Wayne's Trivia Notes #29
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Wayne's Trivia Note #628 (28 October 2019)

After years of searching, I finally found nest entrance of this tiny, inconspicuous ant in Twin Oaks Valley! The unusual colony has 2 kinds of males: Winged males that leave nest to mate with winged queens from other colonies; and wingless fighter males with sickle-shaped jaws that mate with females in their "natal" (birth) nest. Ants have some bizarre & complex mating behavior that can be hazardous to some hapless males! See Wayne's Twin Oaks Valley article: Male Cardiocondyla Ants

Wayne's Trivia Note #629 (4 November 2019)

I could consume all this sugar, reuse it next year, or give it away. The candy corns (top row) are awful. More information about candy corns from Spoon University: Candy Corn Is The Worst

Wayne's Trivia Note #630 (13 November 2019)

Looking Up Through Last Night's Fog & "Frost Moon" Over Twin Oaks Valley.

Wayne's Trivia Note #631 (25 November 2019)

This tiny, bizarre ant recently fell into one of my pitfall traps. It feeds on fungi grown in gardens deep within its nest. It's face reminds me of the movie Predator! I pushed my old Nikon SLR to the limits to get this extreme close-up.

Wayne's Trivia Note #632 (6 December 2019)

Lichens thrive & grow when soaked by rain. This orange Caloplaca occurs sparingly on Owens Peak but is more common on other coastal mountains & the Channel Islands. More lichens at Owens Peak Part 6.

Wayne's Trivia Note #633 (9 December 2019)

Last night's view of Wayne's Word headquarters. I found 14 different species of ants along fence in foreground! ID of 14 Ant Species.

Wayne's Trivia Note #634 (18 December 2019)

Vista Print calendar for 2020 made directly from 12 out of 13,000 low res images on Wayne's Word website: Wayne's Word 2020 Vista Print Calendar.

Wayne's Trivia Note #635 (21 December 2019)

I have 2 praying mantids living in my house during the holiday season of 2019, out of the cold and rain. I think they might be color variations of the same species & sex, so I don't dare place them together. [Update 23 Dec 2019: Brown mantid just produced egg case so she must be female!] They dine on fresh crickets climbing on foliage of pineapple guava!

Wayne's Trivia Note #636 (27 December 2019)

End of year visitor to my home (Day 6936 Of 3rd Millennium): This tiny ant look-alike is a wingless (flightless) ichneumon wasp. With more than 60,000 species in this enormous wasp family I am lucky to identify it to level of subfamily! Wasps On Wayne's Word

Wayne's Trivia Note #637 (5 January 2020)

On New Year's Day I received e-mail from botany professor at Ruhr Univ. Bochum, Germany pointing out errors on my peanut page. I have updated my page & here is summary. Few plants on our planet are geocarpic like amazing peanut, flowering above ground & fruiting below! Peanut Article On Wayne's Word

Wayne's Trivia Note #638 (17 January 2020)

Frillwort discovery in Palomar Arboretum: Tiny, primitive, nonvascular plant resembling frill on clothing; also resembling Lilliputian garden of frilled (fringed) leafy lettuce! Owens Peak Liverworts On Wayne's Word

Wayne's Trivia Note #639 (25 January 2020)

Train Trivia: In the 1950s & 60s Union Pacific had some locomotives called "bird burners." If parked under a paved overpass they could melt the asphalt. They were powered by aircraft-type, 8,500 hp gas turbine-electric (jet) engines instead of diesel-electric like modern 6,000 hp locomotives.

Wayne's Trivia Note #640 (1 February 2020)

This seldom-seem, minute frillwort discovered in Palomar College Arboretum has interesting airborne spores (magnified 500x). This explains its distribution in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa & Australia! Frillworts In Palomar Arboretum

Wayne's Trivia Note #640 (1 February 2020)

This recent pomelo image (Citrus maxima), one parent of grapefruit, shows the modified fluid-filled hairs that produce the juicy flesh of citrus fruits. This trivia note from my plant anatomy class over 1/2 century ago! See Fruits Of Citrus Family

Wayne's Trivia Note #642 (7 February 2020)

Last night's super moon at dusk (6:00 PM) over my home in Twin Oaks Valley & Zoomed in on neighbor's home at dawn (6:00 AM) the following morning. (Feb. 7 & 8, 2020).

Wayne's Trivia Note #643 (9 February 2020)

My home office has been described as the cluttered room of a hoarder. Actually, I like older operating systems, especially Windows XP!

Wayne's Trivia Note #644 (17 February 2020)

Another remarkable discovery in Palomar Arboretum thanks to botanist Beth Pearson. I walked in these hills for 50 years & never noticed this minute plant. Most field naturalists ignore primitive liverworts and yet they are a link to the earliest land plants.

Wayne's Trivia Note #645 (19 February 2020)

Jurupa Mountains: A small group of mountains within a sea of urbanization in Riverside County. They are part of the Peninsular Ranges that extend from southern California to tip of Baja California. In addition to some interesting geology they are home to the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center, a fascinating nature center and museum. These are the 1st all black fire ants I have seen in California. In 1977, UC Riverside Professor William B. Storey summarized his research on sex determination & genetics of the fig (Ficus carica) in an excellent publication entilted The Fig by the Jurupa Mountains Cultural Center. A lot of his complex information is summarized in my Wayne's Word page "The Sex Life Of Figs."

Wayne's Trivia Note #646 (20 February 2020)

Photographing freight trains in Cajon Pass (20 Feb. 2020). Lower image: A chain of 11 locomotives, a record number in my train-watching data base. This represents about 60,000 hp!

Wayne's Trivia Note #647 (5 March 2020)

My latest microscope image confirms the ID of bottlewort in coastal sage scrub of Palomar Arboretum. It matches SEM image of spores from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Its name Sphaerocarpos drewiae commemorates prestigious phycologist Dr. Kathleen M. Drew, known for her research on the edible red alga Porphyra (nori), which led to a breakthrough for commercial cultivation. Her legacy is revered in Japan, where she has been named "Mother of the Sea." Her work is celebrated each year on April 14. A monument to her was erected in 1963 at the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Uto, Kumamoto, Japan. More Information

Wayne's Trivia Note #648 (21 March 2020)

Owens Peak (21 Mar 2020) where I found 16 species of ants. During the past 45 years I have catalogued thousands of species in nearby vernal pools, coastal sage scrub, chaparral and grassy hillsides. Click on following link to my html page to see My Biggest Fear Living In N. San Diego County

Wayne's Trivia Note #649 (25 March 2020)

One of the most fascinating aspects of evolution is our cell & antibody-mediated immune system. Cytokines are proteins released from cells of our immune system that affect other cells during an immune response. In the case of poison oak, cytokines released from special T-cells attract killer T-cells & cell-engulfing macrophages to the site of the allergen urushiol that has penetrated our skin. The result of this attack is a blistering, itching rash & oozing lymphatic fluids. Urushiol resides in dark resin ducts within the stems, leaves & even the white fruits (see above image). It is interesting to note that severe COVID-19 cases in some people may involve a "cytokine storm" or cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a massive immune response in the lungs that can be fatal. It is like the immune system is overreacting and causing collateral damage to lung tissue. Whether contracting and recovering from the virus will provide lasting herd immunity is not known at this time. Hopefully a vaccine will protect us from this virus through the production of antibodies. Poison Oak: More Than Just Scratching The Surface

Wayne's Trivia Note #650 (7 April 2020)

Pouring rain in my backyard (6 April 2020). An amazing wildflower season: Many naturalized & native species, some I have never seen before. Oxalis was always one of my favorites because it keyed out very well in my plant ID course for 30+ years. But this year, 4 species from 4 different continents! In fact, Oxalis micrantha may be new to San Diego County! My 1st macro image with my 1st SLR was an Oxalis. Oxalis rubra in 1964

Wayne's Trivia Note #651 (8 April 2020)

Last night's super moon (called "Pink Moon"), the biggest & brightest of 2020: A break in the rain clouds over my house at 10:30 P.M. Pink moon is named after a ground phlox that blooms at this time of year in the eastern U.S. I used our similar species in San Diego mountains. Sony HX-50 Handheld Twilight Mode.

Wayne's Trivia Note #652 (13 April 2020)

Incredible spring for wildflowers & weeds. When I taught Plant ID (Botany 110) I always used naturalized weedy species for unknowns during labs. The heavy rains of March & April 2020 have brought out the largest selection I have ever seen. I was lucky to find one wild geranium at this time of year, but 3 species in my neighborhood is unheard of!

Wayne's Trivia Note #653 (17 April 2020)

Ants at war in my quiet San Marcos neighborhood. Argentine ants are one of the worst invasive species. They kill most other ants in San Diego County, including large harvester ants that are primary food source for endangered horned lizards. Small, orange Forelius ants are one of the few native species that can repel Argentine ant invasions. Forelius pruinosus On Owens Peak   Forelius mccooki In Twin Oaks Valley