April 15, 2013

Homework #8

Here are five observations of the most observed species in Alameda county. Even though all of these were observed in Marin County, the two are geographically similar and were easy to find.
1) Western Blue-eyed Grass--common at this time of year
2) California Poppy--also common in spring, beautiful bloom at Old St. Hilary's
3) Coast Live Oak
4) Wild oat--the grass that dominates the hillside at Old St. Hilary's
5) Coyote Brush--also a common sight on Tiburon's exposed coastal bluffs

Posted on April 15, 2013 17:34 by caj392 caj392 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 17, 2013


  1. Plant with regular flowers--Bermuda Buttercup
  2. Plant with irregular flowers--Scotch Broom
  3. Monocot--Date Palm
  4. Dicot--Ice Plant
  5. Family Fabaceae--Common Vetch
  6. Gymnosperm--Coast Redwood
  7. Terrestrial plant that is not seeded--Western Swordfern
  8. Pinnate Leaves--Coastal Woodfern
  9. Opposite Leaves--California Hazelnut
  10. Family Asteraceae--Daisy
Posted on March 17, 2013 21:38 by caj392 caj392 | 10 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 14, 2013

Spring observations

These observations are representative of spring in different ways. First, the Trillium Ovatum lily blooming demonstrates the coming of longer days and warmer temperatures. The abundance of honey bees in the spring is a result of the blooming flowers and pollination purposes they serve. Similarly, the Anna's Hummingbird is representative of the abundance of flowers and nectar in the spring. The Desert Cottontail eats grasses which are particularly plentiful in spring months. Finally, the American White Pelicans are a sign of warming temperatures and a migration from southern climes to northern ones.

Posted on March 14, 2013 05:52 by caj392 caj392 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 27, 2013

Species Interactions

For this species interaction exercise, I found a Western Fence Lizard inhabiting a Coast Live Oak (which was covered in Haircap Moss). I also found a Woodpecker (species to be identified) pecking for bugs in a Coast Live Oak. It was quite a skittish creature and thus it was difficult to get a close-up photo. Finally, I observed a hummingbird going for the nectar of a purple tubular flower (perhaps foxglove). Although the image is grainy, you can just make out the hummingbird in between the two flower stalks.

Posted on February 27, 2013 18:29 by caj392 caj392 | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 23, 2013

Species Hunt

This is a millipede that I had yet to observe. I found a rotting log, flipped it open, and found this one curled up. I also saw a flowering California Blackberry which has been observed in our class.

Posted on February 23, 2013 21:18 by caj392 caj392 | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 20, 2013

Moist Evergreen Forest

The area in which the following observations were made is borderline between a Redwood Forest and a Moist Evergreen Forest. However, I think the observations are representative of a wet forest environment.
Coast Redwood--the leaves of the Coast Redwood are not adapted for a dry environment, rather they are long and broad to absorb water in a foggy, moist climate.
Western Tent Caterpillar--this caterpillar is a bit more difficult to explain as being representative of a moist evergreen forest. However, it does rely on trees as its natural habitat.
Artist's Bracket--This fungus relies on moist wood in order to grow. Thus, it is a prime example of an organism which thrives on year-round moisture.
Lady Fern--ferns tend to do well in moist environments, and the Lady Fern's leaflets cover quite a large area to absorb moisture.
Scarlet Waxy Cap--this is a surreal looking mushroom, being almost neon red. It seems to be feeding on the damp soil underneath the carpet of redwood leaves.

Posted on February 20, 2013 04:20 by caj392 caj392 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment


Here are five observations that I think are a good representation of a chaparral environment. This one is located on the Tiburon Peninsula.
Coyote Brush--this plant is ubiquitous in chaparral areas in the Bay Area. It has small leaves, presumably to save the plant water in its dry environment.
Western Fence Lizard--lizards, being ectotherms, need warm, sunny places to regulate their body temperatures. This chaparral environment has few large trees, ideal for minimizing shade and maximizing sun basking opportunities.
Genus Dudleya, Powdery Liveforever--this is a very interesting plant, one I would expect to find in the desert rather than a chaparral environment. Its thick, succulent leaves are ideal for retaining water on dry, rocky perches.
Coyote Mint--this plant has a thick, succulent stem, an adaptation ideal for a dry, rocky environment.
Caloplaca Ignea (Red Fire Ant Lichen)--this lichen likes exposed rocks, and the tree-less, serpentine studded chaparral environment is perfectly suited for its abundant growth.

Posted on February 20, 2013 04:13 by caj392 caj392 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 13, 2013

Tree of Life Exercise

This was a rather difficult exercise. Even on a long hike, it was challenging to find five iconic taxa and get close enough to take a decent picture.
1) The California Poppy is a great example of a plant, the California State flower no less.
2) The Turkey Vulture is an example of a bird. They are quite prevalent around the Bay Area and I saw many on the hike.
3) The Painted Lady butterfly is a great example of an insect. It looks like a monarch but has distinct white spots on the tip of the wing and lacks "blackish margins."
4) The yellow mushroom is a fungus of course. It was almost a neon yellow, and I am still trying to ID it accurately.
5) The grainy picture of the Mule Deer is an example of a mammal. It was captured at dusk, with two other deer hiding behind the bushes.

Posted on February 13, 2013 04:23 by caj392 caj392 | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 12, 2013

Phenology Exercise

The Willows pictures seem to be a nice demonstration of flowering phenology. While one picture shows bare branches with small buds appearing, the other shows characteristic yellow flowers. The two images are a good juxtaposition of an identical plant at different flowering stages.
One image of the Coyote Brush is representative of the dormant version of the species. It is bare and completely without leaves. It is possible the picture is of a dead Coyote Brush, however, there seems to be a cycle the plant undergoes as many of the Coyote Brushes I observed had varying foliage patterns. The second image demonstrates a Coyote Brush with light leaf coverage, appearing to emerge from its dormancy.

Posted on February 12, 2013 04:28 by caj392 caj392 | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment