Joined: Apr 8, 2019 Last Active: Feb 21, 2024 iNaturalist

I am an amateur naturalist, i.e., self-taught through reading and observation. I welcome comments, suggestions and corrective IDs.

My primary photography subjects are plants, insects and and animals native to the California coastal sage scrub and chapparal biome. Sometimes I travel and take photographs in other locations.

I also try to document non-native and invasive species when I encounter them.

Some of my photos are taken just outside of my house. When my husband and I moved into the house it was surrounded by roses, front and back. The only bugs I saw on the roses were aphids and Argentine ants. After a couple of years of not seeing a bee of any kind, I decided to pull the roses out and start a multi-phase project to establish a native plants garden (it is still ongoing as budget and my backbone permits).

The summer of 2019 was a breakthrough with respect to pollinator diversity in our front yard. Bumble bees, carpenter bees, Urbane Digger and Tripartite Sweat bees and more, as well as several newcomer butterflies, showed up this summer to feed on the asters, buckwheat and sage. It takes a long time for some native plants to establish and in our poor soil, some do not make it. But it has been time well-spent, and so gratifying to see each of the transformed plots come alive.

2020 was a strange year. During most of the spring, the trails were off-limits due to the Covid pandemic. I was unable to observe many plants, bees, etc., that appear and disappear within a narrow window of time. Nevertheless, I continued observing where and when I could. At home, Bombus, Anthophora and Melissodes were daily visitors in the garden.

As of May 2021, I was reading whatever I could find about Megachile bees. I saw lots of them on the trails that spring, particularly on brittlebush. I spotted Megachile species visiting the lupine growing around my house. Also in May the lupine, salvia and a few other plants were visited daily by Habropoda (I think); newcomers as well as returning visitors among the Anthophora genus (California and Urbane Digger Bees). The Bombus and Xylocopa were also back, although visits from the Xylocopa were not as frequent as they were in the previous two years. Many houses near us tented for termites last fall and winter, which may have decreased their numbers.

The winter was dry, with only three days of rain, so we are headed back into a drought. I am not sure we really every emerged from the previous drought, perhaps it was just a brief reprieve after the Woolsey Fire.

My interests include the interface and conflicts between open (preserved, conserved, but not pristine) and developed (human) space; evolution and adaptation; and global warming.

I maintain a website,, where I post occasional articles about the creatures I come in contact with on the trail and at home.

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