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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wait! It's a Jerusalem Cricket

While planting in the yard, I dug this up ....


male Jerusalem cricket has a smaller abdomen
The Jerusalem cricket (Stenopelmatus sp.) is also known as a potato bug or an earth baby, nino de la terra. It is not poisonous or dangerous in any way. It can pinch, but that's all. It lives in the soil and is active at night.

This large insect is an important decomposer. Just like earthworms, the Jerusalem cricket eats decaying leaf litter and turns it back into the soil. Don't be afraid of this big bug. She can't hop, doesn't see well, and just wants to get away from scary giant humans. Look for her thread-thin antennae that help her find her way.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I'm thankful for creatures like the Jerusalem cricket. I think she's beautiful. She has a job to do and she stands up for herself. 

Go J. cricket!

Planting CA Native Plants

More Earth Minutes with insects
Butterflies in Illinois
Night Sounds - Massacre Rocks State Park, ID
Graybird Grasshopper
Insect and Animal Close-ups

Spend a minute with the natural world each week 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

You Need a Romp at the Beach

Nothing more to say. We all need to find our Happy Place again so we can move forward.

Take a minute for a Romp on the Beach!


Leo Carrillo State Beach just north of Malibu has a beach area north of the 3rd Life Guard station were dogs are welcome. Stay on-leash and pick-up after your four-legged pal so we can keep this beach open for dog folks.

Dog Friendly Beaches in Los Angeles

More Earth Minutes to Replenish the Spirit

Discover Fern Canyon, Redwoods State Park
Bodie Meets Bison in Yellowstone
Common Dolphins and Pelicans Fishing
Hiking Limekiln Canyon
Orcutt Ranch - Hidden Garden #1
Dawn on the Illinois Prairie
Mountain Wildflowers in Wyoming
Wildlife Cruise on the Yellow Water, Kakadu Australia

All of these places and creatures have a stake in the future too. 

Channel Island fox
Today on The Earth

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Autumn in Los Angeles

Yes, southern California has seasons! They are just different from the expected and therefore are typically discounted.


Summer is a time of dormancy for our plants, not winter. Winter is our time of growth and renewal. With recent Fall rain, bulbs are appearing. 

It is also time to plant. Native plants are more likely to be successful if planted in the Autumn. This gives them all winter to establish themselves before the harsh realities of a dry hot summer. We're planting natives that we picked up at the CA Native Plant Society plant sale last weekend.

desert sunflower
Sages have been successful for us and they provide nectar for Valley carpenter bees and hummingbirds. We're trying a new Salvia leucophylla. This desert sunflower, Encelia farinosa, is a new species for us. Hopefully its flowers will provide nectar for bees and butterflies (Name this Butterfly). 

Some CA creatures are preparing for a long winter sleep. See more Earth Minutes with desert tortoises:
Tortoises in spring 
Sleepy Tortoise 
Tortoise and Lizard Buddies

Creating habitat is a year-round effort, but Autumn in Los Angeles is the time to start something new. Native plants attract wild creatures and bring Earth Minutes to you. More on native plants and native plant gardens.

Visit each week for a new Earth Minute