Journal archives for August 2020

August 11, 2020


In normal years by August some rain has fallen in the area and the summer ephemerals and summer-flowering grasses and shrubs have awakened to the monsoon. These are not normal times. This may portend a new normal; what that new normal will be only time can tell. I will not live to see it, for it will take some time for stability to return.

So beyond a single mid-July shower of 0.05" the local skies have been clear, and the dew point recently has been in the thirties and forties rather than the 55+ of a normal monsoon.

Nonetheless I paid a visit to Rackensack Canyon today knowing that the chance of seeing flowers was nearly nil. Beyond one flowering tamarisk surrounded by a cloud of pollinators, a handful of Maurandya antirrhiniflora flowers and some Euphorbia melanadenia cyathia the area was flower-free.

But the target of my hunt was the rich gall-producing fauna in Rackensack Canyon. A few new (to me) Quercus turbinella galls revealed themselves. Oddly, the Atrusca capronae galls that were abundant in their thousands last summer in the canyon were nearly absent. I saw only two today. But the novel ones made the trip worthwhile. I also hope that I've gotten some better photos of some interesting leaf galls of Celtis reticulata that @megachile found of interest. The sharp projection noted there do appear to be found only on the abaxial surface, but intermixed with galls lacking the projection. Could the projections be remnant exuviae?

Posted on August 11, 2020 05:15 AM by stevejones stevejones | 37 observations | 4 comments | Leave a comment