Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Common Gray (Anavitrinella pampinaria)

4/28/15 On the wall of our front portico, Kyle Court, La Cresta,
Murrieta, SW Riverside County, CA 


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

White-Lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata)

 4/27/17 On a curtain panel in the master bedroom. They like to fly into the house at night 
towards the light of the blazing lamp on my nightstand when our sliding doors are open. Go figure...

4/26/17 In the herb garden

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Merlin (Falco columbarius)

So cool to see this Merlin on our property since the last sighting was seven years ago in 2009!

 12/28/16 On the Engelmann Oak above the orchard.


11/10/09 on the same Engelmann Oak as above.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Monarchs aren't common here on our property and the few times I'd seen them over the past 10 years, I was never able to actually get a good shot of them. But lo and behold, this beauty came flitting by and then landed on the butterfly bush off of our front portico last weekend and, SNAP! Here it is, in its full unblurry glory!

11/13/16 On the Lavender Butterly Bush (Buddleia davidii) off of our front portico.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

California Myotis Bat (Myotis californicus)

This tiny and actually very cute (as far as bats go) native vesper bat flew into our master bedroom through the open sliding doors of the balcony at around 12:45am. I was brushing my teeth just before turning in and saw this thing fluttering around and thought it was a giant moth until it landed on the curtains. OMG! I scrambled downstairs to get the camera and our iPhones and Gil and I started snapping away but, since it was pretty dark, most of the shots didn't turn out very well. Shortly thereafter, using a bucket and a piece of cardboard, I gently coaxed it off of the curtains into the bucket and released it back to the outdoors. Of course, over the next few days, Gil kept asking me in a rather smirky fashion if I had any unusual aversion to water. Yeah, right, Gil - I know our pooches are vaccinated for rabies, but I'm not. Rabies notwithstanding, it was an awesome experience!


Emerald Geometer Moth (Dichorda illustraria)

According to the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Geometer moths "make up one of our largest moth families, with more than 1,400 species in the U.S. and Canada." Larval hosts include Laurel Sumac (Malosma laurina), Skunkbush (Rhus trilobata) and gooseberries (Ribes sp.) 

5/11/15 A cool-looking green moth that I almost dismissed as an errant leaf that blew into our master bedroom from the balcony. 


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Granite Spiny Lizard

Thanks to Gary Nafis at, I was able to ID this guy as a Granite Spiny Lizard. He (not Gary) was basking on the redwood deck in our back patio - I guess a good alternative to hanging out on large granite outcroppings - go figure. 

4/24/16 Granite Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus orcutti).