Archivos de diario de enero 2017

01 de enero de 2017

Grass Island, and a Resolution

First, the resolution: I want to get better at broadening my natural history practice beyond identification, so I resolve to a) start journaling about my excursions, b) get at least one landscape shot per trip that shows something about the ecosystem / landscape and not just the individual organisms, and c) record and answer the questions which always pop up, either ones that I ask myself or that others ask me and I can't answer.

Since I just made these resolutions up just now, I was not able to apply them all this afternoon at Grass Island in Guilford, CT, where the fam and I went for a short stroll... or rather everyone else strolled while I slowly puttered and looked at birds and shells. No landscape shot, but I will say that anyone visiting this cool little spot by the mouth of the East River should ignore the stupid sign that says no public access. According to the Guilford Town Website, this beach is administered by the town and there is access for walking, fishing, clamming, etc., and I assume that sign was just put there by a mean-spirited resident trying to keep people off their lawn, but also off the beach.

A question did pop into my mind: how did this beautiful patch of sand and mud flats become public property? From a Californian perspective, one of the most striking aspect of the northeastern seaside is how developed and privatized it is, so I often wonder how little access points like this became accessible to those of us who can't afford to buy a beach. Anyway, this one wasn't too hard to answer: if we trust this old Courant article, the land was donated to the town by the Munroe family in 1963. I've no idea who the Munroes were (are?) or why they donated the land, but power to 'em.

Publicado el enero 1, 2017 11:30 TARDE por kueda kueda | 23 observaciones | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de enero de 2017

Mushrooms on South Park Drive

Strolled up South Park with Marissa and Liz in search of fungal friends and found a fair few, my favorite being the rather strange Clavariadelphus occidentalis, a beast that apparently doesn't come up every year but seems to be doing well for itself this winter.


Why are there introduced pines along South Park Drive?

Presumably they were all planted when Tilden was being landscaped in an effort to make it seem even more scenic, but the ones further up by the picnic areas have become very well established and host a panoply of fungi. I wonder how long it took after planting before stuff started fruiting.

What does spotted coralroot parasitize?

A question I seem to have to re-answer again and again for myself. Short answer: a bunch of stuff, but in the East Bay, probably Russula species. See Taylor & Bruns (1999)

Publicado el enero 8, 2017 10:14 TARDE por kueda kueda | 32 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

15 de enero de 2017

Sibley Post-Rain

Sibley in all its invaded glory

Headed to Sibley with Tony last Wednesday to a) take advantage of the first fine day after a run of rain, b) maybe look for some mushrooms, and c) test out the experimental Missions feature in the Android app. The day was indisputably fine, but mushrooms were looking old, soggy, and sad, so not too much success on that front. Missions proved interesting but so far frustrating. I definitely feel like it needs some offline functionality before launch, because it's very annoying to have reception one second and see something you want to find, then find it and go to observe it only to have it disappear b/c you lost reception.

Sort of after-the-fact question (need to learn to write these down in the field): I think I've heard @leptonia mention that when the soil gets saturated with water conditions become hypoxic and unfavorable for mushrooms. What's the evidence for this? How much air do mushrooms really need to breathe?

Publicado el enero 15, 2017 06:25 MAÑANA por kueda kueda | 8 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

Winter in Las Trampas, East Side

Oaken Ghosts
Deciduous California black oaks looking ghostly amid their evergreen kin

Headed to Las Trampas today, one of my favorite parks in the East Bay. Not sure why I love it so much, since it pales in comparison to Diablo in pretty much every way, but it has a lot of the same feel and many of the same habitats. It's just a nice piece of land with fine views and some beautiful chamise chaparral.

Anyway, I'd never been to the Ringtail trailhead before so my hiking companion and I headed there and started the day off with a fine Sharp-tailed Snake. Never a bad sign. Surprising number of people on the trail, both a good and bad thing, as we discussed. Macrofungi were few in number and diversity, perhaps they need a few days to dry out and breath. We were treated to some vulture companions at lunch and a pond full of newts further down the trail, and, I have to admit it, some very comely cows and their adorable calfs. Mostly it was just grand to drink in the verdant landscape and to see all the plants getting ready for spring.

And, of course, I failed to write down any questions and I've just forgotten them all, even though I recall saying "I don't know" several times.

Just another day in the East Bay

Publicado el enero 15, 2017 06:36 MAÑANA por kueda kueda | 24 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario