John was telling me about these and literally seconds later I said, "Oh, here's one." Not sure which species this is. My book claims 6 six on this coast, but only shows one.
I was going to say these are pretty weird pores on an Ochre Star, but now I'm not even sure that's what this was. Diameter about 20 cm, 5 legs, observed at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Moss Beach, CA, just south of the San Francisco.
Body was about 2.5 - 3 cm, feeding on chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum). Observed near Danville, CA. Now that I've had a Hedgerow Hairstreak pointed out to me I suspect this is it. Haven't gone through all the alternative yet, though.
Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides). This one species of tree out in the scrub was just covered with these feathery little seeds, looking sort of like elongated pussy willow.
Growing along streams at 8000' near Upper Velma Lake in Desolation Wilderness, southwest of Lake Tahoe (CA).
These guys rule Hamo.
D'oh, didn't get the pronotum! 2-3 cm long, observed in Salt Point State Park, Sonoma County, CA.
This diameter of the coyote brush stem was about 3 cm. Observed on Mt. Diablo near Clayton, CA. Thanks to John Callender for the ID.
Seemed like Craterellus cornicopioides was the 'shroom of the day out there. Another relative of the chanterelle (they're also called black chanterelles), they's supposed to be quite tasty, and are obviously very beautiful. They're also very hard to spot, being black. They look almost exactly like bits of humus, or charcoal. I found them growing right next to streams, sometimes right out of the bank, often sprouting from under fallen logs.
Cantharellus tubaeformis, closely related to the chanterelle. Coming up here and there in wet areas and next to streams.
Sort of got there. Forgot to change my f-stop for more DoF, though. D'oh.
Seriously, growing right there. This was later in the day when I figured I was satisfied and fondly thinking of my warm, dry car, but when things like this just jump at you, well...
This, ladies and gentlemen, is my very first porcini. I'd heard they were blooming in Salt Point last weekend, so I figured I better get up there before they were gone. Lo and behold, I actually found some of these legendary mushrooms. These are some of the most prized mushrooms by collectors and chefs, and for good reason: they are delicious. They also have a billion names (king bolete, cepe) and there ain't nothing wrong with that.
Ok, it's filling most of the frame. This overexposed shot is an excuse to show how well camouflaged the zebra-tailed lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) is on the white sands it frequents.
Wasn't really expecting to find one of these out there today. Growing under redwoods interspersed with tanoak.
Carapace at least 12 cm wide, observed near El Granada, CA.
No more than 1.5 cm long, observed near Orinda, CA on a dirt trail through annual grassland.
I'm pretty sure this Platypedia minor, but my book only lists the genus and says there are 18 species in CA, so who knows. 4-5 cm long, observed near Alamo, CA.
I saw a bunch of these in a pool. They seemed like snails except they lived in little tubes fixed to the rock. Pretty sure they weren't worms, had mollusk-like tentacles, etc. New to me. Diameter of the opening was about 1 cm. Observed in a tidepool at Bean Hollow State Beach near Pescadero, CA.
ID provided by the awesome leslieworms on Flickr. Location approx.
Found this wonderful isopod, probably some kind of Idotea, and most of my pics seem to have it's head in shadow, lending it a Hadean demeanor that is completely unwarranted, but pretty cool all the same. Note that weird yellow thing under one of its plates (sclerites? what do you call them for crustaceans?): some kind of parasite?
Walking roughly through this key, my guess is that this is Idotea schmitti, mostly based on the blunt process on the pleotelson. Anyone have any thoughts? This was about 5 or 6 cm long, found in the rocky intertidal near Pescadero, CA, between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
I think this was Idotea metallica. According to the Peterson guide to the Atlantic seashore, I. metallica is the only Eastern isopod with a flat telson like this. Can anyone confirm?
It sort of looks like a midget mermaid's head from behind, until you walk around it AND REALIZE IT HAS NO FACE !! AAAGGHH!