Wayne's Trivia Notes #26
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Wayne's Trivia Note #568 (20 March 2019)

Hilltopping: Butterflies (and other insects) simply fly upslope to the summit of the nearest hill. In San Diego County during the summer months it is common to find dozens of species of butterflies chasing each other in rather erratic flying behavior at the summits of chaparral-covered hills. These remote mountain tops are popular meeting places for sexually active insects looking for mates.

Wayne's Trivia Note #569 (25 March 2019)

Monday (March 25) 1:00 PM: Caught in gridlock on I-15 near Lake Elsinore. I took these 2 images through my car window. Literally thousands of people were parked along the freeway and hiking up into the masses of California poppies.

Wayne's Trivia Note #570 (26 March 2019)

Approaching gridlock on I-15 North near Lake Elsinore. Note the massive bloom of California poppies on hills east of the freeway.

Satellite image showing Walker Canyon hillsides (near Lake Elsinore) filled with California poppies in full bloom. Image slightly enhanced with Adobe Photoshop. (Satellite image 2019 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company.)

Wayne's Trivia Note #571 (2 April 2019)

Poppies on Owens Peak obscured by dense, tall, non-native grasses, such as these wild oats. A few feet away was a rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis), my 1st encounter in 2019. Note: I moved it over into this picture. See image of C. viridis in March 2015

Wayne's Trivia Note #572 (4 April 2019)

Summit of Owens Peak is covered in red maids (Calandrinia ciliata), now placed in the miner's lettuce family (Montiaceae). See Miner's Lettuce On Owens Peak (Beware When Picking For Salad!)

Wayne's Trivia Note #573 (5 April 2019)

Forelius mccooki nest in bridle path at my home. Their graveyard (midden) is where I found most of my unusual ants for Twin Oaks Valley. Greatly outnumbered, they are known to repel & defeat invasions by Argentine ant supercolonies. The species is named after naturalist Henry Mccook & the Mccook Family of famous Union officers in the Civil War!

Wayne's Trivia Note #574 (7 April 2019)

Two hills in San Marcos have the same name as prominent peaks in the Sierra Nevada: Owens Peak & Mt Whitney. Presumably their etymology is the same. Owens Peak (north of Palomar College) has a surprising diversity of wildlife. See Owens Peak Geology & Wildlife.

Wayne's Trivia Note #575 (9 April 2019)

Wilson Bentley's marvelous book of snowflakes is available from Dover Publications. He spent a lifetime photographing literally thousands of snowflakes with no 2 exactly alike! He was a truly amazing man.

Wayne's Trivia Note #576 (23 April 2019)

It's crane fly (Tipula sp.) season in San Diego County. Erroneously called "mosquito hawks," these harmless, long-legged flies don't kill anything. In fact, they typically don't even feed as adults. They only live for a week or two, and their main purpose as adults is to find a mate and pass on their genes (DNA)! They spend the majority of their lives as larvae in grassy fields. There are literally thousands of species. For more information, go to Iowa State University, Dept. of Entomology.

Wayne's Trivia Note #577 (27 April 2019)

After Easter sale at my nearby Ralphs Supermarket. Do people actually eat these things?

Wayne's Trivia Note #578 (30 April 2019)

My latest noteworthy ant in pitfall trap on Owens Peak--near place where Chev. Silverado rolled down steep slope Easter morning, killing one & injuring 3.

Wayne's Trivia Note #579 (2 May 2019)

For the past few nights I have been serenaded by Great Horned Owls in my neighbor's tall deodar cedar!

Wayne's Trivia Note #580 (4 May 2019)

Promiscuous brodiaeas in San Marcos Vernal Pool Field. A. Fertile hybrid between 2 closely related species with same # of chromosomes. B. Sterile hybrid between 2 species with different chromosome number. This field is a marvelous study site for a Botany student.

Wayne's Trivia Note #581 (11 May 2019)

5 Massive Union Pacific locomotives heading east through Tucson. The engines are rated at almost 5,000 hp each. There are other models that generate 6,000 HP. It is doubtful that 5 x 5,000 or 25,000 horses could pull a 100+ car train over Arizona's mountain grades!

Wayne's Trivia Note #582 (12 May 2019)

Old Santa Fe 3751: Originally built as a coal burning steam locomotive in 1927, this massive steam engine was one of the most powerful in its class. Its 8 drive wheels are more than 6 feet in diameter. It is capable of reaching speeds of 90 m.p.h. on level track. With a boiler horsepower raiting of 5,000, it can pull 105 freight cars (5,949 tons) on a level grade at 45 m.p.h. Old 3751 pulled its last passenger train from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1953, and was officially retired from Santa Fe in 1957. See Santa Fe 3751 At Cardiff By The Sea

Wayne's Trivia Note #583 (14 May 2019)

New Mexico's new license plate! One of my former biology students, Dr. Paul Bosland, is a molecular biologist and director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University. He coauthored "The Complete Chile Pepper Book" (2014). See Wayne's Word Chile Pepper Edition

Wayne's Trivia Note #584 (15 May 2019)

Swarm of Forelius mccooki with winged adults in bridle path in front of my home. They live in dry, unwatered areas and do not invade my house. Although greatly outnumbered, they can repel attacks by aggressive Argentine ant colonies that occupy most of my yard and house. Observations of dead ants in Forelius middens indicate that Argentine ant armies sustained heavy losses. The middens have also supplied me with many unusual ants & other creatures. See Wayne's Word Ants Of Twin Oaks Valley

Wayne's Trivia Note #585 (16 May 2019)

Predatory mite with "Popeye" forelegs (family Parasitidae) found in Forelius mccooki ant midden in front of my home. Unlike spider mites in your garden and parasitic mites on animals, these beneficial mites feed on pest mites, nematodes and other minute arthropods. See Wayne's Mite Page and Wayne's Face Mites