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Posts Tagged: Thanksgiving

What Are You Thankful for? Insects on the List?

The honey bee is responsible for pollinating about one-third of the food in our diet. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

So you're seated at the Thanksgiving dinner table listening to what people are thankful for, what they treasure the most. The three "F's" win...

A native bee,  Melissodes agilis targets a monarch on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A native bee, Melissodes agilis targets a monarch on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A native bee, Melissodes agilis targets a monarch on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle, aka ladybug, targeting aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle, aka ladybug, targeting aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle, aka ladybug, targeting aphids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The honey bee is responsible for pollinating about one-third of the food in our diet. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The honey bee is responsible for pollinating about one-third of the food in our diet. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The honey bee is responsible for pollinating about one-third of the food in our diet. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, November 28, 2019 at 2:18 PM
Tags: butterflies (74), dragonflies (14), George McGavin (2), honey bees (373), insects (63), lady beetles (41), Norman Gary (22), Thanksgiving (8)
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Environment, Innovation, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

Thank the Squash Bee on Thanksgiving

A squash bee, Peponapis pruinosa, pollinating a squash blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you're having pumpkin pie or butternut squash this Thanksgiving, thank the squash bee. Squash bees are specialists (not generalists) that...

A squash bee, Peponapis pruinosa, pollinating a squash blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A squash bee, Peponapis pruinosa, pollinating a squash blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A squash bee, Peponapis pruinosa, pollinating a squash blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a squash bee,Peponapis pruinosa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of a squash bee,Peponapis pruinosa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Close-up of a squash bee,Peponapis pruinosa. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 6:00 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture, Food, Yard & Garden

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) nectaring on a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's Thanksgiving Day, and what better day to stop and be thankful for not only family and friends, but for the beauty around us. That would include...

A Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) nectaring on a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) nectaring on a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) nectaring on a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This gravid female  Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) can't get enough of a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This gravid female Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) can't get enough of a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

This gravid female Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) can't get enough of a butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2018 at 8:00 AM
Focus Area Tags: Environment, Family, Food, Natural Resources, Yard & Garden

Lady Beetles: The First Ladies of the Garden Having a Ball

A lady beetle feasts on aphids on a milkweed plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, also known as balloon-plant milkweed or hairy balls. Note the spiky hairs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

See those red spots on your milkweed seed pods? Lady beetles (aka ladybugs or "garden heroes") are feasting on aphids. And they're having a...

A lady beetle feasts on aphids on a milkweed plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, also known as balloon-plant milkweed or hairy balls. Note the spiky hairs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A lady beetle feasts on aphids on a milkweed plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, also known as balloon-plant milkweed or hairy balls. Note the spiky hairs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A lady beetle feasts on aphids on a milkweed plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, also known as balloon-plant milkweed or hairy balls. Note the spiky hairs. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Peek-a-boo? Or peek-a-beetle? A lady beetle, resplendent in red, crawls through the spiky hairs of milkweed seed pods. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Peek-a-boo? Or peek-a-beetle? A lady beetle, resplendent in red, crawls through the spiky hairs of milkweed seed pods. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Peek-a-boo? Or peek-a-beetle? A lady beetle, resplendent in red, crawls through the spiky hairs of milkweed seed pods. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hurry! A lady beetle snags aphids on a milkweed seed pod, while other aphids try to escape (far right). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Hurry! A lady beetle snags aphids on a milkweed seed pod, while other aphids try to escape (far right). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Hurry! A lady beetle snags aphids on a milkweed seed pod, while other aphids try to escape (far right). (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 4:17 PM

Videos show hikers how to avoid Black Friday stampedes on park trails

In a new series of videos, a cow puppet provides advice for hikers from UC Cooperative Extension on sharing open space with livestock.

While Americans traditionally beat a path to the malls the day after Thanksgiving, many opt out of shopping on Black Friday to enjoy the outdoors. In regional parks and other open spaces, hikers may encounter crowds of a different sort – cattle grazing with their calves. A 1,200-pound cow blocking the path can be daunting.

With a little patience and understanding, people who hike, bike and horseback ride can coexist peacefully with the cattle, according to Sheila Barry, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and natural resources advisor in Santa Clara County.

For happier trails, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources has produced a series of videos that show hikers how they can amicably share open space with their beefy neighbors. In a two-minute video, a black cow puppet with a furry white face describes how to politely coax cows to moo-ove aside without spurring a Black Friday stampede.

“We wanted to produce videos that are entertaining as well as informative,” Barry said. 

The cow pun-filled video also describes the ecosystem services cattle provide by consuming nearly their body weight in plants. By grazing, cows manage the vegetation, reducing wildfire fuel, increasing water capture and promoting the diversity of native grasses and wildflowers.

In “Sharing open spaces with livestock,” the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources livestock experts give four simple tips for safely sharing open space with cows on the trail: 

  1. Keep moo-ving and speak in a normal tone. Sudden movements and loud noises may surprise cows.
  2. Approach cows from the side or front. They find it udderly unnerving to have someone sneak up from behind, the bovine blind spot.
  3. Steer clear of getting between a protective mother and her calf.
  4. If you need to move a cow, step slowly into its flight zone. Invading the animal's “personal space” will motivate it to mosey aside.

A second video, “Sharing open spaces with livestock when you have a dog,” gives advice for dog owners to keep their best friends safe around cows.

In a third video, “A year in the life of a cow,” the UC Cooperative Extension spokespuppet describes a typical year for a beef cow.

“The videos are a fun way to educate the public about grazing on rangelands,” said Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension livestock and rangeland advisor in Sonoma County.

The videos are based on the UC ANR publication “Understanding Working Rangelands,” authored by Barry and Larson, at http://ucanr.edu/shareopenspace.

Watch all three videos on UC ANR's YouTube channel:

Sharing open spaces with livestock https://youtu.be/Qd8LEGLDhaM

Sharing open spaces with livestock when you have a dog https://youtu.be/zzdGnfFwmcA

A year in the life of a cow https://youtu.be/znJbWknVXVg

Posted on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 8:48 AM
Tags: cattle (17), livestock (11), Sheila Barry (6), Stephanie Larson (10), Thanksgiving (8)

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