Journal archives for December 2015

December 29, 2015

Teaching Moment: Mushroom Hike

Happy 7th birthday to my little Mandy!

Well, today took friends of mine up to Salt Point this morning to go mushroom hunting -- it was the first time for all three of them. How fun! We found so many. It was great being the teacher and walking them through the important mushroom characteristics, habitats, species, the way that I learned. Even after this holiday weekend (I'm sure it was busy in the park), we saw so many species popping up everywhere that it was distracting and we didn't get to my intended location until well past noon. Every time we tried to sit down and take a "break", no one could help themselves and we were up and looking again.

Eventually we had to put our heads down and start seriously hunting for some edibles so there were many species I didn't try to key out. Those that I did and was sure of I listed here, totaling 21 species which I think is more than enough when you are new to this. Shel took lots of photos so once I see those I'll add them to my observations.

Dec 28 / End of the Year Notes - Found no porcinis this year and it may be too late (but did find a massive butter bolete). Have Found a few golden chanterelles and a few last hike; no huge finds but just enough. Hedgehogs starting to come up. No black chanterelles in the usual spot, but found a couple large groups by my house that were smooshed by all the rain but should keep coming up. More oysters than usual along the creek, right now many are starting after the rain. No yellow foot chanterelles seen yet this year. Tons of Candy Caps today as we hiked around.

Posted on December 29, 2015 08:33 by bjoelle bjoelle | 1 comment | Leave a comment

December 14, 2015

Waters Running

Coming back from breakfast yesterday morning we pulled up and noticed the creek was filling, literally before our eyes. Last year I was lucky enough to catch it, but it was a trickle took a long time to advance. Yesterday, after a decent rain in the morning, the creek was filling up quickly, going around boulders, spreading out over the rocks and filling up the pools with no problem. It was so exciting to watch it advance. I took photos, videos and well, no more camera in the creekbed until the waters go back down. Exciting!

Posted on December 14, 2015 15:26 by bjoelle bjoelle | 1 comment | Leave a comment

December 22, 2015

Mushroom Walk

I walked all the way down to the Russian River this morning noting how high the water was. It has already gone down since yesterday when it was raining. Down by River Rd the Hobson Creek channel is engineered but there aren't any major obstacles that would block fish. So far, none have been seen.

From there I went on a hike to photograph and I.D. mushrooms. There were many more coming up than I'd seen the other day. The biggest surprises were a huge Jack O' Lantern at the base of an oak snag, and many clumps of delicious Black Chanterelle.

Update:
went back out a few hours later to show my boyfriend the Jack O' Lantern and a couple huge branches the storm brought down and found two more species: Redwood Rooters and a clump of perfect Oysters on a log I passed twice today!

GRAND TOTAL SIXTEEN SPECIES TODAY!

Posted on December 22, 2015 22:48 by bjoelle bjoelle | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 28, 2015

First Year: Christmas Bird Count

At the last minute I contacted one of the area leaders, David Berman (who was an instructor for my naturalist course) and he allowed me to join his group in area 15 of Western Sonoma County. We met in Duncan's Mills (got delicious coffee!) and left to meet up again at Russia House. The staff came out and helped us bird right there at the Jenner Bridge. It was wonderful to meet everyone and see how passionate they were about this job! Loved it! Even as a novice birder, each person took time to teach me something special, and I was sure to hang out with the other beginners so that everyone was included. But boy was it COLD! We walked a lot today and I think some people wouldn't have been able to handle it. We had a lot of ground to cover and yet, we spent sufficient time each place that we went. I was amazed how many species we saw. As usual, the only camera I had on me was my phone which was next to useless for birding but I took a couple shots of the gorgeous surroundings. Also, I only added observations that I personally witnessed and actually saw/heard. There were many others that I wasn't there for or that I "heard" we had tallied on our list, but I didn't want to include those here. I wanted to make sure I added this to mark my first year and to keep practicing these particular birds. What a fun way to spent a holiday Sunday!!

Posted on December 28, 2015 03:59 by bjoelle bjoelle | 30 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment