Terra Flora is the home for many creatures, both wild and domesticated, small and large. Here are some of the delights we've witnessed this spring and early summer season—
This pair of Ceanothus Silk Moths, Hyalophora euryalus was spotted mating on the garden shop wall. (Photos by Jon Enos, FES staff member.)
W.P. Armstrong of CA State University, San Marcos, says: “Hyalophora euryalus belongs to the wild silk moth family Saturniidae. This family includes some of the largest and most spectacular moths in the world, particularly the tropical rain forest. The valuable textile silk comes from the larvae of a different moth family, the Bombycidae. The ceanothus silk moth lives in the nearby chaparral-covered hillsides [of Northern CA]…. The larva (caterpillar) feeds primarily on species of California lilac (Ceanothus). …The larvae are also known to feed on other native shrubs, including laurel sumac (Malosma laurina), mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus minutiflorus) and manzanita (Arctostaphylos) species. …”
This is a nest of Steller’s Jays, not Blue Jays. Steller’s are more common west of the Rockies (although we do have Blue’s here, too).
Wikipedia says: “Blue Jays typically form monogamous pair bonds for life. Both sexes build the nest and rear the young, though only the female broods them. [That has been my observation.] The male feeds the female while she is brooding the eggs. There are usually 4–5 eggs laid and incubated over 16–18 days. The young fledge usually between 17–21 days after hatching. After the juveniles fledge, the family travels and forages together until early fall, when the young birds disperse to avoid competition for food during the winter.”
The flock of chickens has grown with the hatching of baby chicks—
There are now nine sheep at Terra Flora, including the four lambs born this spring—photos (and one above) by Richard Katz
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