Wayne's Trivia Notes #14
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Wayne's Trivia Note #395 (17 October 2016)

This ground spider was in my bath tub 2 nights ago. I was careful not to splash water on her or make threatening gestures. This is a very large spider family with approximately 2000 described species. They are apparently not seriously venomous to humans but can bite if they feel threatened.

Wayne's Trivia Note #396 (18 October 2016)

Backyard food web: I did not know that rabbits were fond of bird seed! In addition to bunnies, my bird seed feeding dish has attracted ground squirrels, chipmunks, rats, mice, Cooper's hawk, and a large stray cat. I only wanted birds, particularly quail.

Wayne's Trivia Note #397 (18 October 2016)

It is truly amazing what you can find in your back yard with a flashlight. This orb weaver's scientific name is Araneus gemma.

Wayne's Trivia Note #398 (23 October 2016)

My starfish flowers are in full bloom. Their strong carrion stench attracts blow flies who mistake the hairy blossom for a dead mammal. Not a good bouquet to give someone you are trying to impress!

Wayne's Trivia Note #399 (24 October 2016)

A drain fly in my kitchen sink that I clean regularly is puzzling (and worrisome) to me. I usually find them in public restrooms. Their generic name is appropriate since they thrive in sludge!

Wayne's Trivia Note #400 (28 October 2016)

A touch of fall along the shoreline of Lake Henshaw, San Diego County (28 October 2016).

Wayne's Trivia Note #401 (1 November 2016)

I can now testify that imported fire ants are definitely in irrigated parks & lawns in Indio, CA. Beware of dirt mounds in the grass, they may not be gophers!

Wayne's Trivia Note #402 (2 November 2016)

Greetings from Cajon Pass 2 months after the massive Blue Cut Fire. The holly-leaf cherry (Prunus ilicifolia) has already resprouted from a subterranean basal burl (lignotuber).

Wayne's Trivia Note #403 (22 November 2016)

Red (Caloplaca) & chartreuse (Acarospora) lichens at Westgard Pass between the White & Inyo Mtn. Ranges, Inyo County: A perfect marriage between algae & fungi, where neither symbiont could survive on this freezing rock face by itself. See Wayne's Word Index Of Lichen Images.

Wayne's Trivia Note #404 (28 November 2016)

In a recent e-mail from a lichenologist at UCR, I learned that the black coating on rock faces in the Superstitions is a rock-inhabiting fungus (RIF) and not a lichen. RIFs can survive some of the most extreme habitats on earth, and could possibly survive on Mars. See Wayne's Word Extremophile Rock Fungi.

Wayne's Trivia Note #405 (29 November 2016)

Last night the local news station showed images of rainbows in San Diego County. Check out this rainbow over my Twin Oaks Valley neighborhood. I took this from my front yard in 2004!

Wayne's Trivia Note #406 (28 December 2016)

My 2016 Christmas gift: The red seed is a "lucky bean" or Circassian seed, but I am uncertain about the ant. My hypothesis (not a theory) is that it might be a red harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex) with polymorphic workers. It is much larger than our native species in the SW United States. See Wayne's Word Magical Seeds From India.

Wayne's Trivia Note #407 (1 January 2017)

Close relative of whales: A submerged hippo with nostrils closed. In fact, DNA evidence supports hippos (order Artiodactyla) and whales (order Cetacea) as sister clades. [Sony HX50V using hand-held twilight.] See Wayne's Word Evolution Page: Evolution Based On Fossil Evidence

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