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Portraits of Woody~

Woody likes to people watch!

And he loves grape jelly,

which is why I glopped it in the palm trees,

for him and his friends.

He is shy, but quite a handsome fellow.

Herbert the Cat likes to watch him too!

Cheers to you from all The Holler Critters~

Feathered Pairs~

Big Gulp Gull,

swallows his catch, Coeur d’Alene Idaho.

Bald Eagle,

and juvenile, catch grizzly salmon scraps, British Columbia Canada.

Saddle Bill Stork catches a cat,

Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Red Tailed Hawk,

loves rare water, Southern California.

A pair of Yellow Legs multiply in reflection, Salton Sea, California.

Greater Flamingos tango, Tagus Estuary Portugal.

Mated White Storks greet on their nest, Alsace France.

Cheers to you from your feathered friends~

What a Load Of Bull~

Is it just me? Or does he look irritable to you?

Would you cross his pasture?

The timid California Quail,

seemed to like hanging around him.

Maybe she thinks no one will mess with her, when he’s around.

But the roadrunner stayed clearly on the other side of the fence.

He’d rather deal with a confusing human like me,

than a bunch of bull like him!

Cheers to you from California’s clever critters~

Happiest New Year~

To You from The Holler (click to enlarge),

We are having unending storms!

Deluges of Rain!

Happiest & Healthiest New Year to you from the soggy but happy Holler!

Note: If I disappear for a few days it is because our wifi antenna has shut down from ice and snow.

Formation Flying~

Pelis-can

fly in formation.

The birds in the back coast,

on the updraft from the birds in the front.

They swap positions regularly,

so no one gets tired.

Cooperation is a powerful force,

and much more fun than fighting.

Cheers to you from the pelis who can cooperate~

Sweet Bud~

Why doth thou,

stink so much?

This is the flower bud of a corpse plant, named for the rancid corpse like smell the flower emits when it blooms. The smell attracts carrion beetles who pollinate the flower. The flower itself is the tallest in the world and can grow up to twelve feet in the wild. You can get a sense of how huge the bud is by comparing it to the exit door in the first photo, and the child in the second. It grows only on the island of Sumatra and is extremely endangered with about 1000 of the plants left in the wild. The flower bud grows six inches a day, and when it blooms, the flower only lasts for 48 hours. There are two of these flowers at The San Diego Botanic Garden. Watch the first one bloom in a time lapse video below filmed by Botanic Garden staff, appropriately enough, on Halloween:

This plant reminds me of the Saturday Sci Fi movies I used to watch as a kid! The plant takes about ten years to bloom, and will only bloom every four-ten years thereafter. It’s corm can weigh 339 pounds! As the flower begins to bloom, the temperature of parts of the flower rise by up to 10 degrees Celsius in a process called thermogenesis. The second bud at the San Diego Botanic Garden is due to bloom around Thanksgiving. The garden stays open until midnight during the bloom and 5000 people queued to see the first flower! People drive from out of state to see it.

Notice the detail of the bud petals. It looks a bit like a giant Bok choy!

This is the base of the first flower that bloomed. The female flowers are the red ones on the bottom, and the males are the brown ones above. It is the male flowers that rise in temperature during the bloom.

Cheers to you from the soon to bloom, very tall, and very stinky corpse flower~

Holler Folk~

We have only the best sort of critters at The Holler, like this Western Scrub Jay,

and this always ready for his close up,

California thrasher.

Hummers are always humming at The Holler,

but for Bullocks orioles,

The Holler is just one of their many vacation homes.

The female,

and male grosbeaks, are also only seasonal visitors,

but baby house finches call Holler home.

Cheers to you from The Holler folk~

Southern California Flutterbyes~

Butterflies thrive in our warm climate.

Swallowtails,

Cloudless Sulfurs,

and Gulf Fritillaries are locals.

Swallowtails mating.

Queen.

But the Monarchs are the show stoppers now.

They are a threatened species, so seeing them is a special treat.

Cheers to you from from the Southern California Flutterbyes~

A New Species~

These gorgeous creatures,

are Grey Buckeye Butterflies,

a newly identified sub-species, found in south western North America. The species was first identified in 2016.

Grey Buckeyes are genetically and morphologically distinct and from Eastern Buckeye Butterflies.

All I know is they are beautiful and I love having them here!

Cheers to you from the beautiful Grey Buckeyes~

For More Information on the identification of this newly identified species see:

https://phys.org/news/2018-11-butterfly-species.html