Sherrie

Joined: Apr 08, 2019 Last Active: May 15, 2021 iNaturalist

I am an amateur naturalist, i.e., self-taught through reading and observation. I welcome comments, suggestions and corrective IDs.

My primary photography subjects are plants, insects and and animals native to the California coastal sage scrub and chapparal biome. Sometimes I travel and take photographs in other locations.

I also try to document non-native and invasive species when I encounter them.

Some of my photos are taken just outside of my house. When my husband and I moved into the house it was surrounded by roses, front and back. The only bugs I saw on the roses were aphids and Argentine ants. After a couple of years of not seeing a bee of any kind, I decided to pull the roses out and start a multi-phase project to establish a native plants garden (it is still ongoing as budget and my backbone permits).

This summer (2019) was a breakthrough with respect to pollinator diversity in our front yard. Bumble bees, carpenter bees, Urbane digger and Tripartite Sweat bees and more, as well as several newcomer butterflies showed up this summer to feed on the asters, buckwheat and sage. It takes a long time for some native plants to establish and in our poor soil, some do not make it. But it has been time well-spent, and so gratifying to see each of the transformed plots come alive.

2020 was a strange year. During most of the spring, the trails were off-limits due to the Covid pandemic. I was unable to observe many plants, bees, etc., that appear and disappear within a narrow window of time. Nevertheless, I continued observing where and when I could. At home, Bombus, Anthrophora and Melissodes were daily visitors in the garden.

As of May 2021, I have read whatever I could find about Megachile bees. I have seen lots of them on the trails this spring, particularly on brittlebush. More recently, Megachile species are visiting the lupine growing around my house. In May the lupine, salvia and a few other plants are visited daily by Habropoda (I think) newcomers as well as returning visitors among the Anthophora genus (California and Urbane Digger Bees). The Bombus and Xylocopa and also back, although their visits are intermittent.

The winter was dry, with only three days of rain, so we are headed back into a drought. I am not sure we really every emerged from the previous drought, perhaps it was just a brief reprieve after the Woolsey Fire.


My interests include the interface and conflicts between open (preserved, conserved, but not pristine) and developed (human) space; evolution and adaptation; and global warming.

I maintain a website, https://www.estuary.us, where I post occasional articles about the creatures I come in contact with on the trail and at home.

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