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UCCE Master Gardeners of San Joaquin County

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Two Icons: Old Glory and the Glorious Monarch

Two icons: the American flag, which represents our democracy, and the monarch butterfly, which is linked to a monarchy. The common name,

Two icons, the American flag and the monarch butterfly, are flying high today. The American flag, or "Old Glory," symbolizes our democracy. The 13 stripes represent the 13 colonies that declared--and won--independence from Great Britain. The 50 stars in...

Posted on Monday, May 29, 2017 at 4:27 PM

Monarch Sightings in the UC Davis Arboretum: Cause for Celebration

A monarch on milkweed in the UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

What a delight to see. We strolled through milkweed patches in the UC Davis Arboretum Thursday noon and saw them. Monarchs! The monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are returning from their coastal California overwintering sites. And we're getting...

Posted on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 6:28 PM

Christine Merlin and Monarchs: How They Use Their Circadian Clocks for Seasonal Migration

Christine Merlin, shown here examining a monarch butterfly, will speak on

Did you know that monarch butterflies use a circadian clock to navigate to their overwintering sites during their seasonal long-distance migration? Yes, they do, says a Texas A&M researcher. Christine Merlin, an assistant professor in Texas...

Posted on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 4:59 PM

Bumble Bees: Pollen Power in the Phacelia

It's mine--move away! Two bumble bees, species Bombus vandykei, seek the same Phacelia blossom on the UC Davis central campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Talk about pollen! The bumble bees, Bombus vandykei (as identified by Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at the University of California, Davis), were buzzing all over the Phacelia last week on the central campus. One bumble...

Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 5:10 PM
Tags: Bombus vandykei (4), golden pollen (1), Phacelia (2), Robbin Thorp (197), UC Davis (144)

Meet Big Red, the Flameskimmer

A red flameskimmer, Libellula saturata, perches on a bamboo stake. Note the nesting earwigs and bees in the split stake. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Big Red visited us for four consecutive days. The red flameskimmer dragonfly, Libellula saturata, zigged and zagged into our pollinator garden in Vacaville, Calif. and perched on a bamboo stake for five hours at a time. Occasionally, he'd hunt--lift...

Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 5:27 PM

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