Wayne's Trivia Notes #28
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Wayne's Trivia Note #608 (28 July 2019)

Having hiked many miles in this beautiful area near Big Pine, CA, I can personally testify that the Palisade Glacier high in the Sierra Nevada, southernmost glacier in the U.S., is receding due to a warming trend. Similar glacial retreats are documented in other mountains of the continental United States, including Glacier National Park.


Wayne's Trivia Note #609 (29 July 2019)

Another attractive orb weaver in my backyard! This one appears to be Neoscona crucifera. I am always amazed at the remarkable web that she constructs each night.


Wayne's Trivia Note #610 (9 August 2019)

I share my property & garden in Twin Oaks Valley with numerous species of insects & spiders. In fact, many of these are on my Wayne's Word See Large Adult Of This Grasshopper.


Wayne's Trivia Note #611 (11 August 2019)

Monarch butterfly caterpillars (Danaus plexippus) in my backyard. They feed on milkweed plants (Asclepias) that I purchased for them at Home Depot. Milkweed toxins ingested by the larvae make the brightly colored adults distasteful & toxic to many birds. The bright orange adults (aposematic coloration) serves as a warning to would-be bird predators.


Wayne's Trivia Note #612 (14 August 2019)

Brush fire on mesas of east of Tierra Santa, San Diego County. The lead in this old military bullet melted out of its original metal jacket.


Wayne's Trivia Note #613 (14 August 2019)

My latest obsession on this planet is to find & photograph the "painted grasshopper" in southern Arizona!


Wayne's Trivia Note #614 (16 August 2019)

Avoid swimming in ponds infested with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) and eating locoweeds (Astragalus). They both have severe toxins that block critical biochemical pathways in animals. More Information


Wayne's Trivia Note #615 (20 August 2019)

A friendly, curious katydid on the edge of my cereal bowl.


Wayne's Trivia Note #616 (21 August 2019)

Eating a delicious poppy seed bagel prior to a urine drug test is not advisable!


Wayne's Trivia Note #617 (22 August 2019)

Large male tarantula climbing out of his travel case. I relocated him because hunting for females on Birchwood Drive was hazardous to his health.


Wayne's Trivia Note #618 (24 August 2019)

California has some interesting wildflowers. Pygmy poppy (Canbya candida). Click on Wayne's Botanical Record-Breakers to see how small this flower is: Botanical Record-Breakers


Wayne's Trivia Note #619 (31 August 2019)

I have pondered about the walnut for nearly half of my life. Is it really a true nut? It has been classified as a nut, dry drupe, drupaceous nut, and nutty drupe. According to Richard Spjut (NY Botanical Garden, 1994), it is a "pseudodrupe." The closely related pecan with dehiscent husk is a "tryma." Walnut Description   Wayne's Fruit Types


Wayne's Trivia Note #621 (5 September 2019)

There are over 400 cultivars of the common fig and the 'Verte' variety is one of the most delicious. In fact, it tastes like sweet fig candy. My tree gets pollinated by fig wasps from my male caprifig which give the fruits a slight nutty flavor & crunch. I share my fig crop with friends & beautiful, metallic green fig beetles! BTW, fig utilization by people dates back thousands of years. See Wayne's Word on-line article: Figs Of The Holy Land


Wayne's Trivia Note #622 (5 September 2019)

It's pumpkin weigh-off time again. A Belgium pumpkin apparently weighed 2,625 pounds in 2016. It was a cultivar of Cucurbita maxima; however, there is some disagreement among authorities as to whether this species is truly a pumpkin or a squash. According to Cucurbits by R.W. Robinson and D.S. Decker-Walters (1997), any squash fruit with an orange skin is considered a pumpkin, and the winners in these contests are invariably C. maxima. I don't think pumpkins & squash should be discriminated by the color of their skin. The contests should simply be for the "Largest Fruit" or to be more botanically accurate, the "Largest Pepo." More Information: Botanical Record-Breakers


Wayne's Trivia Note #623 (8 September 2019)

World's largest flying (gliding) seed belongs to same plant family as largest fruit (squash/pumpkin). Produced in a many-seeded gourd high in the rain forest canopy of the Malay Archipelago, it glides through the air in wide circles. It reportedly inspired the design of early aircraft and gliders, and actually resembles the shape of a "flying wing" aircraft or modern Stealth Bomber! More Information: Airborne Seeds & Fruits


Wayne's Trivia Note #624 (17 September 2019)

View from my house looking northwest (15 September 2019). The Merriam Mountains bordering the east side of Twin Oaks Valley in San Marcos is named after Major Gustavus F. Merriam who homesteaded in this area in 1875. He named the valley after 2 large coast live oaks. Clinton Hart Merriam, brother of Major Merriam, was the founder of the United States Bureau of Biological Survey which later become the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He also proposed six major North American life zones based primarily on temperature relative to altitude. He was a prolific author and many animal species bear his name.

More Images Of This Striking Sunset Looking West


Wayne's Trivia Note #625 (21 September 2019)

Another photogenic preying mantis at the top of my back porch lantana.


Wayne's Trivia Note #626 (27 September 2019)

Yesterday (Sept. 26) was the grand opening of the Edwin & Frances Hunter Arboretum Trails at Palomar College, made possible by a generous endowment from the Hunter Family. It was great to see some of the original members of the Arboretum Committee & 2 of my dear students from 50 years ago! Many people helped in the evolution of our Arboretum. I want to thank Members Of Our Current Arboretum Committee & especially Grounds Supervisor Tony Rangel and Facilities Planning Manager Dennis Astl. 2 Articles On The History Of Our Arboretum