If you visit the Kate Frey Pollinator Garden at Sonoma Cornerstone--and you should, especially during National Pollinator Week--you'll see honey...
Western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, nectaring on verbena in the Kate Frey Pollinator Garden, Sonoma Cornerstone. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, heads for more nectar in the Kate Frey Pollinator Garden, Sonoma Cornerstone. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Caught in flight: a Western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, in the Kate Frey Pollinator Garden, Sonoma Cornerstone. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
(2) Cornell University offered a cursory overview of pathogens affecting tomatoes with photographs entitled “Tomato Disease Identification Key By Affected Plant Part: Stem and Whole Plant Symptoms.”
(4) Purdue University provides access to an article in PDF format, “Tomato Disease Management in Greenhouses,” addressing common diseases of greenhouse tomatoes, the importance of using a cloth ground covering between rows for easy sanitation, greenhouse ventilation with photographs of these issues.
photos by Launa Herrmann
White mold 2
When was the last time you sighted a bumble bee? Photographed it? It's National Pollinator Week and one of our favorite bumble bees is the...
A yellow-faced bumble bee,Bombus vosnesenskii, foraging on a tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii, in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, leaving a foxglove in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
I am a frequent flier at UC Davis. My husband and I have walked our dogs the entire length of the arboretum once or twice weekly for over twenty years. It wasn't until about 5 years ago, on a break from a UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) pet appointment, that we discovered the Toxic Plant Garden. It is on the north side of the anatomy building very close to the VMTH. The garden has over 60 plants known to be poisonous to pets and livestock and some to people, as well.
The original garden was designed by Murray Fowler DVM (1928 - 2014), a name some may recognize as the former Sacramento Zoo veterinarian. He was also the first to author a zoological medicine text used to train zoo animal medicine. He designed the Toxic Plant Garden in 1970 in a different location near the VMTH, and he and some of his students maintained it. In 2006, Dr. John Pasco relocated the garden to its present location. Mick Mount, Clinical Toxicologist worked together with Dr. Fowler (who was retired by this time) to select the plants from a long list to plant in the new garden. A walk through the current garden can be eye-opening. Plants you never thought would be toxic ARE to our pets and livestock (lemon verbena, aloe!)
While the plants are identified in the garden, a list of them can be found at this address: https://ccah.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk4586/files/local_resources/pdfs/toxic_plants_common%20name_Auug2011.pdf
It is not the complete list of every toxic plant you can buy. There is no such list that I am aware of. I check numerous sites before I bring a plant home and still have unwittingly planted something that I later find out is potentially poisonous. I will have found it on one list and not on another. Fortunately, my husband and I adopt older dogs now, who seem to have the sense or have gained the wisdom before we got them, to not eat everything in sight.
Some sites I have used to check for plant toxicity are ASPCA, HSUS, Cornell University, and the Sunset Western Garden Book which has an icon to identify a poisonous plant. Of course, if there is any concern, after ingestion, contact your veterinarian immediately or the Poison Pet Helpline at (800) 213-6680 or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. Each of the phone hotlines has a fee attached.
Lemon verbena. photo by Michelle Davis
As California grappled with a record-breaking heatwave last week and 236 wildfires, officials are bracing for the worst, reported Maanvi Singh in the Guardian.
The fires have been mostly fueled by grass and brush that came up during the state's especially wet winter and mild spring, according to a CAL FIRE official. UC Cooperative Extension fire advisor Lenya Quinn-Davidson said California's annual wildfire season is growing longer – beginning earlier in the spring and stretching later in the fall.
“It's not unusual for us to see this many small fires in June,” she said. “But 50 years ago, so many fires this early on – plus these extreme, high temperatures in June – would have been abnormal.”
It is difficult to predict how bad the rest of this fire season will be based on the number of fires so far, said UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain.
"Our worst fire years aren't necessarily the years that we've had the highest number of fires,” he noted. “All it takes is one – one huge, destructive fire to ruin the whole year."