Plant of the Moment: the Wisteria sinensis. The Wisteria, which is native to the eastern half of China, is blooming and just about at its peak. So, if you have not been to the Rancho yet this spring, now is the time to schedule a visit. There is an abundance of blooms around the site, but the Wisteria vines that are draping over the arbor and filling the air with glorious perfume will be stealing the show for the next couple of weeks.
Birds of the Month: Mallards. Although the pair did not show up until March this year, these annual visitors can be seen perambulating at different Rancho locations, including the lily pond in the courtyard. One of the typical mating routines is head bobbing by the drake, as witnessed by volunteers last week. RLC Horticulturist Marie Barnidge-McIntyre does not know if it is actually the same female that shows up each year, but the drake has historically selected poor nesting sites: eggs laid on top of a wall, in the middle of a walkway, and in other precarious locations. Here is hoping better choices are made this year, and that perhaps the drake can successfully raise a brood here at RLC. Southern California’s Mallard population seems to be holding steady at present, but climate change predicts 11% of their natural range will soon be lost in North America. Support the Rancho gardens and help us protect their habitat!
Birding Opportunity @ RLC: Thursday, April 8, 8-9:30 am. Explore the Rancho to see which birds are visiting us this month. A birding expert will be here to answer questions, and Covid-19 restrictions apply (no shared binoculars, masks must be worn, and both social distancing and RSVPs are required). Meet in the lower lot, dress for the weather, and be sure to RSVP at https://www.rancholoscerritos.org/upcoming-event/birding-opportunity-apr-8/. Rain cancels.