The Springing of Spring

Spring has arrived here on the North Coast of California. Yesterday’s weather was lovely; today’s will start at least a week long deluge of much needed rain.

While walking the dog, of course, I armed myself with the nifty fifty lens and a 12mm extension tube.

I noticed a small green bug on a short daisy [Bellis perennis, I assume, a nonnative known as ‘Lawn daisy’] and walked over to it. The clever thing scuttled to the backside of the flower, then dropping off into the shelter of grass and leaves when I pursued further.

These little green bugs are often called green ladybugs, but are the Spotted Cucumber Beetle [Diabrotica undecimpunctata], a vegetarian beetle who falls in the family of Skeletonizing Leaf Beetles. If you can guess by the name, these bugs aren’t the favorite of those who grow certain types of crops due to the tendency to chew holes.

I found another down the road and caught him in a photograph:

Although I didn’t get the focus just right [I have an eye appointment coming up!], this one made me chuckle. It looks like there are three-fingered hands on each side holding onto the soon-to-be flowers, reluctant to let go just yet.

Of course, the Flowering Currant [Ribes sanguineum] has been in bloom for a couple weeks at least.

Candy Flower [Claytonia sibirica] arrived just recently.

The leaves of this plant look very delicate and somehow manage to stand out in the forest. They manage to grow not only on the forest floor, but also on trees, usually in a bank of moss.

In the dog park, there were no dogs, but it was evident that a hawk had a meal.

I did some work in the garden almost two weeks ago. I was pulling out what I assumed was a ‘weed’ in my wildflower bed. Today I noticed that the flowers had opened on the weeds, so I crouched down and shot them. Turns out, they are a Speedwell, or Birdeye, but not any of the native types. Just good ol’ nonnative Veronica persica.

So Spring is awaking the masses, both native and nonnative masses alike. While putting this together, I was listening to a ScienceFriday podcast discussing the phenological signs of Spring’s early arrival in most of the country. Something to ponder…



2 thoughts on “The Springing of Spring

    • Thanks Scott! And yes, it is Spring Beauty! For some reason around here, it’s called Candy Flower [maybe the ‘candy stripes’?], but the other name seems more fitting, since it is nearly the first wildflower to come up.

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