April 17th, 2016
Ashley, Rachel, and I decided to start our day at the Upper Oso site. We usually start there because it’s on the side of a steep hill and is in full sun, so it’s best to do before it gets too hot out. The plants looked very similar to the last trip, the only difference being that a few had started to drop their umbels and replace them with pods and there were also a few less caterpillars overall. We also found some other caterpillar friends on neighboring plants.
Lower Red Rock
Next, we headed over to the red rock sites. First along the trail is Lower Red Rock. The plants here had gotten visibly larger since our last trip but it seemed all the first instars we found last time were also growing up nicely. There was a scattering of eight 3rd-5th instars and one egg found. I also found a MOBU caterpillar hanging out with another species on a leaf.
Upper Red Rock
When we finished collecting data at LRR, it was closing in on the time Ashley and Rachel needed to leave by to get home in time. We had enough time to walk the rest of the way to the Upper Red Rock site, so, we went to check for plants and I showed Ashley the way for future reference. Once we arrived, we found about 40 plants. I parted ways with Ashley and Rachel and finished up the site. I did not find any caterpillars or eggs on the plants, but I made sure to take a selfie with the eriocarpa.
There were also a few other cool things at URR.
At this point, it was almost 4pm. I hiked the half hour back to the parking lot, had lunch, caught a side-blotched lizard, and decided to drive out to the other three sites.
The Nira site has also started up. It looks like its been up for a couple weeks. It was 6:30pm by the time I reached this site, so I only measured the tallest stem (42cm) from the site and did a quick ramet count, finding ~25 and no signs of MOBU caterpillars or adults.
Davey Brown Road
I was able to stop at the Davey Brown Road site since it’s just off the road when heading out from Nira. However, I did not hike up to the Davey Brown Trail site since the sun was setting and the mosquitoes were out in full force (and I always seem to come unprepared in some way, this time with no bug repellent). The plants here looked similar to the ones at Nira. There were 16 plants and the tallest stem was 33cm with an emerging umbel (shown below). There were no signs of larvae but I did come across 2 eggs on one of the plants as well as a lady beetle and some leafhoppers. At this point it was 7pm and I could feel the mosquitoes sucking away my life force, so I decided to high-tail it out of there and headed home for the night.