Elyria Canyon Work Party: Weeding in the Milkweed Meadow

July 31, 2011
Each month, on the fourth Sunday of the month, the Mt Washington Beautification Committee, co-hosted by Clare Marter Kenyon and Daniel Marlos, meets at 9:30 AM near the Red Barn in Elyria Canyon State Park.  Clare takes the lead with native plant germination in the nursery and Daniel goes out weeding in areas that need special attention.  This month the weeds that were targeted were invasive Conyza and an unidentified yellow thistle type plant.  Daniel is especially concerned about invasive weeds crowding out the native milkweed.  Elizabeth is seen pulling weeds from around the milkweed. 

                            CLICK TO ENLARGE                         Elyria Canyon Work Party August 28, 2011

There is a wealth of insect life on the milkweed.  Daniel saw two Monarch caterpillars of approximately the same age.  They were on two different plants about ten feet apart.

Monarch Caterpillar 20110731 AM

Two different caterpillars were photographed in the morning, but in the afternoon, only the one feeding on the leaves was photographed.  The other Monarch Caterpillar was feeding on blossoms.  The detail that is missing from the live experience in the static photo is the twitching of the front fleshy pseudo-antennae.

Monarch Caterpillar 20110731 PM

While they were not plentiful, adult Large Milkweed Bugs, Oncopeltus fasciatus, were found singly or in pairs on the blossoms. 

Large Milkweed Bugs

One pair was caught In Flagrante Delicto.

Large Milkweed Bugs Mating


…  And the last of the insects found on the Indian Milkweed, Asclapias eriocarpa, were the yellow Milkweed Aphids.

Milkweed Aphids are tended by Argentine Sugar Ants

If you live in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Mt Washington, or nearby Highland Park, Glassell Park, Eagle Rock, South Pasadena, Atwater Villiage or Silverlake, and you want to volunteer some time on the fourth Sunday of August, come join us.  Most of our volunteers walk in from various entry points to Elyria Canyon Park, but there is one small parking lot at the end of Wollum Street near the intersection of Division Street.  Park in the lot and walk up the path.  When the path divides, take the right path and wind uphill through the trees.  When you get to the crest, you should be able to see the Red Barn down below.  Stay on the paths to avoid poison oak.  Take note that there is a gate on Bridgeport Drive, and we do not recommend parking there to drive to Elyria Canyon Park.  If you would like additional information, please leave a comment.




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