Friday, February 17, 2012

Three Coyotes on a Sunny Winter Morning - Pair Bonding

Male coyote in front, female coyote in back.
Three coyotes were sunning in a grassy field near Monte Bello Open Space Preserve one morning this week.

Smaller male on left, female in center, larger male on right.
Select "Read More" for photos and discussion about what the coyotes were doing.  Please note - some photos and discussion of coyote anatomy follows.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Let the Spring Begin

Western leatherwood (Dirca occidentalis), a rare native California shrub, has distinct sprays of bright yellow flowers in the late winter.  Notice the sharp point behind the flower.  This feature often remains behind the flat tip of the branch after the flower falls and is one way to distinguish this plant from the similar osoberry (Oemleria cerasiformis).
Spring has begun almost without a winter.  The local chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) has several hikes coming up that will feature the earliest of the spring wildflowers.  If we don't get more rain this winter, we may have a short wildflower season, so get an early start and shake that rain stick.  Select "Read more" below for info and links on these hikes.