January 21, 2022 Briar Summit Open Space

The start of a new year and new observations.

I'm happy to report that despite the DWP mowing down all the plants along the road in this area last spring/summer, many of the plants are growing back. Thanks to our great rainfall in December, things are looking really good. However, if we don't get anymore rain, I think our spring time may be early and possibly brief. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

I checked this place out a few times in December and many, many brittlebush were growing in with a few flowers on some. A few of the laurel sumacs are also growing in. The black sage is leafing out and looks pretty healthy. And several of the buckwheat have had a few flowers for awhile. And of course, there is plenty of mustard and a few other invasives.

With our warm weather in the last few days and with a bunch more flowers in bloom up on Briar Summit, it appears bugs have begun to come out all over. I'm still truly amazed at the number of insects California brittlebush attracts. Even without flowers there are plenty of insects if you look closely and have patience.

On this day, perhaps the most commonly seen insect was the sunflower seed maggot as well as a few other species of Trupanea. But I would say my most interesting finds are the three species I found in the vicinity of the smallseed sandmat which is also in bloom in a few patches. Just sitting in the dirt next to the plants I found these three interesting insects: a cool looking true hopper, a colorful tiny little plant bug (about the size of a large mite) and an insect I found the week before which I think belongs to the genus of spurge flea beetles. Last but not least I found a warty leaf beetle which seem to like the brittlebush and are such interesting little creatures.

I'm not sure how all these early arrivals will affect our wildlife as I'm sure they get confused with our erratic weather. By visiting the same areas on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule you can observe all the newly emerging plants and animals, even if it's not as exciting as going to a wholly new area.

Posted by naturephotosuze naturephotosuze, January 25, 2022 12:53 AM

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Sunflower Seed Maggot (Neotephritis finalis)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

January 21, 2022 12:53 PM PST

Description

Briar Summit
Many on the dozens of CA brittlebush

Photos / Sounds

What

Warty Leaf Beetles (Tribe Fulcidacini)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

January 21, 2022 01:55 PM PST

Description

Briar Summit

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

January 21, 2022 02:32 PM PST

Description

Briar Summit

Photos / Sounds

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

January 21, 2022 02:34 PM PST

Description

Briar Summit
Very small--about the size of a large mite
Near the smallseed sandmat

Photos / Sounds

What

Spurge Flea Beetles (Genus Aphthona)

Observer

naturephotosuze

Date

January 21, 2022 02:39 PM PST

Description

Briar Summit
Near the smallseed sandmat

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