More Birds, Fewer Mullet: Malibu Lagoon, 23 September, 2018


Seafood lovers alert! A mortified Sea Hare on the beach
(G. Murayama 9-21-18)

We didn’t have any shocks (later for the surprise) like last month when the lagoon and channel were covered with dead Striped Mullet. Somewhere between 3000 and 6000 dead fish were removed by lucky State Parks personnel during the final week of August. I for one was stunned that the lagoon held that many fish. More fish were removed during the past week (I assume) as on Sep. 15 I counted 289 dead mullet along the northwest lagoon/channel shoreline, and well under 100 today in the same area. Some research results point towards low dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water as the mortality culprit. This could interrelate with water temperature; as water temperature goes up, DO goes down.

View across west channel towards Malibu Colony shows very few dead mullet.
Compare to last month. (L. Johnson…

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Did you just call me escambron again….that’s it, I’m gonna….wait, what, that’s the name of a tree?

Adam's Art and Bonsai Blog

Escambron, a tree native to Puerto Rico. If you say escambron with just a little bit of the emphasis on the right syllable and slur it a bit, you might just be saying a bad word (shut your mouth…)

Let’s talk about it’s scientific name. I’ve always known it as a type of clerodendrum, C. aculeatum to be exact, but, upon researching the species, I think the scientists may have moved it. Based on what I’m reading, these plant scientists have been doing genetic testing and figured out that they no longer belong in the genus clerodendrum, but a different genus called volkameria (volkameria aculatea to be precise). Check here and here and here. The last link is called The Red List, which determines how endangered a plant is. It also has the Puerto Rican common name in the description escambrón.

I’m not going to…

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September Surprises

Natural Moments

Just wrapped up the month of September with delightful weather, lots of late summer wildflowers in bloom, and the chamisa, cottonwoods and aspen all changing to their bright golden foliage. It’s been a interesting couple of weeks, too, photographing a few of the birds that I rarely see, getting nice photos of a couple that are more common, and of a few butterflies and other insects.

The Audubon Thursday Birder trip on September 20 to Ojito de San Antonio Open Space almost didn’t happen. From our meeting place in town, the mountains were completely covered in low clouds, fog, and it looked like a good chance of rain that morning. But our small group of intrepid birders voted to head on out and give it a shot. And while the weather never quite cleared up, the group had a pleasant enough walk and a good mix of species. Bird of…

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Terry Erasmus on Instagram: “Anthracnose on this dwarf leafed Trident maple under control! Yipeeee! #bonsaitree #anthracnose”