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Fred's photos from Wheaton Labs

 
gardener
Posts: 655
Location: Wheaton Labs, MT and Tularosa, NM
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First is a photo of what looks like Narrowleaf collomia (Collomia linearis).

Second, these pink flowers are showing up all over the Lab. Not sure what they are.

Last, I found an eyed click beetle (Alaus melanops) near wofati 0.7. The larvae of these beetles feed on the larvae of wood boring beetles. If they end up on their back or you handle them, they snap their body to flip over or escape, making a clicking noise.
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Narrowleaf collomia (Collomia linearis)
Narrowleaf collomia (Collomia linearis)
IMG_6552.JPG
mystery
mystery
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Eyed click beetle (Alaus melanops)
Eyed click beetle (Alaus melanops)
 
Posts: 101
Location: northeastern USA
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ungarbage
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Fred Tyler wrote:If they end up on their back or you handle them, they snap their body to flip over or escape, making a clicking noise.



wonderful photos AND notes with them - THIS one brought me back to previously forgotten fun moments in my childhood - THANK YOU!
 
Fred Tyler
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Posts: 655
Location: Wheaton Labs, MT and Tularosa, NM
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Jacqueline Freeman and Dave Hunter came as guest instructors for the PDC today! After the classes today i saw three different native bees. They were all foraging on sulphur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta). The ones here all seem to have palmate leaves with 7 leaflets, but some varieties have 5 leaflets. Some sources say it has a long tap root, while others say it has a short branching taproot. According to this source "The fruit of sulphur cinquefoil is edible, raw or cooked. The unripe fruit is reportedly almost as pleasant as the fully ripe fruit." It should be ready to eat soon.
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Fred Tyler
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Posts: 655
Location: Wheaton Labs, MT and Tularosa, NM
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All of today's pictures are of Common StorksĀ­bill (Erodium cicutarium). This is a low growing weed with some pretty awesome seeds. As the seeds dry out they twist to form a spiral on their tail. The seed can be moved by wind or animals. When on the ground changes in humidity (dew) can cause the spiral to unwind and drive the seed into the ground. This plant was growing in the middle of a little used road at basecamp. It grows with a taproot. The leaves are edible and can be eaten raw or cooked and the root can be chewed like gum. The leaves when dried and ground have been mixed with watermelon seeds during storage and planting in order to prevent watermelon diseases.
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Common Storks­bill flower (Erodium cicutarium)
Common Storks­bill flower (Erodium cicutarium)
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Common Storks­bill fruit (Erodium cicutarium)
Common Storks­bill fruit (Erodium cicutarium)
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Common Storks­bill seed (Erodium cicutarium)
Common Storks­bill seed (Erodium cicutarium)
 
Fred Tyler
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Location: Wheaton Labs, MT and Tularosa, NM
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The salsify (Tragopogon dubius) is putting out its parachutes and searching for spots where the soil needs a little help. I've been collecting the seeds to plant next spring. Plant the seeds as early as the ground can be worked. Harvest the taproot in the fall after the first frost. Young leaves and shoots can be eaten in the spring either raw or cooked.

I took out a few jars from the sauerkraut crock to put in the fridge. It has a nice flavor, but i left a bit going to see how it will taste as it continues to ferment.

The Nodding onion (Allium cernuum) has started blooming. The leaves kind of blend in and you don't really know they are around until they send up their flower head. It has a strong onion flavor and a pretty small bulb. It probably is best used as a flavoring in soups. When planted in the garden it is said to repel insects and moles. It will divide its bulbs and grows easily from seed. I'll be collecting some seed when it ripens so i can spread it around the Lab.
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Salsify (Tragopogon dubius)
Salsify (Tragopogon dubius)
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sauerkraut
sauerkraut
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Nodding onion (Allium cernuum)
Nodding onion (Allium cernuum)
 
Fred Tyler
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Location: Wheaton Labs, MT and Tularosa, NM
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Bugs!

These little iridescent beetles are all over the St Johns wort but i found this one on some salsify. They were introduced in the 1940's to combat the spread of St John's wort. It worked so well that they erected a monument for it somewhere in California. Hypericin is a chemical in St Johns wort that causes photo-sensitivity in animals. The larvae of this beetle accumulate hypericin. This makes them sensitive to the light and they only feed at night. The wing covers (elytra) of the adult beetles block light from affecting them. If they fly during the day they will become poisoned from the hypericin when their wing covers move out of the way, so they only fly if they are at risk of starvation.

This colorful little guy was on a grand collomia.

The paper wasps (genus Polistes) were found under a low rock. They are beneficial predators.

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St. Johns wort beetle (Chrysolina hyperici)
St. Johns wort beetle (Chrysolina hyperici)
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what is this?
what is this?
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Paper wasps (genus Polistes)
Paper wasps (genus Polistes)
 
author and steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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Not sure if this is what happened, but when I look at this picture I hear "om nom nom nom nom"

 
Fred Tyler
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Location: Wheaton Labs, MT and Tularosa, NM
549
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Tracks!

Raccoon at a dried up puddle.

Alien near wofati 0.8? All the dust on the roads reveals lots of tracks. This one was small (maybe 1.5" across).

Emu? Found this one when i was biking home the other night. No idea what it is. It walked down the road for quite a ways.

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Raccoon track
Raccoon track
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mystery
mystery
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some bird?
some bird?
 
Fred Tyler
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I've a couple pretty certain ID's for some mystery flowers i previously posted.

On the post from 6/16/15 regarding IMG_6423.JPG, i think it is Birchleaf Spirea (Spiraea betulifolia var. lucida). This plant has an extensive root system and spreads via deep rhizomes. Still not sure about the beetle. Penny, i don't think it's the longhorn beetle you mention because it's antennae are all that long. The color pattern is a bit different too. There are so many beetles that usually a small difference in appearance means a different species.

On the post from 6/23/15 regarding IMG_6552.JPG, i think it is Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium). The dogbanes are related to milkweed are similarly poisonous and fiber plants. The fibers from dogbane are supposed to be finer and stronger than the best cotton. It was used for sewing, making twine, nets, fabric and bowstrings. The fiber can be harvested in the fall, but is probably best when the seed pods are forming. It is pollinated by butterflies. When small flies and others with short mouthparts come to steal the pollen, they are trapped by the barbed interior of the flower, and can sometime be found dead on the flower.

Today's photos:
Common Saint John's wort (Hypericum perforatum). It has been used to treat depression. There are little black dots along the edges of the petals and leaves which are the source of the medicinal component and responsible for causing photo-sensitivity in animals. One way to ID this plant is that there are many small translucent oil glands in the leaves which give them a perforated appearance, hence the latin name. It has a taproot up to 5 ft deep!

Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria). It has a thin taproot and can grow in the poorest soils. It will reseed itself and dies after a year or two.

Sticky purple geranium (Geranium viscosissimum). The dried and powdered root of this plant has been used to stop bleeding. There is a suspicion that this plant is sticky because it is carnivorous, but studies haven't been conclusive if the plant benefits from the prey it catches.
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Common Saint John
Common Saint John
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Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria)
Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria)
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Sticky purple geranium (Geranium viscosissimum)
Sticky purple geranium (Geranium viscosissimum)
 
Fred Tyler
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Location: Wheaton Labs, MT and Tularosa, NM
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More bugs!

The ID's on these bugs stumped me, except for the massive beetle.

A crab spider on birchleaf spirea. It is waiting patiently for a pollinator to visit the flowers.

A giant robber fly that caught a wasp by the lemon tree site.

Biking home last night, i heard this beetle on the side of the road. It is a Ten Lined June Beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata). It is probably a female because the males have large antennae used to track the females using pheromones.

Evan was the only one to correctly guess that we don't have emu's here and that it was probably a turkey that left the tracks.
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crab spider
crab spider
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robber fly
robber fly
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Ten Lined June Beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata)
Ten Lined June Beetle (Polyphylla decemlineata)
 
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