Wayne's Trivia Notes #8
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Wayne's Trivia Note #270 (21 May 2015)

Garmin Etrex & iPhone side-by-side: Latitude & longitude coordinates are close; however, some of the iPhone GPS apps (e.g. Free GPS) I tried for finding specific locations (waypoints) were off by 30 ft (10 m). In areas without roads you could find your car or campsite, but locating an ant nest or small plant would be more difficult. Emprum GPS Accessory plugs into iPhone & connects directly to satellites.

Wayne's Trivia Note #271 (23 May 2015)

The recent rains of May 2015 brought out this lovely mariposa lily on Owens Peak.

Wayne's Trivia Note #272 (27 May 2015)

I thought these tiny, camouflaged praying mantids were uncommon desert dwellers; however, I have encountered quite a few on my walks to Owens Peak! See Preying Mantid Family

Wayne's Trivia Note #273 (29 May 2015)

There are numerous tiny predators lurking on Owens Peak. Hopefully, this remarkable hill within a sea of urban sprawl will remain undeveloped. See Camel Spider: A Giant Solpugid Of The Middle East!

Wayne's Trivia Note #274 (1 June 2015)

Some of the many buttons I collected during my long teaching career!

Wayne's Trivia Note #275 (1 June 2015)

Another tiny predator on Owens Peak: A ground spider in the family Gnaphosidae. For their diminutive size, these black spiders can run with remarkable speed. This one posed quietly next to my penny before I let him go. Several species of ground spiders are common in my house in Twin Oaks Valley.

Wayne's Trivia Note #276 (3 June 2015)

My backyard rabbits weren't slightly intimidated by the owl decoy. In fact, shortly after I took this photo a scrub jay flew up and took the bread away from the rabbit!

Wayne's Trivia Note #277 (5 June 2015)

I finally identified this common spider in my house. With a specific epithet like "ecclesiasticus" I thought I should be nice to it. Its name is derived from the white design on its abdomen that supposedly resembles a cravat--a necktie worn by the clergy in the 18th century.

Wayne's Trivia Note #278 (7 June 2015)

Owens Peak: A convenient & interesting place to walk amidst a sea of urban sprawl. Identifying wild creatures is challenging and uplifting to me, especially considering that I dearly want to be somewhere else. See Owens Peak Trivia Notes

Wayne's Trivia Note #279 (7 June 2015)

Another unusual spider on Owens Peak. Larger predators might mistake this little spider for a red velvet ant and be reluctant to grap it. The problem here is that it is not a very good mimic, at least in my opinion. Is This An Example of Imperfect Mimicry?   Another Ant Mimic Spider From Twin Oaks Valley

Wayne's Trivia Note #280 (9 June 2015)

Yesterday a beautiful Cooper's Hawk landed in my backyard in Twin Oaks Valley. I actually took this image 43 years ago! One of my dear students from Pakistan was a falconer.

Wayne's Trivia Note #281 (11 June 2015)

The end of the dinosaur era 65 million years ago is recorded in an ancient layer of charcoal in the badlands of eastern Montana. It was formed by an enormous asteroid collision that forever changed the direction of evolution of life on earth! Makoshika State Park Near Glendive, Montana

Wayne's Trivia Note #282 (14 June 2015)

Of all the topics I have gotten into during my career, my favorite will always and forever be Wolffia--the world's smallest flowering plants. See The World's Smallest Flowering Plants

Wayne's Trivia Note #283 (16 June 2015)

Improved elimination and handy TV tray! Squatty Potty Website

Wayne's Trivia Note #284 (18 June 2015)

It's Brodiaea santarosae blooming time again. I coauthored this species with Tom Chester and Kay Madore in Madrono (2007). See Fremontia Article

Wayne's Trivia Note #285 (21 June 2015)

Mural on the outside wall of Makoshika Dinosaur Museum in downtown Glendive, Montana. About 70 million years ago, this part of Montana was a vast subtropical swampland with a lush forest that supported numerous dinosaurs, including T-Rex. This town also has long coal trains and a Creation Museum for those who believe that humans coexisted with dinosaurs. Glendive Road Trip

Wayne's Trivia Note #286 (24 June 2015)

After the movie Jurassic World, I had a fierce raptor in my backyard!

Wayne's Trivia Note #287 (27 June 2015)

T-Rex blood cells & DNA were extracted from the body of a blood-sucking insect trapped in amber. This is the basis for Jurassic Park. The movie depicted Dominican Republic amber from an extinct species of Hymenaea. Modern-day West Indian locust (H. courbaril) also produces sticky resin and hardened globs of copal which are often sold as amber. See West Indian Locust

Wayne's Trivia Note #288 (1 July 2015)

Last night's view from my home in Twin Oaks Valley looking west just before dark. It reminded me of the northern lights.

Wayne's Trivia Note #289 (2 July 2015)

Hopefully, the money I save on San Marcos water bills will pay for this large quartzite boulder and boring drought-resistant lantanas. There are serious water shortages in southern Calif. and meanwhile the city of San Marcos is planning more housing developments!

Wayne's Trivia Note #290 (2 July 2015)

To all Jurassic Park lovers: This Jurassic coprolite came from the Morrison Formation of eastern Utah. It is one of my favorite possessions to commemorate one of my favorite movies!

Wayne's Trivia Note #291 (7 July 2015)

Northern Harriers on Owens Peak. Yesterday (6 July 2015) there were four of them. They seemed playful, flying straight up and then diving rapidy. I would lose sight of them and then suddenly look up and one was hovering above me! BTW, the British Harrier Jet was named after a harrier species.

Wayne's Trivia Note #292 (8 July 2015)

Carpenter ant major worker found by Antman Jack during wedding trip of Corey & Stephanie in Maryland. This is a large ant about 12mm long. More Carpenter Ants On Wayne's Word

Wayne's Trivia Note #294 (9 July 2015)

Pavement Ant (Tetramorium caespitum): Another new ant for Mr. Wolffia found by Jack The Ant Man in Elkton, Maryland at Stephanie & Corey's Wedding.

Wayne's Trivia Note #294 (10 July 2015)

The little queen pavement ant from Elkton, Maryland now resides at my Uncle Milton Ant Farm in San Marcos. If she had a mate back in Elkton, maybe she will lay eggs and start a new colony!

Wayne's Trivia Note #295 (12 July 2015)

Slightly noisy high speed image of Northern Harrier soaring over summit of Owens Peak.

Wayne's Trivia Note #296 (14 July 2015)

Antlion: An ant's worst nightmare! Imagine being pulled into the sand by this creature. A similar large scale model called "Ceti eel" was placed in Chekov's ear in the Star Trek II film, "The Wrath of Khan." Other scifi movies also had terrifying creatures that lurked beneath the sand to grab hapless passers-by. See Wayne's Antlion Article   YouTube Video

Wayne's Trivia Note #297 (15 July 2015)

Sparrow Hawk (American Kestrel), another raptor that commonly hovers over Owens Peak. It is held by a falconer student at Palomar College: Image scanned from color slide I took 44 years ago. BTW, in spite of severe water shortage & usage restrictions, San Marcos has planned yet another housing development northwest of Owens Peak. More about this later and my desire to leave this area forever!

Wayne's Trivia Note #298 (18 July 2015)

Lightning bolt, thunder & rain over drought-stricken Twin Oaks Valley this morning. Turned off my Hunter Controller (time clock) to conserve water so San Marcos can build more housing developments! Do I seem like a disgruntled resident? The answer is YES!

Wayne's Trivia Note #299 (18 July 2015)

With classic botany terminology that I taught in my Plant ID class at Palomar College, I just "keyed out" a complex & bizarre flower from India using the Flora of China. This would have been a perfect unknown for the final exam!

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