iNatting Big Creek Provincial Park, British Columbia

In the spring of 2020 and 2021 my husband and I went backpacking in the Big Creek Provincial Park. We spent five and six days respectively, spanning most of the park. But we still have creeks to cross and ridges to walk on the to-do list. Something will always pull us back, and if history keeps repeating it will be a rare plant or insect that lures us back.  While most people recreating in the…

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Hunting Robber Flies (Asilidae) in the Chilcotin Mountains of British Columbia, Canada

A recent trip to Big Creek Provincial Park by way of Tyaughton creek and Lorna Pass inspired this post’s topic because ohhh holy moly the Robberflies were A-BUN-DANT! I’ll explore the reason why I think they were out in great numbers and diversity on this trip. But first, what is a Robber fly?  The Family Asilidae are commonly known as Robber flies which got their name from their ambush style of capturing prey. These flies…

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Northern California Plant Relicts, four plants still kicking it after millions years

During our nomadic stint in Northern California – Dunsmuir to be exact – we were exposed to the concept of plant relicts and during our adventures found a few notable members of this fascinating group. I wanted to dig deeper into these interesting plants, which is the topic of this blog.  Northern California contains the Siskiyou and Klamath mountain ranges, which are composed of a variety of soil types which were once the sea floor,…

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Calochortus, The Coolest Lilies of California?

Callahan’s Mariposa Lily standing nice and tall! This blog meant to go up last week (woops) and I intended it to be slightly shorter, and well that failed. Well now it’s a bit later and I’m still obsessed with Mariposa Lilies, the topic of this week’s blog post.  I started focusing on botany more intensely about two years ago, and only observed four species of the Genus Calochortus until this year. This year alone, from…

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Five Fantastic Fire Following Flowers

Say that five times, fast I dare ya. Right now my news feeds are filled with more data supporting trends that show sickening predictions for California and the whole west coast’s drought-filled summer and wildfire season. With not enough atmospheric rivers this winter most of California is already underwater restrictions, and it’s only May. Eeek! Check out this great KQED Infographic that illustrates the severity. Fires can be devastating, but they also give rise to…

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Marin County and Beyond! What this naturalist got up to in April

For the month of April we lived in a quiet nook of Mill Valley tucked into the branches of a Bay Laurel, Coast Live Oak and Coast Redwood trees.  So we continued our pattern of exploring nearby our temporary abode during the week and camping or short road trips during the weekend. We were so lucky to have Mt. Tamalpais in our backyard and only a short drive up to the Rock Springs area. But…

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Two Months in Joshua Tree, What Two Naturalists Got Up To

From the beginning of February till the end of March we lived in Joshua Tree, California. Yes there is an actual city named Joshua Tree. It holds two of three entrances to Joshua Tree National Park. Apart from short trips we’ve never spent an extended amount of time in a desert environment, and I can definitely see the appeal! In this post I highlight what we saw and where we explored. Hope you enjoy! RIP…

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Charming Colors and Strange Structures of the Southern California Desert Flowers

Ahhh our time in the Mojave desert area is almost coming to a conclusion! Wow time flies! During this two month stay we’ve patiently waited for annuals to pop out of the ground and perennials to start thriving.  It finally happened! Even though the month of February had basically no precipitation around these parts, some fell in March and plants got blooming. But being a non-super-bloom year and on the drier side of normal the…

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Charming Colors and Strange Structures of the Southern California Desert Flowers

Ahhh our time in the Mojave desert area is almost coming to a conclusion! Wow time flies! During this two month stay we’ve patiently waited for annuals to pop out of the ground and perennials to start thriving.  It finally happened! Even though the month of February had basically no precipitation around these parts, some fell in March and plants got blooming. But being a non-super-bloom year and on the drier side of normal the…

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Spurge is the word . . . around these parts.

When naturalizing Trevor and I have some odd ball saying we say to each other while observing certain species. For example, when we find a weevil which is a small beetle with a long snout at some point we will call it an “evil weevil,” even though they have no evil-ness about them. Another phrase is “spurge is the word.” Usually this is said to each other in a funky voice elongating “spurge” and “word.”…

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