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The floss silk tree and tarantula spiders

Natural San Diego, October 19-25

Tarantula venom is less powerful than a bee’s.
Tarantula venom is less powerful than a bee’s.

The Floss Silk Tree, a conspicuous “autumn bloomer” here and there around San Diego, has been showing off its pinkish or purplish, hibiscus-like flowers for at least a month now. The broad, heavy trunks of this South American import, studded with fat, cone-shaped spines makes it easy to identify.

Floss Silk tree depicted as part of San Diego Zoo's animals and plants

Roaming Tarantula Spiders are occasionally seen this time of year crossing rural roads or marching through some of San Diego’s canyon-bordering neighborhoods. Doggedly searching for a mate, a male will try to hold its course despite your best effort to deflect or hinder him. Docile in temperament, most tarantulas will tolerate gentle handling; they may bite, however, if provoked. Despite their fearsome reputation, tarantula venom is less powerful than a bee’s.

Poison oak, Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

Leaves Are Beginning to Turn in coastal San Diego County’s riparian woodland and oak woodland habitats. The summer-green crowns of willows and sycamores are already fading to yellow and brown. Beneath the oaks, the deciduous poison oak is flushing red. Good locations for autumnal walks this month and next include San Clemente Canyon (Marian Bear) Park adjacent to Freeway 52, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve north of Mira Mesa, and Wilderness Gardens Preserve County Park east of Pala in North County.

The above comes from the Outdoors listings in the Reader compiled by Jerry Schad, author of Afoot & Afield in San Diego County. Schad died in 2011. Planet information from SkyandTelescope.org.

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Tarantula venom is less powerful than a bee’s.
Tarantula venom is less powerful than a bee’s.

The Floss Silk Tree, a conspicuous “autumn bloomer” here and there around San Diego, has been showing off its pinkish or purplish, hibiscus-like flowers for at least a month now. The broad, heavy trunks of this South American import, studded with fat, cone-shaped spines makes it easy to identify.

Floss Silk tree depicted as part of San Diego Zoo's animals and plants

Roaming Tarantula Spiders are occasionally seen this time of year crossing rural roads or marching through some of San Diego’s canyon-bordering neighborhoods. Doggedly searching for a mate, a male will try to hold its course despite your best effort to deflect or hinder him. Docile in temperament, most tarantulas will tolerate gentle handling; they may bite, however, if provoked. Despite their fearsome reputation, tarantula venom is less powerful than a bee’s.

Poison oak, Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

Leaves Are Beginning to Turn in coastal San Diego County’s riparian woodland and oak woodland habitats. The summer-green crowns of willows and sycamores are already fading to yellow and brown. Beneath the oaks, the deciduous poison oak is flushing red. Good locations for autumnal walks this month and next include San Clemente Canyon (Marian Bear) Park adjacent to Freeway 52, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve north of Mira Mesa, and Wilderness Gardens Preserve County Park east of Pala in North County.

The above comes from the Outdoors listings in the Reader compiled by Jerry Schad, author of Afoot & Afield in San Diego County. Schad died in 2011. Planet information from SkyandTelescope.org.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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