Salt Point, Bone-Dry

Nate had a hankern' for some mushroom action, so we headed up to Salt Point this weekend with Lauren and Kevin. It was a beautiful day, continuing this alarming trend of clear skies and warm temperatures. Green rolling hills all through the Sonoma farm lands, but parts of the coastal hills were still brown. Highlight of the drive up was a bobcat just off the road! We were all pretty psyched about that one.

The woods weirdly dry. Usually I head up there toward the end of Feb, and it's usually pretty moist, if not sopping wet. This time we were kind of despairing of finding any mushrooms, let alone edibles. Luckily, we did find some black trumpets to take home, along with a handful of yellow feet and hedgehogs.

It actually wasn't a bad day for flowers. I've been jonesin' to see some fetid adder's tongue this winter, but I figured since they were blooming down in San Mateo county that I had missed their bloom up in Sonoma, but luckily I happened upon some! Joy! Coralroot was flowering too, but no sign of calypsos yet. Saw my first Western trillium of the year, too (along with a totally sweet dance fly, with many thanks to ap2il for the ID).

Some hawks long the road as we drove back, but frankly I was so exhausted I wasn't exactly paying too much attention. Looking forward to going back later in the month. Fingers crossed for rain!

Posted by kueda kueda, February 03, 2009 09:16 AM

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

California Fetid Adderstongue (Scoliopus bigelovii)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 02:42 PM PST

Description

This is a fetid adder's tongue (Scoliopus bigelovii), a flower I've been strangely fixated upon this winter. Seems every time I go to Salt Point in the winter I'm a few weeks too late for these gorgeous flowers, but this time I stumbled upon a patch in bloom. Actually, I was scanning for mushrooms when I smelled something sweet and unpleasant. Next thing I know I'm staring the source in the face (they mimic carrion to attract polinators).

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Coralroot (Corallorhiza mertensiana)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 12:57 PM PST

Description

This was one of several we found today, but it had the best light by far, a rarity for these guys. Of course, the moment after I took this the sun ducked down behind a large tree. Ah the vagaries of forest photography.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Black Trumpet (Craterellus calicornucopioides)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 12:51 PM PST

Description

Back in Salt Pt today, w/ n8, Lauren, and k7. Things were dry, dry, dry, but we still managed a modest haul consisting mostly of these horns of plenty. Interestingly, most of the ones we found were this light brown color, possibly due to the dryness. Made them even harder to see, which is saying something.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 01:46 PM PST

Description

That is one seriously long proboscis. I'm not entirely sure what kind of fly this is. Its ridiculous eyes make me want to say Syrphidae, but overall it has the appearance of an asilid. My very, very loose interpretation of my key suggests Mydidae as a possibility, but without a specimen in hand to count tarsal pads and the like, I'm not sure.

Update: ap2il suggests Empididae, and it sure looks like one.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 01:36 PM PST

Description

So this is something like Hydnum fuscoindicum, I think, but its brownish tint and light-tipped spines have me thinking it might be H. cyanellum. The length of the specimen shown here was 10 cm. Found near mixed tanoak, redwood, and Douglas fir, near a stream (but not on the bank), in Salt Point State Park, Sonoma County, California, USA.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 11:45 AM PST

Description

We found a bunch of these next to a stream. I'm guessing it's Clavaria fumosa or Clavulina cristata / rugosa, but I'm not really sure how to tell them apart. About 7 cm tall, growing near a stream, possibly under Douglas fir, coast redwood, and/or tanoak.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Trillium (Trillium ovatum)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 01:46 PM PST

Description

I am kidding. I love western trillium, and this was my first of the year.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 05:19 PM PST

Description

Experimenting with some bird-by-car + GPS action. First finding: hand-entering coordinates is annoying. Maybe some kind of GPX importer...

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 05:17 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 10:50 AM PST

Description

This was totally sweet. We were taking this bend in the highway when I saw this guy creeping across a field and said, "PULL OVER BOBCAT." It didn't stick around very long (like, say, long enough to grab a camera), but we all got a good look.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Northern Harrier (Circus hudsonius)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 04:30 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Coralroot (Corallorhiza mertensiana)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 02:56 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 02:28 PM PST

Description

I think this was Western Swordfern. I'd like to learn my ferns, so I took some less than awesome shots to ID later.

Photos / Sounds

What

Deer Fern (Struthiopteris spicant)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 02:25 PM PST

Description

Def. NOT swordfern.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 02:10 PM PST

Description

Nate picked this yellowfoot and I said, "oo, springtail," but when asked what set springtails apart from other hexapods ... I was shamefully at a loss.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Coralroot (Corallorhiza mertensiana)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009 01:50 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Yellowfoot (Craterellus tubaeformis)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009

Description

Only found a handful. Def. not out in abundance yet.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Hedgehog Mushrooms (Genus Hydnum)

Observer

kueda

Date

February 1, 2009

Description

Again, only a couple, which was a bit weird for a species that often blooms in profusion around this time of year.

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