Posts Tagged: UC Davis Arboretum
Sponsored by the UC Davis Arboretum, the free event drew a plethora of butterfly enthusiasts of all ages, plus several canines.
Well, the state insect is the California dogface butterfly! That one, however, isn't found in the Arboretum.
Daubert, a molecular scientist in the UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology, knows his butterflies. He also writes short stories, illustrated with his own photographs. He blogs at threadsintheweb.com.
At the butterfly talk and tour, Daubert discussed the flowers that sustain our native butterflies and the plants that support them.
Daubert encouraged "shout outs" so others would know of the presence of butterflies. The group sighted cabbage white butterflies, alfalfa butterflies and a gray hairstreak. (And a lady beetle, aka ladybug, and aphids.)
Daubert pointed out the milkweed (Monarch's host plant), pipevine (Pipevine Swallowtail's host plant) and scores of other plants that butterflies visit.
Someone found a caterpillar, which Daubert held up for all to see. He identified it as the moth of a caterpillar, an Arctiid.
Elaine Fingerett, academic coordinator, UC Davis Arboretum, said the Arboretum may sponsor another butterfly walk and tour with Steve Daubert in the spring. Stay tuned!
Although the tour participants spotted no Monarchs that morning (it was a little overcast and cool), Steve Daubert did. Following the tour, he saw a "Monarch fly through the Mesozoic Redwood Grove, moving due southwest."
Steve Daubert checks out the caterpillar of a moth, an Arctiid. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Tour guide Steve Daubert (center, in black t-shirt) talks butterflies. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Tour group, partially shown here, proved very attentive. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
You'll want to join the Butterfly Ecology Talk and Tour presented by naturalist Steve Daubert.
Daubert, a molecular scientist in the UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology, not only writes scientific technical text, but he also writes short stories, illustrated with his own photographs. He blogs at threadsintheweb.com.
The free butterfly tour around campus, sponsored by the UC Arboretum, is set for 11 a.m. to 12:30. He'll discuss the "flowers that sustain our native butterflies and the plants that support these larval stages," according to Arboretum officials.
The participants will meet on the Wyatt Deck at the Arboretum. All ages are welcome. No reservations are required. (See maps)
"I would hope we see at least tiger and pipevine swallowtails, field and duskywing skippers, gray hairstreak, alfalfa sulfur and cabbage white--and when anything else floats by, we will be ready," Daubert told us.
Daubert recently published a 200-page book, The Shark and the Jellyfish: More Stories in Natural History, which a critic says "presents 26 gripping new stories in a sequel to his acclaimed earlier natural history anthology," Threads from the Web of Life: Stories in Natural History.
Daubert "teaches by drawing you into the drama, excitement and beauty of nature," commented Don Glass, host of the National Public Radio-syndicated program, "A Moment of Science." (Vanderbilt University Press, July 2009)
On his website, Daubert writes: "There are countless stories out there in the wild world. They bubble up from the middle of the ocean or from a shady streamside eddy—from anywhere you stop to appreciate the natural out-doors. Those ideas grow and fuse; they evolve when viewed from each other’s perspective. Sometimes they present themselves as narratives that demand to be written down and explored further. Such as the spontaneous inspiration for the tales written on this site.”
Daubert describes himself as a “writer of short stories in ecology, geology, astronomy—topics from the natural world.” Read more about him here.
Meanwhile, check out his stunning photograph of the variable checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas chalcedona). That alone will draw you into his world of "spontaneous inspiration."
This photo, by Stephen Daubert, is of a variable checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona).
Participants on the Sept. 29 tour may be able to see an alfalfa sulfur butterfly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Take one honey bee and one Japanese anemone. Then add one jumping spider.
The results don't always turn out so well.
But today in the East Asian Collection Garden of the UC Davis Arboretum, everything turned out well--for the honey bee.
The bee foraged on the golden stamens of the Japanese anemone without becoming prey, despite the spider camouflage with an anther.
The East Asian Collection Garden is just one of 17 gardens or collections in the 100-acre UC Davis Arboretum.
Located near Mrak Hall, the "East Asian Collection is a popular place for picnics with open lawns and lovely views of Lake Spafford," according to the Arboretum website. "Cherry blossoms and daphne are standouts in winter and spring, while gingko and zelkova trees and ornamental grasses provide beautiful fall color."
Arboretum officials say the plants represent "a living museum."
Indeed they do. The gardens are also a good place for students, staff, faculty, flowers, insects and spiders to interact.
The beauty of the Arboretum defines the UC Davis campus.
Honey bee in flight, heading toward a Japanese anemone and unaware of the spider. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee forages while the jumping spider lurks. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This was a perfect time for the jumping spider to nail the bee, but it didn't. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It was a bad day for a butterfly.
We stopped by the Ruth Risdon Storer Garden, part of the UC Davis Arboretum, at noon today as triple-digit temperatures climbed to a scorching 103.
We spotted a few cabbage white butterflies (Pieris rapae) nectaring the Verbena (Verbena bonariensis), and a few honey bees on the gaura (Onagraceae).
The cabbage whites seemed to like the Verbena. They fluttered around the blossoms gracefully, touching down like snowy princesses in winged gowns and spiked heels, belying the fact that their caterpillars are pests of cabbage, kale, radish and broccoli, mustard and other members of the family Brassicaceae.
One cabbage white, however, wasn't so lucky.
As we rounded a corner of the garden, we noticed it wasn't fluttering. It wasn't moving. It wasn't doing anything.
There was a good reason why it wasn't going anywhere.
A hungry crab spider.
Crab spider with its kill, a cabbage white butterly. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This one got away. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
If you love to watch pollinators at work in your garden--especially the honey bees and the bumble bees--first you have to provide the plants.
Promise yourself to plant pollinator plants periodically.
But which ones?
The UC Davis Arboretum staff gets asked that question a lot. As part of its 75th anniversary celebration, the Arboretum has scheduled a Member Appreciation Sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at its plant sales nursery on Garrod Drive.
Folks can become members on the spot, and the privileges are many. "Members of the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and the Davis Botanical Society not only receive 10 percent off their plant sale purchases but they also receive an additional $10 of of their purchases at this sale," said Missy Gable, public engagement manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Arborteum prides itself on providing "the area’s largest selection of attractive, low-water, easy-care, region-appropriate plants, including Arboretum All-Stars." Live music, free refreshments and children's activities are also planned that day.
Three more spring public plant sales are upcoming (folks can become members then, too):
- Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sunday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (clearance sale)
Here are some of the pollinator plants that will be available for sale:
- Salvia clevelandii, Cleveland sage
- Saponaria x lempergii ‘Max Frei’, hybrid soapwort
- Leucophyllum frutescens, cenizo
- Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Mozart’, Ed Carman’s rosemary
- Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’, coronation gold yarrow
- Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’, little spire Russian Sage
- Dasylirion wheeleri, desert spoon
- Salvia chamaedryoides, Mexican blue sage
- Teucrium fruticans ‘Azureum’, azure bush germander
- Epilobium canum, California fuchsia
- Origanum ‘Betty Rollins’, Betty Rollins oregano
- Salvia microphylla, Graham’s sage
The plants above are among those showcased at the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden located next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus.
And, have you heard about the UC Davis Arboretum Shovel Drive? At each of the plant sales, you can donate an old shovel, spade or trowel to the Arboretum for a campus/city sculpture project!
Just think, the garden tools you not longer need or want will be sculpted into something quite spectacular.
A honey bee navigating an azure bush germander. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Bees are fond of Cenizo, Leucophyllum frutescens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Black-faced bumble bee, Bombus californicus, heads for Cleveland sage, Salvia clevelandii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)