Tanoaks at Long Ridge, Windy Hill, and El Corte de Madera 2011

At the end of the season, JO and I surveyed all three tanoak locations. We first went to Long Ridge, arriving around 11:00. The weather was sunny and warm, at least 75F. The catkins on the trees still had stamens with anthers, but no visible pollen. We did, however, find a few small hymenopterans? on a lower clumpy catkin on the tree we designated as LR-2 (four trees, numbered left to right, with three “subtrees” behind LR-4). We collected an iridescent green one. Many small, tangled spider webs were apparent between the leaves. There were some large green acorns as well as small female flowers.

Small wasp or cuckoo bee?

After some time examining trees at the first spot, we checked the small 12′ tall tree at the second spot. We got there around 12:15. The tree was in shade, and had a few spider webs but no catkins or insects.

We stopped for lunch at Skyline Ridge, then went on to Windy Hill, arriving there around 1:15. Fairy Bells had red seed pods, Baneberry had red berries, and there were lots of Helleborine orchids.
We found the upper tanoak close to the trail on the right, designating that as WH1. Some large green acorns grew on higher branches. Across from this tree is a moss- and lichen- covered multiple-trunked tree. Down the trail, a smaller tanoak on the right could be a possible observation tree for future surveys.

We started off at El Corte de Madera at 2:00, first checking two trees to the left (EC-L1 and EC-L2). We collected a flower beetle that was head-down in a catkin. The second tree had more catkins, and we collected a stilt bug.

Stilt bug (Berytidae)

To the right of the entrance and down the hill, two tanoaks before the curve had catkins and lower branches (EC-R2 and EC-R3). We continued to the tree downhill before the meadow (EC-R4). These also still had small tangled spider webs. At 3:44, there were a few honey bees buzzing around, but they didn’t seem to be landing on the catkins. EC-R5 is across the trail.

Photos are here.

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