Blog http://www.nhm.org/nature/taxonomy/term/6/all en Plant Clocks: Telling Seasonal Time in the Nature Gardens http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/plant-clocks-telling-seasonal-time-nature-gardens <p>Want to know the time of day? Look no further than your wristwatch, clock, computer, or cell phone. For the time of year, though, look to nature. Like a reliable timepiece, certain plants and animals signal the change of season. Just like learning to tell time, anyone can learn to read nature&rsquo;s seasonal clock. As with so many things here in the Golden State, nature is decidedly different from the rest of the country &mdash; our spring really begins in autumn!</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/plant-clocks-telling-seasonal-time-nature-gardens" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/plant-clocks-telling-seasonal-time-nature-gardens#comments Arctostaphylos California drought California native plants California seasons John Dourley Lester Rowntree manzanita manzanitas mediterranean climate seasons Blog Thu, 11 Dec 2014 22:34:34 +0000 Lila Higgins 853 at http://www.nhm.org/nature The Real L.A. Noir: The True-life Insect Cannibals and Murderers in our Midst http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/real-la-noir-true-life-insect-cannibals-and-murderers-our-midst <p><img alt="" src="/nature/sites/default/files/Concera_tibialis_15707_01_edit.jpg" style="width:100%" /></p> <p>The coffin fly. Image courtesy of Kelsey Bailey.</p> <p>As you get into your car in the parking lot of the Trader Joe&rsquo;s in Silver Lake in Los Angeles, you might just be within arm&rsquo;s reach of cannibals. Not the human kind &ndash; but the insect variety.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/real-la-noir-true-life-insect-cannibals-and-murderers-our-midst" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/real-la-noir-true-life-insect-cannibals-and-murderers-our-midst#comments ant decapitating fly BioSCAN coffin fly dragonly Hollywood Forever Cemetery insects LA Noir LA River Los Angeles phorid flies twisted wing parasite zombee zombie fly Blog Wed, 12 Nov 2014 20:21:50 +0000 Lila Higgins 849 at http://www.nhm.org/nature We Found a Western Red Bat in the Nature Gardens: A Small Visitor with Big Implications http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/we-found-western-red-bat-nature-gardens-small-visitor-big-implications <p><img alt="" src="/nature/sites/default/files/red_bat_ted2.jpg" style="width:100%" /></p> <p>Western red bat, <em>Lasiurus blossevillii, </em>photo by Ted Weller, US Forest Service.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/we-found-western-red-bat-nature-gardens-small-visitor-big-implications" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/we-found-western-red-bat-nature-gardens-small-visitor-big-implications#comments bat detector bats Dan Cooper Lasiurus blossevillii Miguel Ordenana Nature Gardens Parastrellus hesperus red bats Stephanie Remington western red bat Blog Fri, 31 Oct 2014 23:13:09 +0000 Lila Higgins 848 at http://www.nhm.org/nature We Found Bats Living at the La Brea Tar Pits! http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/we-found-bats-living-la-brea-tar-pits <p>If you&rsquo;ve ever been to the La Brea Tar Pits you might have wondered if bats were around during the last Ice Age when saber-toothed cats (<em>Smilodon fatalis</em>), Columbian mammoths (<em>Mammuthus columbi</em>), and dire wolves (<em>Canis dirus</em>) roamed the land that is now our city. Well, we&rsquo;re happy to tell you that the answer is yes, and we&rsquo;ve recently discovered that bats are still flying over the tar pits on a regular basis!</p> <p><img alt="" src="/nature/sites/default/files/Pallid_bat.jpg" style="height:511px; width:680px" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/we-found-bats-living-la-brea-tar-pits" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/we-found-bats-living-la-brea-tar-pits#comments bat detector bats La Brea Tar Pits mammals Miguel Ordenana Tar Pits Blog Thu, 09 Oct 2014 17:16:56 +0000 Miguel Ordenana 847 at http://www.nhm.org/nature Mega-moths in the City http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/mega-moths-city <p>Have&nbsp;you see this moth flying around Los Angeles?</p> <p>My friend Kat has. She got up-close and personal with one when it flew in through her balcony window a few months ago.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/mega-moths-city" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/mega-moths-city#comments Hyles lineata moths sphinx moth white-lined sphinx moth Blog Fri, 06 Jun 2014 22:07:53 +0000 Lila Higgins 841 at http://www.nhm.org/nature California Towhees in the Nature Gardens http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/california-towhees-nature-gardens <p>Have you ever seen this bird?</p> <p><img alt="" src="/nature/sites/default/files/images/blog/california_towhee_naturegardens_2014.jpg" /></p> <p>California Towhee visits the Natural History Museum. Image courtesy of Kimball Garrett</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/california-towhees-nature-gardens" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/california-towhees-nature-gardens#comments bird nests birds Bushtits Hershey's Kisses Melozone crissalis Nature Garden Psaltriparus minimus Spotted Towhee Urban Wilderness Blog Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:18:46 +0000 Lila Higgins 839 at http://www.nhm.org/nature Urban Foraging: Carp Caviar from the L.A. River! http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/urban-foraging-carp-caviar-la-river <p>Ask me where my favorite spot to explore urban nature is in Los Angeles, and I&#39;ll almost always say the river. This is particularly true during, and after, our&nbsp;seasonal&nbsp;rain storms.&nbsp;We&#39;re used to extreme&nbsp;heat episodes, wildlfires, and the odd earthquake* or two. But, by and large, us Angelenos&nbsp;are&nbsp;unaffected and unimpressed&nbsp;by the elements.&nbsp;Going down to the river after a good rain,&nbsp;you&nbsp;get a rare chance&nbsp;to see, hear,&nbsp;and feel&nbsp;the raw power of nature.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/urban-foraging-carp-caviar-la-river" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/urban-foraging-carp-caviar-la-river#comments carp carp caviar Cyprinus carpio Damian Robledo Elysian Valley fish FoLAR fish study Greg Pauly L.A. River Rick Feeney River Wild The River Project Blog Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:28:37 +0000 Lila Higgins 838 at http://www.nhm.org/nature Hawk Attacks Snake and Epically Fails! http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/hawk-attacks-snake-and-epically-fails <p>Guest Blog by our very own Dr. Greg Pauly:</p> <p>For local wildlife, living in the big city can be rough. Encounters with people and their dogs, cats, and cars all present threats not experienced by critters living outside of urban areas. Plus, these city dwellers still have to contend with many of the usual threats like predators and weather extremes. Here are two photos celebrating the scrappiness it takes to be a city dwelling reptile, and also celebrating the incredible opportunities to observe urban nature in action.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/hawk-attacks-snake-and-epically-fails" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/hawk-attacks-snake-and-epically-fails#comments alligator lizard California striped racer gopher snake Greg Pauly hawks RASCals Red-tailed Hawk snake Blog Fri, 07 Feb 2014 23:46:42 +0000 Lila Higgins 834 at http://www.nhm.org/nature Second Ant-decapitating Fly Found in Glendale http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/second-ant-decapitating-fly-found-glendale <p>Our scientists found another species of ant-decapitating fly in Glendale, <em>Pseudacteon amuletum</em>!</p> <p><img alt="" src="/nature/sites/default/files/images/blog/fly_c_2.jpg" /></p> <p><em>Pseudacteon amuletum.</em> Photo credit: Phyllis Sun</p> <p>Here&#39;s&nbsp;an account of this&nbsp;tiny, yet impressive fly, by Lisa Gonzalez, one of our <a href="http://research.nhm.org/bioscan/" target="_blank">BioSCAN</a> entomologists:</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/second-ant-decapitating-fly-found-glendale" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/second-ant-decapitating-fly-found-glendale#comments ant decapitating flies Brian Brown Flies Lisa Gonzalez phorid flies Pseudacteon Pseudacteon amuletum Blog Mon, 13 Jan 2014 20:52:19 +0000 Lisa Gonzalez 833 at http://www.nhm.org/nature New Year: New Bird http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/new-year-new-bird <p>&quot;175,&quot; responds&nbsp;Kimball Garrett, the Museum&#39;s ornithology collections manager and resident bird nerd, when someone asked him&nbsp;how many birds he&#39;s&nbsp;documented&nbsp;around the Museum. In the last few days of 2013 Kimball checked off another bird that had never before been documented in Exposition Park, this brought Kimball&#39;s ever growing list to its current pinnacle.</p> <p><img alt="" src="/nature/sites/default/files/images/blog/KLG%20photo%20June%202010a.JPG" /></p> <p>Kimball behind the scenes in Ornithology</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/new-year-new-bird" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/new-year-new-bird#comments Bird List birds Exposition Park Golden-crowned Kinglet Hollywood Hills Kimball Garrett King Vulture Regulus satrapa Blog Fri, 03 Jan 2014 22:41:50 +0000 Lila Higgins 832 at http://www.nhm.org/nature Twelve Days of Los Angeles Nature: 2013 http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/twelve-days-los-angeles-nature-2013 <p>Let&#39;s celebrate another year of L.A.&#39;s AMAZING BIODIVERSITY. The benevolent blogger that I am, here are your gifts:</p> <p>Twelve&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/rattlesnakes-los-angeles-times" target="_blank">Rattlers</a> Rattling</p> <p><img alt="" src="/nature/sites/default/files/images/blog/12_rattlesnakes_rattling.jpg" /><br /> Eleven <a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/natures-tiniest-potters" target="_blank">Potter Wasps</a>&nbsp;Piping</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/twelve-days-los-angeles-nature-2013" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/twelve-days-los-angeles-nature-2013#comments 12 days of christmas ant decapitating flies avocado California newts dragonflies glowworms gray fox green anole LA River lizard Los Angeles mexican amberwing Mountain Lion Opossum P-22 planarians potter wasps Praying mantis rattlesnakes urban nature Blog Tue, 24 Dec 2013 00:08:19 +0000 Lila Higgins 831 at http://www.nhm.org/nature California Holly: How Hollywood Didn't Get its Name http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/california-holly-how-hollywood-didnt-get-its-name <p>In Nancy Dale&rsquo;s 1986 epic tome of Southern California native plants, <em>Flowering Plants</em>, she has this to say about Toyon &mdash; aka California Holly, Christmas Berry, or, if you&rsquo;re a botanist, Heteromeles arbutifolia:</p> <p>&ldquo;It is thought that masses of this native shrub growing on the hills above Hollywood gave the community its name.&rdquo;</p> <p>This idea of floral origins for Hollywood is romantic. It&rsquo;s also not true. Hollywood got its name for a much more mundane reason: someone wealthy liked the sound of it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/california-holly-how-hollywood-didnt-get-its-name" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/california-holly-how-hollywood-didnt-get-its-name#comments California Holly Carol Bornstein Christmas Berry Daeida Wilcox European Holly Harvey Wilcox Heteromeles arbutifolia Hollywood Hollywood sign Ilex aquifolium Toyon Toyonwood Blog Wed, 18 Dec 2013 18:09:45 +0000 Lila Higgins 830 at http://www.nhm.org/nature What Does the Gray Fox Say? http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/what-does-gray-fox-say <p>A few days ago, Miguel Orde&ntilde;ana, NHMer and local biologist working on the Griffith Park Connectivity Study, captured images of the elusive gray fox, <em>Urocyon cinereoargenteus</em>. Fortunately, I&#39;m able to speak fox (growing up on a farm in England gives you certain skills), and have, through the magic of Photoshop, been able to translate his &quot;Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding&#39;s&quot; and &quot;Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow&#39;s&quot; into English.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/what-does-gray-fox-say" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/what-does-gray-fox-say#comments gray fox Griffith Park Griffith Park Connectivity Study Miguel Ordenana Urocyon cinereoargenteus What does the fox say Ylvis Blog Tue, 26 Nov 2013 20:39:52 +0000 Lila Higgins 829 at http://www.nhm.org/nature Ant-decapitating Fly Found in Glendale! http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/ant-decapitating-fly-found-glendale <p>I just&nbsp;found out we have ant-decapitating flies here in Los Angeles! Dr. Brian Brown,&nbsp;the Museum&#39;s Curator of Entomology and&nbsp;one of the world&#39;s foremost experts on flies, made&nbsp;a chance discovery by looking right under the nose of an unsuspecting USC student.</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/ant-decapitating-fly-found-glendale" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/ant-decapitating-fly-found-glendale#comments ant decapitating fly BioSCAN Brian Brown Flies fly Glendale Los Angeles Nature Luis Chiappe phorid flies phoridae Pseudacteon Blog Mon, 18 Nov 2013 20:16:55 +0000 Lila Higgins 828 at http://www.nhm.org/nature Oak Wasp Galls http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/oak-wasp-galls <p>Let me&nbsp;introduce you to a tiny parasitic wasp that&nbsp;makes a unique nursery for&nbsp;its offspring.&nbsp;Meet the Oak Gall Wasp:</p> <p><img alt="" src="/nature/sites/default/files/images/blog/gall_wasp.jpg" /></p> <p>To construct her nursery, female Oak Gall Wasps employ a not-so-subtle subterfuge. Instead of woking to find and construct a nest of&nbsp;her own, the wasp&nbsp;turns to the mighty oak and bends it to her will!</p> <p><a href="http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/oak-wasp-galls" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/oak-wasp-galls#comments gall gall wasp galls oak apple oak apple gall Quercus lobata Valley Oak Blog Thu, 31 Oct 2013 18:24:03 +0000 Lila Higgins 827 at http://www.nhm.org/nature