Kings Canyon 6-24-13

We hit the trail early the next day. The young men I traveled with were 15, 16, and 15 years old (left to right below).  This was their first long term backpack trip.
Most of the shots I will post here will not be people pictures.  Click on to the rest of the blog post to see the interesting wildlife and plants that I saw.  I may or may not get around to ID'ing the plants in this blog post.

Kings Canyon 6-23-13

One of the highlights of my summer was a backpacking trip in Kings Canyon.  Here we are on approach:


Lunada Canyon gardening

I volunteer about once per month to look after Lunada Canyon.  This weekend I was inspired to spend about an hour cutting back on some Acacia cyclops (aka red-eyed wattle or coastal wattle) which is a native of Australia that is invasive in California due to prolific seed production and bird-dispersal of seeds.

In South Africa, they have used biological pest control to decrease the spread of this plant.  They report 90-100% seed damage when a seed-feeding weevil, Melanterius servulus, was unleashed on the Acacia population.(Biological control of an alien tree, Acacia cyclops, in South Africa: impact and dispersal of a seed-feeding weevil, Melanterius servulus, F.A.C. Impsona, V.C. Morana, J.H. Hoffmanna).  (The bad news is that the weevil spreads about 2 km per year.)
 As I started cutting back Acacia branches, I found Artemisia Californica (California sagebrush) and Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon) hidden under the outer branches.  Photo above shows Toyon in foreground and Acacia in background.


Site redesign

Bear with me while I play: I'm changing the look of my blog.

Update 9/20: After playing with some options, I've given the look and feel of the blog just a light overhaul.  Google+ is now integrated and some of the graphics are changed.  I've also decided that I'll focus this blog a bit more sharply on California native plants, the outdoors, and gardening which is where my recent activities and posts have been focused anyway.

The template that I'm using seems to want to force me to have a turquoise colored font for blog post titles.  If I could change that, I'd feel like I was done. (Changed!  I needed to change the "link" color.  I spent a long time looking in vain for a title color.) I might have to edit the HTML which has become a whole lot more sophisticated than when I was building web sites a decade ago.

I'm nearing my 1000th blog post, which isn't remarkable, but it is a milestone.  This post is number 941, I believe.

As always, the blog will stay advertisement-free.  I have borrowed an ad-free graphic (Town Mouse and Country Mouse have used it for years) to emphasize that fact.

By using this icon on my website I am stating...
1. That I am opposed to the use of corporate advertising on blogs.
2. That I feel the use of corporate advertising on blogs devalues the medium.
3. That I do not accept money in return for advertising space on my blog.