Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Place: Flora in San Diego Safari Park......

The resourcefulness of San Diego Safari Park in terms of exotic animals is renowned; however, the equally abundant flora often goes unappreciated......
Around the year, one can find flowers blooming and berries loaded on the plants..
Here are some of my captures...most of them are African native and I don't even know their identity...
Matilija poppy.......














Cactus garden ...an amazing array of xerophyte collection..



Monday, June 29, 2015

Place: Weekend hike to Lake Miramar......

This weekend we visited Lake Miramar.......about 15 miles from home...
It has a dam and recreation opportunities......
As soon as we reached there, the overcast sky broke into drizzles...a much welcome relief in parched, fire-prone San Diego...
Trapped inside the car, I took this picture...rain drops on windshield, rarely we get to see..

As it stopped, we walked down to the lake shore...the tree branches were swaying..the waves were turbulent..

Nice wooden steps led to the shores...we saw a couple of turtles bobbing up and down..and some water fowls..


As we started hiking  the 5 mile loop trail encircling the lake, saw this group...especially my spouse was elated to see eight cheerful canines...

There are fishing groups, also kayakers.. 

Chaparral around the lake had come alive with colored blooms..monkey flower, mustard, deerweed and many more I don't recognize..


Saw some interesting stuffs...like, these pink clumps on reeds? Do you know what they are? Well, these are egg mass of apple snails inhabiting the lake...

And these spiked spheroids are turban galls..

These are another kind of galls...

All these leaf and stem galls are caused by aphids, to protect and provide food for their larvae..

As the pictures reflect, it was an refreshing and informative nature walk...
Don't forget to explore your surroundings...they have the unappreciated ability to de-stress and invigorate body, heart, soul..

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

SDSU:Moreton bay chestnut tree .........

Pods of a Moreton bay chestnut tree, planted in San Diego State University campus...
Got to know, the seeds contain high saponin content, and unfit for eating..however, cooking can inhibit those phytochemical and might render the seeds edible...
Another piece of literature, revealed the ongoing work on HIV inhibitor potential of the seeds...



Saturday, June 13, 2015

Place: Wildlife in Zion-Bryce region...

The route from Zion to Bryce National park offers great opportunity to view wildlife..........
We got to see...
Herds of bisons, in ranches...

Pronghorn...

Mountain blue bird...

White-breasted nuthatch....

Flocks of  mule deer...


Also some rabbits...while it delightful enjoyable watching these wildlife, It was sad to see so many of them as victims of roadkill.....if only this could be prevented, by installing wire or something...but then, it will fragment their habitat and their population structure will affected....a novel solution much be reached to save these critters..

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Food: For the love of fruits.......

I am an absolute fruit lover...be that the regular grocery shop,  ethnic markets, open-air farmers market, botanical gardens or the wilderness, I make it a point to learn about exotic/potential fruits and taste them..write on them, if they deserve to be popularized but are languishing in obscurity..

Perhaps I have gushed in some previous posts, how I learnt about a lot of them on my own...tasted and relished ..published articles, eventually a book on them...

Carissa, strawberry guava, pineapple guava, prickly pear, silverberry are some of them........
My quest to find underutilized fruits continues, meanwhile some of my favorite fruits...

Opuntia..

Longan.......

Guava..

Persimmon fuyu....

Kiwi......

Cherimoya.....

Sapote.....

Clementine...

Loquat...

Luscious strawberries.......

Yellow watermelon.........

Honeydew melon............

Plant: Parasitic plants... dodder and mistletoe...

What's common between the two pictures? Well, the yellow matted one is dodder, the green clump is mistletoe....both grow on other plants.. at the the cost of the host ... former is complete parasite, the latter is semi-parasite...


I have seen both of them parasitising many plants, big and small in riparian and chaparral canyons of South California...the former has invaded and destroyed many willows...the latter has grown on oaks and sycamores...
Mistletoe has cultural importance...its lectins are emerging to be anticancer compounds...
Not sure, if dodder serves any purpose...needs to be investigated...
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