The California Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus pacificus) is our bird of choice for this month’s “Dunes in Flight.” The great horned owl’s range is extensive across North and South America, and can be observed in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Complex by birders lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this majestic hunter. The bird’s plumage is rich brown with dark stripes on its underside. Its average wing span is roughly 2 feet. The average weight of male great horned owls is about 2.2lbs. Females, on average, are 2.9lbs. (more…)
For the month of December, our chosen plant of the month is Monterey pine. The Monterey Pine’s (Pinus radiata) leaves are evergreen needles; 4 to 6 inches long and grouped in bundles of 3. They’re slender and shiny green. The bark is thick and grey or dark reddish brown color. It grows pine-cones which are usually 3-5 inches long. Its sapwood color is a pale yellow.
The Dunes Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are teaming up to improve habitat conditions for the California Red-Legged Frog (Rana draytonii). Several man-made ponds are located throughout the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. These ponds host not only the federally listed species of amphibian,but multitudes of birds, reptiles, mammals, and other threatened and endangered species of plants as well.
For the month of November, our chosen plant of the month is Lilac Verbena. Lilac Verbena is an evergreen shrub with deeply divided green leaves and almost nonstop light purple flower heads that float 8 inches above the foliage. (more…)
Ice plant is headstrong. Not only does it spread fast and cover a considerable amount of land surface, it also grows deep into the ground. By no means can ice plant be eradicated. But if one ever attempts to remove an ice plant into a trash bag after digging up most of its root, it’s very likely that he or she will just have to drag the plant instead of lifting it up and putting it into the bag. Because really, ice plant is insanely heavy.
For the month of September, our chosen plant of the month is Sticky Monkey Flower, now known scientifically as Diplacus aurantiacus. Sticky Monkey Flower is a common shrub that can be found all over California.