Thursday, May 20, 2010

Birds at Hastings 1937-2010

Want to volunteer? Computer skills? We need to convert the 1937-1959 bird records from Hastings to a digital format. The old field notebooks and forms have been scanned. We have a UC Berkeley post-doc (Pete Epanchin) and a local volunteer who are repeating the bird studies- how have birds changed? Did they? We need to get the old data into a ditigal format. Check out the link; you can download the scanned forms. You could do this at your personal computer if you know Excel or a database program. If you can work with Riley Rustad in CV, call us: 659 2664.

Emily MacLeod and Black Widow Spiders
She is back! Emily narrowly escaped from a day in jail at the US-Toronto boundary (airport) where she was kept locked up for hours while we sent "official" requests for the pleasure of her (unpaid) company. Our boys in white shirts at Homeland Security finally let her go, once assured that she was not going to be paid by UC Berkeley. Heck. They can hardly pay us! So, Emily and Katie Keogh are out in the field, literally walking it into strips looking for Black widow spiders. Joined by Tom Belissimo, out Toronto Trio were out standing in their field- Long Field. Spiders seem less abundant this year- maybe because it has been wet? Well, average rainfall for the last winter.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tularcitos School Visit
Busy day, May 12! Andrew Rush and Jessica Shade from the UC Berkeley GK-12 program, and Third Grade Teacher Phyllis Conlan (Thorngate) brought about 25 kids out, with many parents. We had a grand morning; they met Caitlin Stern and learned about western bluebirds, held a king snake, studied oak leaves and compared them from dry and wet parts of a tree, and looked at the web of life in an oak tree. They had lunch, and one of the students was a Linsdale! Yes- Nicola (Linsdale) Beucke was here with her husband Don. Nicola brought some historic photos and we shared stories about the previous (first) research zoologist here, Jean Linsdale. Jean's son Don (Nicola's father) went on to become the curator of natural history at the Oakland Museum. Great to see the kids, teachers, parents and get the historic connection.

UC Berkeley Physical Plant Field Trip!!
Brent Kindle (2nd from left) and the leader here, brought out a group of Physical Plant crafts-folk who put new roof shingles on the Scott Homestead Cabin (c. 1880). Of course, our reserve steward, Jaime del Valle lined materials up for them. It should be good for another 130 years, eh?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Hastings Count: Friday June 4, 2010.
Founded by the Xerces Society and managed by NABA, this is our 13th year for this annual count that is done as near as possible to early July. Here in CA, Jerry Powell has so many places he counts that he starts in June! We had 45 species in 2003, our high. Plan to meet at the entry gate on Upper Carmel Valley road (14 miles E of Carmel Valley P.O.) at 0930, Friday, June 4. This is 38601 E. Carmel Valley Road. The cross-road is Martin Road. We need more participants. Join Dr. Jerry Powell, a world-famous expert in moths and butterflies. A good walk of 2-3 miles is involved. But hey. Jerry is well into his 70s... Our poster child is Speyeria adiaste, the Unsilvered Fritillary a "national unique" butterfly. Call Mark Stromberg 831 659 2664 or contact Jerry Powell ( You can RSVP on the Hasting Facebook page. See ya!