Thursday, September 20, 2007
Cool. Wow. Whoa.
Most days here in Tustin are pretty good; we just take them as they come and lay them to rest when they're over. But some days are extra good. All things considered, today was super:
Cool. It rained today. For people in a region that has received less than 1/7th the normal rainfall in the past year, that little drizzle was very welcome, and it feels like more is on the way.
Wow. Two insect-related news articles in one day. This morning's LA Times ran a story about butterflies; specifically Giant Swallowtail (papilio cresphontes). It explains how the numbers of these, North America's largest butterfly, have increased in southern CA in recent years to the point of being nearly commonplace. AND the day's OC Register featured (on the front page!) a story about how this summer's heat and humidity has fueled a population boom of certain pesky insect species which need no introduction here; suffice it to say they FLY. The article had photos including some beneficial species, and at least didn't advocate wholesale pesticide fogging of one's yard.
Whoa. In an affront to all that is wholesome and good in the flowering plant world, today the stapelia bloomed. What a monster. Point to point, this star-shaped thing measures over 12 inches; that's nearly 100 square inches of carrion-scented plant flesh. The scent attracts flies, the flies pollinate the flowers; the flowers set seeds; the stapelia line carries on; all is well with the world.