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    Photo of the Month: August
    • September 14, 2020

    A closeup of the mountain lady's slipper which has long purple petals that surround a white, slipper-shaped pouch that functions to help pollination.

    Cypripedium montanum – mountain lady’s-slipper
    Submitted by Jacob Smith

    This amazing little orchid was found by Jacob Smith in Madera county. This picture shows the characteristic slipper-shaped pouch that temporarily traps pollinators and forces them to crawl under the anther, causing pollen to be deposited on their backs and resulting in pollen being spread from one flower to the next as the pollinator works. Cypripedium montanum was originally listed in 1980 as a California Native Plant Society List 2 (rare or endangered) and is currently considered a California Rare Plant Rank 4.2 (limited distribution and moderately threatened in California). It ranges across northern California as well as several other northern states and into Canada. Cypripedium montanum is found in broadleafed upland forests, cismontane woodlands, lower montane coniferous forests, and North Coast coniferous forests. These little mountain lady's-slippers can be seen blooming from March through August. Thank you Jacob for this striking photo and the amazing work you share with us!

    Top-down view of a California red-legged frog immersed in a pond amongst duckweed.

    Rana draytonii – California red-legged frog
    Submitted by Gary Kittleson of Kittleson Environmental Consulting

    Gary discovered this California red-legged frog taking refuge in some freshwater foliage near Watsonville in Santa Cruz county. These amphibians can be hard to detect because of their immaculate ability to hide and blend in with their surroundings. This frog species can be seen in many colors but will have distinct red coloring on its legs and belly, giving it its name. California red-legged frogs have long back legs which give them the ability to leap far distances and to climb. Both are used to avoid and escape predators. Their diet consists of mainly small invertebrates and they use their long sticky tongue to grab their prey and bring it close to them. California red-legged frogs are endemic to the state, inhabiting the Coast Ranges as well as the Foothills and Sierra Nevada. They are a California Species of Special Concern and are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Currently, CNDDB has over 1500 California red-legged frog occurrences throughout its range. Thank you, Gary, for this great shot!

    Do you have some great photos of rare plants or wildlife detections? Submit them along with your findings through our Online Field Survey Form and see if your photos get showcased!

    Categories: Contributor Spotlight

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