This was a pretty cool-looking lichen. Deserved a tripod for a decent pic. I guess it's not going anywhere...
Practically the only mushroom out there.
I had always assumed all the wolf lichen up around Eagle Peak was L. columbiana, but apparently that almost *always* has apothecia, so I guess this is it's sister. I guess I could be convinced the cruddy stuff on the surface are sorredia... Growing on dead CA juniper, just like L. columbiana, but not on the same tree.
This time last year this buckeye was leafing out. This year it's nowhere close.
Kind of a crap pic, but those little orange bumps intiruge me and give me some hope of identification. Growing on buckeye bark, lobs only a few mm.
The main lichen here is either Psora globifera or Psora californica. Squamule margins look down-turned to me, but there are also fissures. Growing on rock on a rocky ridge. Can anyone distinguish the two species based on this photo?
I don't think I've ever actually seent the flowers or the fruit of this misteltoe before, despite seeing it everywhere. Fruit, you're next.
I've been photographing this same wolf lichen for several years. Growing on dead California juniper.
So imagine a very small wasp lands on your arm and, unbeknownst to you, inserts its ovipositor beneath your skin and inserts a few tiny eggs. The eggs release chemicals that command your body to grow a huge, pustulate turnip on your arm, within which the eggs hatch into little maggots, which in turn replicate asexually for a few generations until some of them turn into adult wasps, at which point they bore out of your arm turnip and fly away.
Aren't you happy you're not an oak tree?
I believe this was growing on Quercus berberidifolia, but it was also at the Donner cabin site, so it could be some weird cultivar.
Kinda jumping the gun.
I know the plant is toyon, but does anyone recognize the leaf condition it seems to have? Frankly all the lower elevation toyon looked kind of hardset on Mt. Diablo. Maybe they're stressed out by the lack of winter water?
Not sure which one this is, but I thought the pink capsule sheaths were pretty cool.
I'm guessing this is Tortula guepinii based on leaf shape, though who knows, maybe it's T. californica. Wish I had a scope. Totally forgot to whip out the hand lens. Sigh.
Totally thought these little tomatillo-like things had to belong to Solanum, but jwallphoto on flickr set me straight: it's pitcher sage!
Many thanks to Joyce Gross and her awesome CA oak gall page for helping me ID this: joycegross.com/galls_ca_oak.php
Only one I saw in bloom, though there were several budding already.
This one's growing on Q. durata. Thanks to Bob Dodge for pointing out this wasp's preference for this oak, or I wouldn't even have been looking for the galls on this tree! Turns out there's tons of leather oak up along Propector's Gap Rd that I hadn't noticed before.
Tiny, inconspicuous moss that I would have overlooked completely had it not been forming capsules and had I not had my nose close to the rock photographing something else. Unsure about the ID, but it was def. almost black, growing on exposed rock in full sun, and crumbled to pieces when i tried to pick it apart to look at a leaf.
There always seem to be turkeys around the etnrance.
Ok, as if cynipid biology wasn't weird enough: this species has a bisexual spring generation that forms mushroom shaped galls, and then a unisexual summer generation that forms this gall. Whaaaaaa?! The host is Quercus wislizeni.
Growing on Quercus chrysolepis.
I can never remember the name of this...
Unbranched trunk, straighter needles, yellow cones. Not seeing too much diff in needle color tho.
Need to learn to distinguish this from P coulteri. Branched trunk, drooping gray-green needles, brown cone, much more common on the D.