|Female timema from oak tree, 3/14/15|
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Monday, March 16, 2015
|Just another photo of California poppy.|
First poppy blooming this year at Dipper gate.
Does that look like a February sky?
Eschscholzia californica, 2/12/15.
Monday, February 2, 2015
|Red-bellied newts spend most of their lives underground and we know little about what they do there.|
They were all the same. We were stunned.
Monday, January 26, 2015
|Monte Bello Open Space Preserve is split by Stevens Creek and the San Andreas Fault|
I had a third theory about how red-bellied newts arrived in the Stevens Creek watershed. We doubted the lost race theory because surely some of the thousands of people who live in, visit or study the Santa Cruz Mountains every year would have previously discovered them. And likewise, a recent, successful introduction by humans seems questionable because their strong homing instinct would send the newts plodding across roads and over cliff edges to their death, difficult conditions to get a breeding population established at a new location. Instead, maybe there was a "wormhole" - a passage through space and time that delivered red-bellied newts to this remote corner of Santa Clara County without swimming the deadly saline waters of San Francisco Bay.
Excuse me for mixing up astrophysics and geology. California has spectacular geology that sometimes seems as if it is from science fiction. Perhaps, across the epochs, there was an unusual geologic event equivalent to a wormhole that explains how red-bellied newts arrived and thrived in the Stevens Creek watershed.
Monday, January 19, 2015
|Dr.Victor C. Twitty (left) and academic colleagues, 1955, Amherst|
Photograph from Esther M. Zimmer Lederberg memorial website
Monday, January 12, 2015
|A red-bellied newt in hand in the field|
"In addition to being a delightful place to live, northern California offers an asset that is perhaps less well known to the millions who have been flocking there in recent years: In my somewhat prejudiced opinion, its newts are unrivaled anywhere in the world!"- Victor Chandler Twitty, Of Scientists and Salamanders, 1966While they were sorting through the genetic code, the Berkeley team asked us to keep quiet about the unusual sightings of red-bellied newts in Santa Clara County until they had published their results. As a child of two university professors, I was not surprised by this request. So we did what we were best at, tromping around in the forest to learn more about this population especially where they lived.
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Daniel Portik, Sean Reilly, David Wake, Michelle Koo of University of California - Berkeley,
Ranger John Lloyd, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District
Thursday, January 1, 2015
|Preserved specimen of California newt at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley.|
This is specimen MVZ:Herp:8101.
Photograph from the Museum's Collections Database at