Journal archives for January 2015

January 11, 2015

The Year 2014 - Observations

General notes for Hacienda: No Figs formed this year (correction, by Sept. there have been two underdeveloped, and Ann’s tree in a pot formed several), not a single nearby Hazelnut formed (except those on Pomo Canyon Trail on the coast, exposed to lots of sun and wind). The Wild plums were nil, many of the blossoms were knocked off the trees with a strong wind storm and late rain - didn’t ripen and fall as usual. No bird nests on the property this year. Someone went crazy and cut the main Apple tree so far back that we thought they’d killed it. Branches are back, but no fruit this year. Very few Acorns, everyone saying so; met two people with oaks in the their yards having a bumper crop.

Winter January-March 19: After the only two big rains of the year, several very large fish came up Hobson creek, appeared to have spawned and died. D. believes they were Steelhead Trout, I thought Salmon. When the fish died I took photos for Fish and Wildlife but never heard back. For several months dozens of baby fish grew in the pools but disappeared entirely by summer, about the same time the lower creek dried up. Through February the meadow in Hacienda lost over twenty Varied Thrush. When the last bird was sent off for testing, death was due to rotten food probably due to drought and a fungus that filled the birds with spores and killed them.

Spring March 20-June 20: Collected Mugwort for drying in Hacienda and another more silver type at Willow Creek. Used it in pillows for dreaming. Picked a nice bunch of Nettles for drying on the road to Willow Creek; best undisturbed patch so far. There were enough Cherries that we got to taste several before the birds got the rest (first time ever).

June 17, Shell Beach: Seaweed collected and dried for consumption: Nori, Kombu, Feather Boa. Turkish Towel collected and dried for cosmetics. Cystoseira and Rockweed also collected for pickling. Rockweed totally unsuccessful, too mucilaginous. Yarrow also in bloom, leaves only collected and dried.

Summer June 21-September 22: Collected Horsetail for drying, added to apple cider vinegar for a hair rinse. Bay Nuts didn’t fall as they have in the past, though the Stellars Jays and seen with them flying every which way. Brave Chickadees flew up to us regularly to perch on old pine cones and picked them clean. Finally won the fight against the ivy on the third bay tree - but it’s still infected with a Ganoderma at its base. Began the awesome tradition of sleeping on the deck under the stars for the last several weeks of summer.

July 21, week of, Hacienda: Blackberries at their best. Picked a lot but went on vacation and when we returned they were past their prime.

August, West Co. Trail. Several Black Oaks were loaded with acorns that hadn’t fallen yet.

August, Hacienda: Anne’s fig tree is loaded with figs, ours doesn’t have a single one.

August 30, Hacienda: The Apples look good from afar on the newly discovery big McPeak tree, but can’t access the tree through the blackberries. D. found another tree with pink apples south on the creek with easier access (haven’t tasted them).

Sept. 1, Hacienda: Elder berries, collected, prepared fresh for Elder syrup from the shaded elder tree on south Hobson creek. Collected the remaining wild Rose Hips, most were shriveled and past their prime.

Sept. 2, Hacienda: Willow branch, stripped, prepared for Willow bark tincture.

Sept. 3, Kenwood: Manzanita Berries gathered, dark red, back side of Annadel State Park. Madrone berries were old and shriveled, did not collect. Collected Madrone Bark for tea. No rain so far, but huge unknown white shelf mushrooms and fresh Sulphur Shelves were found on the hike.

Sept. 7, Hacienda: White Oak leaves collected for drying.

Sept. 12, Spring Lake: Wild Grapes hanging over the trail, very plump and tasty. Those in Hacienda are too high to pick (need a lot of sun?)

Sept. 14, Pepperwood: At a tracking class, studied in depth a fresh Mountain Lion kill. Incredible!

Sept. 15, Hacienda: the rest of the Elderberries at the shade tree are ready to pick.

Sept. 18, Hacienda: First rain of the year. Still warm outside but rained longer than expected. Hobson creek is still dry.

Sept. 19, Hacienda: Unknown night critter picked my tomatoes and ate the skins off. The next night they took a larger green one off the plant, walked it along the deck and perched on the railing and ate the skin off it, too.

Sept. 20, Riverfront: Elderberries loaded on all the trees.

Fall September 23-December 20

Sept. 25-26, Hacienda: Another rain, thunder and lightning. This week hikers were picking Huckleberries in Pomo Canyon.

Sept. 27, Bohemia Eco. Preserve: Puma hike through Landpaths. Tracks in the mud down by the creek, raccoon, bobcat (1), lion (1), baby bear (3), lots of fox prints and scat. Found Western Azalea not in bloom, Coffeeberry (I think), and Vinegarweed all new to me in the wild.

Sept. 28, Hacienda: down by the Land where the dogs play, found several Snowberry bushes. Honeysuckle berries red on all the plants.

Sept. 30, Shiloh Regional: huge Snowberry patch on Creekside trail. Tracked a Coyote.

Oct. 2, Riverfront: Elderberries all shriveled up. Tasted some sweet Wild Grapes near where the Blue Herons nest.

Oct. 3, Mayacamas: Learned new plants Cream Bush which was a mystery plant at Shiloh near the Snowberries. Learned Hedge Parsley, Yerba Santa, Dogtail Grass and Western Blue Ryegrass. Madrone berries on some of the trees, not close to ripe yet. Only a few Manzanita berries on the bushes, but Dave said there hadn’t been any all year. Saw so many birds: Acorn Woodpecker, Spotted Towhee, Junco, Creeper, and Gold-Crowned Wren and more.

Oct. 5, Hacienda: baby Ferns showing in the yards.

Oct. 14, Hacienda: light rain storm

Oct. 15, Hacienda: Volvariella mushrooms (note Nov. 2014 - did not ID these correctly - turns out there are Woodland Agaricus) fresh on McPeak.

Oct. 15, Sebastopol: Black Oak Acorn drop, collected many to dry. Tried drying in the car but weevils kept appearing so I put them in the oven at low temp briefly. Now stored in a jar next to the pellet stove. Also took home home-grown Lavender from Teresa. Tested an infused oil from her vibrant dried flowers against the colorless flowers purchased at Andy’s Market.

Oct 17, Annadel: Madrone berries red but still unripe, Toyon starting to turn orange, Manzanita still on bushes but mushy, Snowberries on berries under tree canopy, Sulphur shelves found earlier were colorless and drier, no obvious acorn drops. On side trail, off of Lawndale trail, found essentially a Mountain Lion litter box. Good spot for a camera. Fresh dung. As I looked a medium-sized Live Oak, appeared already dead fell without wind or other ‘reason’ - snapped off at the base, roots and base appeared quite rotten (notes: Dr. Ken lost a Tan Oak - sometime overnight in calm weather, and end of street neighbors lost a Madrone on the hillside - my prediction that with environmental stressors and a very dry preceding year, we will lose a lot of trees this winter - possibly our Ganoderma-infected Bay in the front of the house?)

Oct. 18, Salt Point: Mushroom hike with SOMA: many Coccora, Ganoderma oreganis (sp?), Dyer’s Polypore, others but unknown. Didn’t keep them and didn’t identify as we went - just brought them back to the table.

Oct. 22, Hood Mountain, Alder Glen Trail. Few Figs but ripe on the tree on the downhill slope leading to the trailhead. Snowberries in a thicket at the end of the trail. Buckeye seeds fallen from the trees, on the ground and freshly eaten by unknown animals, hulls left on rocks by the creek. Very few Acorns on the ground, no big drops (mostly Live Oak trees along the trail, with some California Black and Oregon White oaks). Cream Bush and Mugwort still in leaf down by the water (nothing to observe just surprised they were still abundant and in leaf, Mugwort around Hacienda is all but gone). Huge colony of Oyster mushrooms growing on large logs over creek. Biggest batch from previous rain and old, those that appeared new and fresh, full of white maggot-like worms that crawled out in the stove pan. Baby unknown Fish in the stream. Collected freshly dropped Usnea from branches (apparently not noteable, available year-around - just learned slow growing so harvest only from the fallen branches / off the ground)

Oct. 23, Hacienda: Meadow observation (with the dogs there). Noticed a lot of birds. Still terrible at identifying can only say Stellars Jays and quite possibly a large group of Varied Thrush or might have been Robins on the ground.

Oct. 25, Hacienda: Light to moderate rain overnight. When it began, no water flowing in Hobson Creek. Creek did not fill up after the rains.

Oct 26, Pepperwood: Basket-making workshop - materials were Sedge, Chain Fern (Woodwardia), Bracken Fern root, and Redbud although many more were mentioned such as Willow (best collected after the first frost to remove bark from heart), Five-Finger Fern and Maidenhair Fern.

Oct. 27, Kruse Rhododendron Preserve (Mushroom Hike): most prolific were the Short-Stemmed Russula everywhere poking up. Found strange black cup fungus called Bulgaria inquinans. Also Shrimp Mushroom, Rosy Russula, Bleeding Milk Cap, Oyster Mushrooms, Brown-Veiled Amanita, thought I found a White Chanterelle, Fairy Fingers Clavaria Fragilis (Coral Mushroom), Pink Coral Mushroom Ramaria, Yellow Coral Mushroom also Ramaria, Turkey Tails, Scaly Chanterelle. Coccora. Other notes: noticeable numbers of Live Oak acorn all over the ground, wouldn’t say a bumper crop but I’m unfamiliar with these trees’ acorns. Manzanita had bloomed then dropped its flowers all over the trail - thought it was quite late - probably due to rains followed by stretches of sun.

Oct. 29, Coast: H1 ridealong. Never noticed the huge amount of Pampas grass on the coastal cliffs, much thicker than is visible by car. Also, attended Willow Creek orientation. Large Nutmeg tree at the parking lot.

Oct. 30, Hacienda: noticed almost all the leaves have fallen from the Willows. Big Leaf Maple and Fig are still holding on to a good number of theirs.

Oct. 31, Hacienda: steady rain in the morning. Hobson Creek not running at 9am.

Nov. 1, Pepperwood: Beginners Bird Hike. Used a Nikon 8x42 and it made all the difference. Saw a Kestrel from afar. Saw a Harrier holding its own amongst a bunch of Turkey Vultures. Found an Earthstar down by Turtle Pond.

Nov. 4, Kruse Rhodo Preserve: Still lots of mushrooms coming up, went on another trail. Didn’t spend as much time on I.D. but did find loads of Bolletes. Decided that I hadn’t found White Chanterelle after all. No Coccoras all day. Did spot a Destroying Angel and there were tons of Blk/Whi Russulas. Found a Red Dyer and I fell straight through a suspended log after some Turkey Tails. Found a brilliant purple mushroom that wasn’t fully developed - but nothing that matched in my books.

Nov. 5, Willow Creek: Test hike, very steep climb along the road through the preserve. Massive Tan Oaks brought down by Sudden Oak near the bottom w/ many smaller ones dying. Up further found several Red Flowering Currants.

Nov. 6, Hacienda: About half the Horsetail has fallen over and turned brown. Lots of bright green plants popping up after the rain. Creek still not flowing. Loads of short-lived Inky Cap mushrooms in all the wood chip piles, and they do stain you with black ink! Patches of Yellow Coral Mushroom at the end of the street under the redwoods.

Nov. 7, Mayacamas: Bird Hike. Tons of Acorn Woodpeckers, Juncos, Robins, Stellar’s and Scrub Jays and Turkey Vultures. Also saw a Pygmy Owl hunting during the day, a Pileated Woodpecker through the scope and a Raptor at some distance. Reviewed the Wrentit’s call that sounds like a ping pong ball. As for plants, learned the grass near my house is a Rush (Juncus) one of the materials from the Basket-making workshop. Angelica growing, only patch they know of over the bank of Sulphur Creek. Beautiful patched Puffball (Calbovista subsculpta?). Lots of other mushrooms: Rosy Russula, Shelf Fungus that looked like old Sulphur Shelves and Dyers Polypore and so many small ones I couldn’t ID. Near Pine Flat trees were Ponderosa Pine, Knobcone Pine, Manzanita, tons of 10 year old Madrone that came up after the fire, Douglas Fir and higher up on Red Hill the pines became Ghost or Grey Pine. Female Coyote Bush in bloom and attracting insects.

Nov. 7, SCSO: A Peregrine Falcon was perched on the building and getting dive-bombed by a group of four Crows. Unknown what they were defending. Falcon didn’t flinch at them, and only moved when I came directly underneath it.

Nov. 10, Hacienda: More Woodland Agaricus mushrooms coming up at the cul-de-sac. (ID’d them correctly this time; obvious partial veil on the stalk, pink gills unattached to stalk, hollow stalk plus - the bright yellow stain where I’d handled it)

Nov. 10, Drive to Willits: Incredible amounts of bright red berries on the Toyon approaching Cloverdale, never realized how many bushes are there. Madrone trees just loaded with bright red berries on the approach to the Ridge, unknow how ripe but they sure looked it!

Nov. 10, Brooktrails: several mushrooms included Short-Stemmed Russula and Butter? Bollette. Dad and I walked down to The Creek, barely any water except at Criss-Cross, tiniest little puddle - I’d never noticed two Hazelnuts down there before still with leaves. Poison Oak everywhere but not a leaf on it. Along the old logging road leaving from our house, an ancient crumbling Redwood stump stands - how can literally no baby saplings have ever survived? Size of the Madrones are massive compared to any near Hacienda. Over at the The Spring, water was chugged out, creating a little stream that actually gurgled down the whole hillside, into the bigger stream (extension from the one below our house) and near the Flats. All around the Spring were huge Chain Ferns and Horsetail (nowhere else that I could find). I’d like to check out the pond/swamp where this seems to originate - can’t believe I never have. Before dark saw big group of Turkeys and Quail in the Meadow next to the house.

Nov.11, Old Caz: Big brown Puffball. Mostly walked around the big Live and Valley Oaks, didn’t notice a lot of acorns there.

Nov. 11, Susan’s House: Two big bags of Valley Oak acorns. Most had split and rot, or split and began to grow! I am hunting a good spot to plant them.

Nov. 12, Hacienda: Found my first bird kill; no body, just feathers. And was probably a Robin based on the red/gray feathers with no white, and not a Varied Thrush like we saw last year.

Nov. 13, Hacienda: Light rain all night got the ground and piles of leaves wet. Under the surface the big bay wood chips were still dry as a bone. More clumps of Inky Caps have come and gone.

Nov. 15, Salt Point: Mushroom Class! Lots of variety but not much luck for me. I collected: Dyer’s Polypore (yellow), a fresh Shrimp Mushroom (Rusula), 3 Deer Mushrooms that II dry sauteed with a little soy sauce to finish, and a large Pink-Tipped Coral Mushroom that is apparently delicious but gives intestinal upset to some people. Other folks gathered several King Boletes, Chanterelles which I finally can I.D. - they have a solid stem. I find a ton of non-collectible Scaly Chanterelles, and many classic Red-Veiled Amanitas were along the trail. Also found the Yellow-Veiled Amanita, Bitter Boletes, tons of Short-Stemmed Rusulas, Purple Cortinarius with dark brown duffy spores, Amethyst Deceivers. I also learned about the poisonous Corn Lily, and a plant I saw at Kruse called the Rattlesnake Plantain. We found a California Salamander and I nearly stepped on a surprised cold-weather Garter Snake.

Nov. 18, Willow Creek: Steep ascent to the top of Islands in the Sky. Found baby Nutmegs at the trailhead and large Wild Rose bushes with rose hips still attached and red. Coyote Bush in bloom. Lots of mushrooms, different species than at Salt Point but many yellow Boletes. At the top I perched on a boulder and there were tons of birds; I scared off a big Hawk as I emerged into the meadow. So I decided binoculars are a must. Could see the ocean from the top. Collected some Yarrow to dry, found a native Agapostemon male bee eating from a Purple (Bull) Thistle in bloom - it had a metallic green head and a yellow/black striped body. Pink Shelf Mushroom on a log, so unusual! Very fresh Dyer’s Polypore under a brave Turkey Vulture who wouldn’t budge from his branch despite my proximity. Lots of animal scat on the trails, including a verrry fresh possibly Coyote scat with less hair in it than usual. But appropriate shape and size.

Nov. 18, Grove of Old Trees: Sad. Small preserved patch of somewhat Old Growth Redwoods. To my untrained eye there was evidence of logging throughout and yet some of the trees looked bulky and ancient. The grove is surrounded by quasi-landscaped, quasi-cleared residential lots and flanked by monoculture vineyard. Thank God they saved this, but for what? It can’t be a vital habitat without connecting corridors, can it? I hope a place this size doesn’t become the future representation of ‘old growth.’

Nov. 18, Hacienda: Afternoon walk, found a dead Varied Thrush just keeled over on the side of McPeak. I could say it was hit by a car but, based on last year I know better.

Nov. 19, Hacienda: Rain started last night. Supposed to rain all day, break, then another day long storm.

Nov. 22, Emerald Valley (CSHS): Medicinal Mushroom class, took a quick hike around the medicine trail at lunch with Ryan. Lots of little ones in some spots literally carpeting the ground. Found a Jelly Mushroom and then mostly red-staining Boletes.

Nov. 23, Hacienda: still no water in the creek. However, ground is wet and won’t dry out. Mushrooms everywhere. Tons of Woodland Agaricus seem to be spreading. Other dark brown mushrooms under the redwoods with concentric circles like milky caps, but aren’t exuding milk. Leaves everywhere are bright gold, the Wild Grape have lost almost all. (Got my binoculars this week!)

Dec. 1, Salt Point: Mushroom Hike solo. Found two huge Queen Boletes; when I got home and watched videos found out they are often infested. Mine were too but the cap and some stem salvageable. Let the rest dry out in the oven so we’ll see. Also tried a handful of Amethyst Laccaria; sauteed up the caps which were chewy with decent flavor (butter plus sprinkle of salt) but wouldn’t say delicious. Also found big Cortinarius. Tons of Fly Amanita especially at the trailhead under the pines. Also many Yellow-veiled Amanita. Found my first Short-Stemmed Slippery Jack. I went back to my spot and headed back to The Creek (dry) and it was so hard but I finally spotted Black Trumpets, little ones all at my feet; I picked quite a handful of small ones. Nearby were lots of Jelly Mushrooms and moss, so I wonder if that’s a clue. Left many babies to keep growing. Trudging back up the hill I told myself it would have been nice to spot my first Chanterelle, after seeing so many False and Scaly Chanterelle, and boom! There were three in front of me! Picked two, left the third. Sauteed those up too to try tomorrow. Rain has been steady but light, still no creek running at the house although the water line has moved from behind Pat’s to between the apple and cherry tree in the meadow, so, it’s coming!

Dec. 2, Hacienda: Rain continues. More coming down and gusts of wind. Heard a tree fall somewhere the other day but couldn’t find it. Hobson Creek has progressed to the cul-de-sac this morning, then on around the corner. I watched it creeping further more around 4pm. It went about 10 feet in 5 minutes. Should be flowing all the way by morning!

Dec. 3, Hacienda: We looked out last night before bed with D’s flashlight and could see the creek already running by the house. By morning, it was raging. I actually moved my car onto the driveway. Took the big dogs for a walk around 11am and the meadow was a swamp. Probably the worst I’ve ever seen it, because we couldn’t cross it. Well, they could, but not me without getting soaked feet. Couldn’t believe an army of those darn Inky Caps are still pushing up although their chips are so soggy. The other mushrooms are pretty beaten up and knocked over, although I didn’t check the Coral Mushrooms. I just learned that I dyed my T-shirt all wrong with my Dyer’s Polypore. Color probably won’t last. Green tops of the Soaproot are coming up!

Dec. 6, Pepperwood: Mushroom Class and hike in two different spots. Saw my first Gemmed Amanita. Also found good quantities of Witch’s Butter, and a deep blood red kind. Best find was two hefty Golden Chanterelle, right off the path where the class was talking. Took them to work and dry sauteed them (learned that online - good suggestion - they release a ton of water!)

Dec. 9, Salt Point: Independent Mushroom Hike. Not as good as last time. No new Boletes in what I’m calling Bolete Neighborhood; in fact I saw very few at all. Still lots of Amanita Muscaria but with all the rain most were slimy. More Amethyst Laccaria than last time. Not a great find until I went back to “A’s Creek”. Big clump of Pig’s Ears at the base of a redwood but infested with bugs, no good. Lo and behold, the babies I left to grow sure did! I spent 40 mins picking all the Black Chanterelle and had a whole pile of them! I think with this storm the rains will fill the creekbed and destroy what I left there this time to grow. So good thing I went. Cooked a sauteed Black Chantrelle Jasmine Rice with green onions. Yum!

Dec.10, Hacienda: The Woodland Agaricus are popping up like crazy in the same place by the driveway they did last year. You can see where the mycelium runs because the fruiting bodies are coming in in radiating lines towards the path, across it, and in the wood chip pile where I first saw them earlier this year. A huge storm will descend on us tonight. They say 3-5 inches of rain, 50mph winds, trees down and power outages. I am praying for our little valley and hoping we’re protected by the ridges; hopefully no flooding.

Dec. 11, Hacienda: Rain fell heavy and steady, but the sound wasn’t any heavier than we’d heard before. We also didn’t get the wind that was forecast. When we woke up the creek was quite high but not overflowing. PG&E was outside getting limbs out of the neighbor’s wires. We still lost the power for 15 hours total. When I got to work at 11am the rain was still falling and the River was still rising but not to Flood level. On a walk with the dogs, the whole meadow was inundated and there were rocks and water from the little streams all over McPeak. Several downed trees.

Dec. 12, Hacienda: River crested. Flooding happened throughout the River area (several vineyards under water along with trailer parks and up to the homes along the banks) but not at our home. Hobson Creek backed up down closer to the River itself and it was surprising to see the creek get up so high where the banks are the highest.

Dec. 13, Salt Point: Mushroom hike through CSHS. Should have been too soggy for good mushrooms but I did well. A. pointed out Bayberry that had dark purple hard berries from which a wax is extracted to make the traditional Bayberry candles. Apparently, it’s quite difficult to do. Golden Chanterelles were popping up everywhere. Found several myself; left the babies (hidden) to grow. One student looked under a log and found a massive Chanterelle, bigger than any I’d ever seen. I just read in “Secrets of the Oak Woodlands” that Chanterelles will grow up to 12 weeks, adding layer after layer, and are almost never infected with insects or grazed on. Found my first Hedgehogs but only a few. They’re so easy to identify! Time of year for these as well. Learned about and found my first Winter Chanterelles (or Yellow Foot), which sauteed are quite yummy. A. says this is the time for them. Despite the rain A.’s Creek was still DRY! but there was evidence that some water had run down. Black Chanterelle (Trumpets) were there, not in the same big numbers - I thought I only saw one. When I pointed it out to the class and crouched down, many more started popping out at me like before. Given enough time I may have found more. Found almost no Bolletes good or bad, and fewer Rusulas growing. Groups of burnt orange mushrooms that even A. thought were Candy Caps - brought them home and they don’t smell - still unsure about those. Bright brand new Dyer’s Polypore growing. Quite beautiful! Found Milk Caps (Deliciosas) with the green tint and bleeding down under the pines and several Amanita Muscarias were popping up. Same big Pig’s Ears (related to super-strong Chanterelles) clump still growing under the tree from my last walk, didn’t appear to be breaking down at all. Rattlesnake Plantain still abundant but no blossoms etc.

Dec. 20, McCullough Property: Another mushroom hike with A., this time as her “guest”. It was hugely popular and very fun despite all the folks tromping around. Rained like crazy. Ground was sloshing and wet. Temps are still on the high side despite the bad weather. Newts were on the move; they were everywhere clambering through the leaves. My reading (Secrets of the Oak Woodlands) says that they are programmed to head in the direction of their birthplace and cannot be turned around. They are so loaded with neurotoxins that they can go as slow as they please without fear of predators (besides our clunky boots). Amazing creatures and so cute despite being so deadly. Under a log we saw lots of Earthworms and Slender Salamanders hiding. Mushrooms abound but not so much variety. I collected many, many Milk Caps (Deliciosas) and grilled them at work in the toaster over. They released a ton of water and crisped up. They were okay tasting too. Also saw my first Lion’s Manes - they were so easy to see and cannot be mistaken for anything else. Nearby, we found Jack o’ Lanterns which are new to me, but somehow after seeing them in the book and one other time in person, I knew them on sight. Above them was a branch loaded with what looked like Oysters but were purple on the margins and young mushrooms. None of the mushroom experts, not even A. knew what we were looking at. Shortest day of the year!

Winter December 21-

Dec. 23, Salt Point: solo mushroom mission. Yesterday and today were sunny after so much rain. Should have been stellar opportunity. Where I’d left the baby Chanterelles to grow were discovered and raided. Even the Amanita Muscaria were in much fewer numbers down by the pines. Bolete Neighborhood had some more brown Amanita but no Boletes. In fact, hardly any were seen at all. Went up to A.’s place. Found more Winter Chanterelle (Yellowfoot) and actually found some big ones to give me an idea of what they can grow to be. Struck out on any Goldens where I’d seen them before. Found more Candy Caps but not in huge numbers, collected those. Grabbed a few Jelly Mushroom to soak in alcohol as was suggested. Brown Cup Mushrooms (have to look those up) were really coming up like crazy and found some Agaricus like we have still coming up at Hacienda. I found an old stand of Pig’s Ears still standing but very beat up. Also, very pretty Scaly Chanterelle were still out in force along with one beautiful patch of a slimy brown-capped mushroom with a bright purple stalk -- it reminded me of something but I flipped through my book over and over and couldn’t find it. Maybe Cortinarius?? Don’t know. A.’s Creek had a very few baby Black Chanterelle that I didn’t pick but I realize so many students have seen this spot by now it might be a ruined secret (it looked like someone had been there). I gave up and started heading back - well sure enough as has become the tradition - I saw treasures appear just as I started to retreat! I found a big Golden Chanterelle (biggest one I’d ever found) underneath a Bayberry bush, very near the huge one from the class two weeks ago. Then another underneath the Salal as was suggested on the youtube video I watched. After I got close to the ground I started to see orange everywhere and while I thought at first Chanterelle they turned out to be massive Hedgehogs, which I didn’t realize could ever be so hefty! I look forward to cooking those up for Christmas Eve.

Dec. 24, Hacienda: Took a longer walk with D and the dogs. Saw how much the Creek has really shifted and changed. A Big Leaf Maple is falling down in the meadow; it’s leaned all the way over. Must be all that water inundating the meadow that used to rush down a creekbed into Hobson Creek. Soaproot is definitely coming up. Still have lots of Inky Caps and other LBM’s coming up all over the place. We saw some nondescript type of Milky/Bleeding Cap by Bobcat Hill. The neighbor’s cement wall fell over - the earth must have shifted underneath. Leaves are all gone except for on the most stubborn trees.

Dec. 27, Hacienda: D. told me the Big Leaf Maple fell in the meadow. Temperature has definitely dropped, mornings are in the low 40’s and predicted to go low 30’s.

Dec. 29, Annadel: Three hour hike on Lawndale and Marsh Trail. 48 at 10:30 with high wind. Open grassland along a creek reaching to an Oak Woodland.

Oak Woodland: Manzanita in full bloom. No more Madrone or Toyon berries on the trees. Most Coyote Bush was not in bloom (only saw one by the marsh the whole hike). New Maidenhair, Licorice and Goldback ferns on the ground, but the ends were withered (from the cold?). One distinct white wildflower was blooming -found out later from Dave Self that they are Milk Maids. Yarrow and Soaproot fresh and growing. Bay in bloom on most trees. Buds on the ends of Black Oak limbs. No leaves on the Poison Oak. Lichens (Usnea) are more gray than their usual vibrant green. Various small yellow, and also brown mushrooms on the forest floor. No sign of the Sulphur Shelves in the tree cavity by the picnic bench.

Mixed Douglas Fir Forest: Bright yellow Amanita possibly a Coccora? Seems too late. Tallest, dominating trees are Douglas Fir. Smaller trees don’t seem to be thriving or competing with the firs, mostly thin Bays but after walking several minutes found some deciduous oak still growing. Very little vegetation on the ground, mostly dead wood and then ferns: Sword Fern and maybe Lace Fern. Also Native Blackberry near the streams, their canes are the brightest neon blue-green. One other type of non-woody green plant coming up on the floor. Where there’s open canopy, sun to the floor, other grasses come up. Only splash of color, Witches Butter on dead Douglas Fir wood.

Redwoods start on the east slope but mixed with other trees, Douglas Firs still dominate. Mixed with Madrones too. As the hillside turns to face north, Redwoods begin to dominate. Less vegetation still on the forest floor. Secondary trees here: smaller Douglas Firs, small live oaks, another kind of white oak and Madrone whose bark has mostly peeled away. Where there is Madrone, there are also bunch grasses on the floor, baby Live Oaks but no obvious parent trees around. This continues around to the west slope.

At the margin to a clear cut, birds immediately obviously hopping on the ground. Lots of baby Redwoods, Coyote Bush dominates, Monkey Flower and some more young Live Oaks.

Small section of mixed Chaparral. Soil appears different, dryer. Southeast slope. Chamise with little leaves still on (evergreen?), lots of large Manzanita, shorter Live Oaks and more Monkey Flower and Coyote Bush. Upslope are several solitary Pines either bristlecone or knobcone? Couldn’t get close enough but the cones were clinging to the branches.

Fire Zone, obvious scorching on the trunks. Unknown year. Size of the trees is much smaller and growing close together. Redwood, Douglas Fir and even smaller baby Bay on the ground. Less still on the ground, very little light.

Posted on January 11, 2015 04:59 by bjoelle bjoelle | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 12, 2015

Generic Mushroom Calender

Wanted to include this for reference (from SOMA):
**found these in the same month per 2014 Journal
*found these in a different month per 2014 Journal

Look for Sulphur Shelves in still-dry stumps**
1st SOMA foray of the year

After the rains look for porcinis*-dec- and lobsters

Matsutake & Black Chanterelles
Under Douglas Firs look for Shrimp Russulas*-oct-
Coccorra*-oct- (careful ID - in the amanita family)
On horizontal logs spanning creeks look for Oyster Mushrooms*-oct-

Under live oaks look for Candy Caps**
Boletes have moved south to Marin, under Bishop Pines
Black Chanterelles up the coast**
Yellow Feet appear**
*-my note: found my first golden Chanterelle on 12-01
-my note: found two Lion's Manes this month

Hedgehogs*-dec- under huckleberry patches
Keep looking for Black Chanterelle
Matsies really showing now
Fewer Candy Caps

Possibly still Black Chanterelles

In the first few weeks, Morels in lower elevations

May & Beyond ....

Posted on January 12, 2015 02:47 by bjoelle bjoelle | 0 comments | Leave a comment