivia Note #441 (20 April 2017)

Interesting Brodiaea: It is listed under B. jolonensis in Jepson Manual (2012) as possible "undescribed taxon." It appears different from B. jolonensis in Monterey County (Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base). Is this a new taxon in the process of evolving? See Does Brodiaea jolonensis Occur in San Diego County?

Wayne's Trivia Note #442 (26 April 2017)

Wayne's Word Weird Trivia Note #1. Intruiged by body lice: Did you know that pubic lice are more closely related to gorilla lice than human head lice? See fascinating article "Apes, Lice and Prehistory" by Robin A. Weiss (2009).

Wayne's Trivia Note #443 (3 May 2017)

This native southwestern ant appears to be holding its own against massive army of Argentine ants in my yard. The specific epithet "insanus" refers to its confusing taxonomic history and not any aberrant behavior.

Wayne's Trivia Note #444 (4 May 2017)

A case for Sony mini-cameras. This tiny fly in my kitchen is the size of a mosquito with a long, rigid proboscis and short antennae typical of bee flies (Bombyliidae). Its flight is erratic with short up and down movements. It was identified by Dr. Neal Evenhuis of the Bishop Museum, Hawaii.

Wayne's Trivia Note #445 (17 May 2017)

Ever try to pick up dry, loose sand with tweezers without spilling the sand grains? Desert harvester ants have a neat adaptation: A basket of hairs to catch the loose grains!

Wayne's Trivia Note #446 (20 May 2017)

20 May 2017: Today a longtail weasel was outside my back door. It occurred to me that a surprising number of animals are visitors or residents at my home in Twin Oaks Valley! Did my rabbit feeding result in this food web?

Wayne's Trivia Note #447 (21 May 2017)

As the last flowers of spring fade away, the summer fire season begins. Introduced annual grasses are especially tall & dense this year.

Wayne's Trivia Note #448 (23 May 2017)

Canchalagua (Centarium venustum) of the gentian family: This has been an amazing spring for wildflowers on Owens Peak north of Palomar College. Note the unusual spirally twisted anthers.

Wayne's Trivia Note #449 (29 May 2017)

Memorial Day 2017: In memory of my father Paul Armstrong, U.S. Navy Seabee during World War II. He went ashore with U.S. Marines in the South Pacific and wore this helmet.

Wayne's Trivia Note #450 (30 May 2017)

Cleaning out my tropical seed collection: If they are still viable we will try these beautiful trees in the Palomar College Arboretum. Horticulturist extraordinare Tony Rangel has germinated seeds I collected 30 years ago in tropical countries. A & B Coral trees: Erythrina variegata & E. perrieri; C: Ormosia dasycarpa; D & E: 2 more bead trees Adenanthera pavonina & A. bicolor. See Botanical Jewelry From Seeds

Wayne's Trivia Note #451 (31 May 2017)

I just found another ant species in my traps on Owens Peak. I am reasonably certain it is a large-eyed, nocturnal species of honeypot ant (Myrmecocystus testaceus). This makes a grand total of 16 species. This is one of my most exciting events of 2017 so far!