Wayne's Trivia Notes #32
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 Wayne's Trivia Notes #32   © W.P. Armstrong    All Facebook Notes & Images   
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Wayne's Trivia Note #695 (17 September 2020)

Velvet "ants" are hairy, wingless female wasps with a painful sting. Winged males look very different, a good example of sexual dimorphism. This male showed up in my kitchen & was discovered by Elaine Armstrong!

Wayne's Trivia Note #696 (18 September 2020)

Smoke-filled Twin Oaks Valley from cul de sac above my house (16 Sept. 2020 6:45 PM).

Wayne's Trivia Note #697 (30 September 2020)

One of the smallest introduced ants in CA & Arizona. Natural history photography helps to take my mind off of COVID-19 and fire hazards in my area of SD County. Contrary to Trump's comments during Sept. 29 presidential debate, we are not at a turning point with corona virus, and the increase in CA wildfires is not solely due to forest management. It is primarily due to warming climatic trend (i.e. heat, prolonged drought, low humidity & wind).

Wayne's Trivia Note #698 (1 October 2020)

Last night's sky illuminated by a bright harvest moon.

Wayne's Trivia Note #699 (11 October 2020)

Son-in-Law pilot Captain Zach brought me a native stem ant from Georgia. Its range extends to South America, including thorns of acacias. Stings & jaws of related acacia ant (Pseudomyrmex ferrugineus) protect trees from browsing mammals & epiphytes. I was stung many times by acacia ants in Costa Rica! Stem Ant From Jekyll Island, Georgia

Wayne's Trivia Note #700 (14 October 2020)

This Neoscona crucifera orb weaver with red femora is not in outer space. It was photographed with Mars in pitch dark of my backyard. I had to move Mars a few degrees to include it in picture. Mars was slightly enhanced with Photoshop. About all I could get with my Sony HX-50V at 30x magnification is a tiny reddish sphere. The intricate web contains 64 closely-spaced spiral revolutions of sticky thread around radiating threads of the web frame. More Images Of N. crucifera

Wayne's Trivia Note #701 (17 October 2020)

Attempting to ID the Baja Cresta Red decorative rock at my home while social distancing. If a rock gives off bubbles of CO2 when placed in vinegar (acetic acid) it probably contains a carbonate. According to earthstonerock.com it is a "dolomite material that is mostly reddish brown...contrasting against grey quartz." I have not verified this with a geologist. Baja Cresta Red Boulders

Wayne's Trivia Note #702 (21 October 2020)

Needle in a haystack! I discovered one minute Wolffia globosa (world's smallest flowering plant) along the shore of Abeja Pond northwest of Palomar College. It is rivaled in size only by the Australian W. angusta. I once submited Wolffia to the Guinness Book & replaced their previous incorrect record! Abeja Pond Revisited

Wolffia plants have the fastest population growth rate of any member of the kingdom Plantae. Under optimal conditions, a single plant of the Indian species Wolffia microscopica may reproduce vegetatively by budding every 30 hours. One minute plant could mathematically give rise to one nonillion plants or 1 x 1030 (one followed by 30 zeros) in about four months, with a spherical volume roughly equivalent to the size of the planet earth! Note: This is purely a mathematical projection and in reality could never happen!

Wayne's Trivia Note #703 (28 October 2020)

In case you didn't know this trivia fact, my Internet name is Mr. Wolffia. Another image of Wolffia globosa (world's smallest flowering plant) from Abeja Pond near Palomar College. The species in full bloom is W. borealis from the San Dieguito River below Lake Hodges Dam.

Wayne's Trivia Note #704 (30 October 2020)

Happy Halloween! This large, cute jumping spider surprised me when I tried to replace address sign on fence in front of my house.

Wayne's Trivia Note #705 (31 October 2020)

Happy Halloween! Although I took these images separately last night, tonight's blue moon, Mars & my home in Twin Oaks Valley will again be in the same frame!

Wayne's Trivia Note #706 (31 October 2020)

Happy Halloween! Tonight's Halloween mask (I can't find my Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry uniform). I doubt if COVID-19 face mask will protect against viral conjunctivitis (pink eye).

Wayne's Trivia Note #707 (2 November 2020)

Stoked on Wolffia! This microscopic green blob from Abeja Pond near Palomar College is a flowering plant. The flower is just a stamen & pistil (gynoecium) with no petals or sepals. A bouquet of one dozen plants will fit on the head of an ordinary straight pin. The one-seeded fruit isn't much larger than an average grain of table salt (NaCl).

Wayne's Trivia Note #708 (7 November 2020)

Chrysanthemums were cultivated in China as early as the 15th century BC. Due to complex & variable shapes of ray & disc flowers all controlled by genes, this genus lends itself to amazing hybridization with thousands of cultivars. 'Autumn Sunset' is a bright red fall perennial. The 'Garland Chysanthemum' is a naturalized spring annual in coastal San Diego County.

Wayne's Trivia Note #709 (16 November 2020)

Frost Myth: The leaves in my yard are turning red without any frost. Leaf fall is a complex process involving day length (shorter days), hormones & the development of abscission layer at base of leaf stalk. Deciduous trees & shrubs are genetically programmed to drop their leaves and prepare for winter. Red anthocyanin pigments replace green chlorophylls. Like my tree friends I am also getting old, but I am driven to explain the love of my life: botany & biology!

Wayne's Trivia Note #710 (20 November 2020)

Night skies where I live in Twin Oaks Valley are lovely this time of the year. Planets are just dots but can be resolved into tiny spheres with 30x camera magnification. More detail requires a reflector telescope ideally with GPS & auto tracking (on my wish list). Minute planets move out of your camera's field of view in seconds.

Wayne's Trivia Note #711 (22 November 2020)

The most amazing discoveries in my lifetime are the structure & function of DNA, protein synthesis & the Internet! I have great confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines and my profound gratitude to all the brilliant scientists who created them.

  COVID-19 Pandemic & Vaccine  

Wayne's Trivia Note #712 (22 November 2020)

Many years ago I was with a group of students at the Orangutan enclosure at the San Diego Zoo. I was discussing the fig leaf in my hand. Everyone was laughing because the Orangutan on other side of glass was pointing down with her finger. This was not a negative response by her. I soon realized that she was communicating with me--there was a gap at the base of the glass and she wanted my fig leaf!

Wayne's Trivia Note #713 (23 November 2020)

I just received My PastBook: 350 of my 800 Facebook images in a 177 page, hard cover book available from Facebook. The glossy pages and image quality are quite good considering that these are low res 72 dpi images. This is essentially a coffee table book that brings back a lot of fond memories of special people, creatures & places. You can also click on the PDF link at the bottom of the following Facebook Index Page:

  Facebook Index & Link to PastBook PDF file  

Wayne's Trivia Note #714 (25 November 2020)

A strange, low-growing fungus on the crushed rock at my home in Twin Oaks Valley. It is composed of numerous hollow tubes that produce the porous surface. It belongs to the genus Poria in the order Polyporales, along with the dry rot fungus that ate my patio. See Polyporous Fungi

Wayne's Trivia Note #715 (1 December 2020)

Four out of 12 Facebook images on my calendar from Facebook

Wayne's Trivia Note #716 (3 December 2020)

Fast-moving fire during red alert Santa Ana winds in Twin Oaks Valley about 4,000 ft. from my home at Wayne's Word headquarters. I am very thankful for San Marcos Fire Dept. and Cal Fire, including Phos-Check air tankers and water dropping helicopters.

  More Images From Sycamore Fire Near Wayne's Word  

Wayne's Trivia Note #717 (17 December 2020)

Jupiter & Saturn at 7:00 PM (17 Dec 2020). They will be appear closest together & appear to merge as one bright star (conjunction) on day 7295 of 3rd millennium (21 Dec 2020). Authorities are still debating whether the Christmas story involves the conjunction of these 2 planets over 2,000 years ago.

Wayne's Trivia Note #718 (21 December 2020)

Great Conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn at 5:00 PM & 7:00 P.M. (21 Dec 2020) from Twin Oaks Valley. Although conjunctions of these 2 planets occur every 20 years it can only be seen at night. It will be visible again in 80 years at night. This is the closest they have been (& brightest At Night) in almost 800 years. From my vantage point and wearing my new eye glasses, they never appeared merged as a single star. iPhone image of S. Zeauskas shows one brilliant star under digital zoom!

Wayne's Trivia Note #719 (26 December 2020)

When I received my realistic toy ants for Christmas I thought there was an error. I didn't realize that some ant larvae spin a cocoon in which to pupate like butterflies. Video Of This Remarkable Phenomenon

Wayne's Trivia Note #720 (31 December 2020)

Of all the 335 images I have taken & posted on Wayne's Word in 2020, this one is perhaps the most interesting & memorable: A Cal Fire air tanker dropping red phos-check fire retardant in my neighborhood. This is a Grumman S-2T, formerly a U.S. Navy carrier-based plane used for anti-submarine warfare.

Wayne's Trivia Note #721 (6 January 2021)

During your sleep you shed millions of skin cells (squamous epithelial cells). They rain down into your mattress or sofa & are eaten by hungry dust mites like tiny pizza flakes. Within a few minutes I vacuumed a mass of skin cells out of my old couch!