Diceroprocta apache

It was good to be back with Trisha on Youtube last Thursday night. I learned some new words and cicada body parts. She also told us about the Massospora cicadina fungus that turns cicadas into “flying salt shakers of death”. Amazing(ly gross).

The citrus cicada is found in the south west US (CA-AZ-UT-NV). (Trisha’s specimen was collected in Mesquite, NV.) They are not one of the 13- or 17-year cicadas; these ones have a life span of 3-4 years from egg to adult death.

welcome walk

It was good to be back at Malibu Creek State Park for the first time since January. We had so many people show up for the monthly Welcome Walk that we had to split into two groups; I helped Dave lead 26 Boy Scouts on a two hour hike. The Park is looking so good after all the winter rain. Spring is off to a great start!

red rock canyon

Bodie is a herding dog, not a hunting dog. So it was very surprising when she sniffed in the grass beside the trail, then suddenly lunged and caught a rodent of some kind. It was bigger than a mouse, but smaller than a gopher, and its tail was shorter than a rat’s but not gopher-like. She ignored my commands to drop it, and crunched for a minute before swallowing it. Ugh! Sorry, little critter!

Salvia apiana

Our white (sacred) sage plant was being crowded by a bush sunflower. In pruning back the sunflower, I inadvertently broke two of the sage’s growing tips. I hope I can strike the cuttings—I‘ve had good success with basil; fingers crossed on the sage.

Salvia apiana is an evergreen perennial shrub that is native to these parts, though it wasn’t growing on our block until I planted it. It is widely used by Native American peoples on the Pacific coast of the United States, medicinally and ceremonially. Illegal poaching of wild white sage populations for the commercial sale of ’smudge sticks’ is a concern held by many; if you purchase such a product, you are contributing to the world-wide demand that fuels the poaching. Instead, consider growing your own sacred sage.