April 15, 2017

CNC Bay Area: Still Missing After the First Day

I took a look at some taxa that people have seen in the Bay Area in April that were not seen during the City Nature Challenge today. Definitely some low-hanging fruit to grab in the next few days. Here's just a selection (keep in mind some of these gaps are due to IDs that need to be resolved / refined):

BIRDS

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
Green Heron (Butorides virescens)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula)
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)
Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)
American Wigeon (Anas americana)
Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)

AMPHIBIANS

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
California Newt (Taricha torosa)
Rough-skinned Newt (Taricha granulosa)
Arboreal Salamander (Aneides lugubris)
California Giant Salamander (Dicamptodon ensatus)
Southern California Toad (Anaxyrus boreas halophilus)
California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii)
Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii)
Red-bellied Newt (Taricha rivularis)
Oregon Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii oregonensis)
California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)
Santa Cruz Black Salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus niger)

REPTILIA

Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera)
California King Snake (Lampropeltis californiae)
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus oreganus)
Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata)
Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
Pacific Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer catenifer)
Blainville's Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma blainvillii)
California Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata multicarinata)
Western Yellow-bellied Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon)
Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia tenuis)
Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii)
Skilton's Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus skiltonianus)
Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae)
Coast Gartersnake (Thamnophis elegans terrestris)
California Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris mundus)
San Francisco Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea coerulea)
Santa Cruz Aquatic Garter Snake (Thamnophis atratus atratus)
California Red-sided Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis)
Northwestern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis occidentalis)
San Francisco Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia)
Diablo Range Garter Snake (Thamnophis atratus zaxanthus)
Western Black-headed Snake (Tantilla planiceps)
Northern Legless Lizard (Anniella pulchra)
Alameda Whipsnake (Coluber lateralis euryxanthus)
California Nightsnake (Hypsiglena ochrorhyncha nuchalata)
Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea principis)

MAMMALIA

Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
American Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)
Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)
Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)
North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis)
Western Gray Squirrel (Sciurus griseus)
Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)
Mountain Lion (Puma concolor)
House Mouse (Mus musculus)
Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus)
Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis)
Northern Elephant Seal (Mirounga angustirostris)
Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus)
Dusky-footed Woodrat (Neotoma fuscipes)
American Badger (Taxidea taxus)
California Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus californicus)
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus)
Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata)
Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus)
Tule Elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes)
Merriam's Chipmunk (Tamias merriami)
Sciurus niger rufiventer
Harbor Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)
California Vole (Microtus californicus)
Broad-footed Mole (Scapanus latimanus)
Pallid Bat (Antrozous pallidus)
Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus)
American Shrew-mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii)
Sonoma Chipmunk (Tamias sonomae)
California Pocket Mouse (Chaetodipus californicus)
California Valley Coyote (Canis latrans ochropus)

ARACHNIDA

Bold Jumper (Phidippus audax)
Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus)
Western Black Widow (Latrodectus hesperus)
Woodlouse Spider (Dysdera crocata)
Western Forest Scorpion (Uroctonus mordax)
False Black Widow (Steatoda grossa)
European Harvestman (Phalangium opilio)
Zebra Jumper (Salticus scenicus)
Striped Lynx Spider (Oxyopes salticus)
Grey House Spider (Badumna longinqua)
California common scorpion (Paruroctonus silvestrii)
Marbled Cellar Spider (Holocnemus pluchei)
False Tarantula (Calisoga longitarsis)
Aphonopelma iodius
Bowl and Doily Weaver (Frontinella communis)
Sassacus vitis
Colonus hesperus
Six-spotted Orbweaver (Araniella displicata)
Wall Spider (Oecobius navus)

MOLLUSCA

Hopkin's Rose (Okenia rosacea)
Milk Snail (Otala lactea)
Pacific Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus)
California Seahare (Aplysia californica)
Sea Clown Triopha (Triopha catalinae)
Monterey Dorid (Doris montereyensis)
Three-lined Aeolid (Flabellina trilineata)
Sea Lemon (Peltodoris nobilis)
Asian Clam (Corbicula fluminea)
San Diego Dorid (Diaulula sandiegensis)
Owl Limpet (Lottia gigantea)
Cockerell's Dorid (Limacia cockerelli)
Doriopsilla fulva
Gumboot Chiton (Cryptochiton stelleri)
Hammerhead Doto (Doto amyra)
Red Dorid (Rostanga pulchra)
Modest Cadlina (Cadlina modesta)
Cellar Slug (Limacus flavus)
Heath's Dorid (Geitodoris heathi)
Lined Chiton (Tonicella lineata)
Dendronotus subramosus
Orange-peel Doris (Acanthodoris lutea)
Draparnaud's Glass-snail (Oxychilus draparnaudi)

INSECTA

Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)
Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia)
Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus)
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)
Common Green Darner (Anax junius)
Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum)
American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
White-lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata)
Large Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus)
Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile)
Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella)
Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)
Checkered White (Pontia protodice)
Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata)
American Rubyspot (Hetaerina americana)
Umber Skipper (Poanes melane)
Acmon Blue (Icaricia acmon)

PLANTAE

American Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua)
Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)
Redstem Filaree (Erodium cicutarium)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Western Sycamore (Platanus racemosa)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Black Sage (Salvia mellifera)
Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule)
Common Lantana (Lantana camara)
ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)
Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Pinkladies (Oenothera speciosa)
Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna)
Gorse (Ulex europaeus)
creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
white horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
deerweed (Acmispon glaber)
honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
Bird's-eye Speedwell (Veronica persica)
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

FUNGI

Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)
Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)
Red-banded Polypore (Fomitopsis pinicola)
Western Jack-o'-lantern Mushroom (Omphalotus olivascens)
Tree Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria)
Mica Cap (Coprinellus micaceus)
chip cherries (Leratiomyces ceres)
Deathcap (Amanita phalloides)
Yellow Fieldcap (Bolbitius titubans)
Candlesnuff Fungus (Xylaria hypoxylon)
Blewit (Clitocybe nuda)
Deer Mushroom (Pluteus cervinus)
Gilled Polypore (Lenzites betulina)
Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpina)
Stubble Rosegill (Volvopluteus gloiocephalus)
Golden Milkcap (Lactarius alnicola)
Hygroscopic Earthstar (Astraeus hygrometricus)
Candy Cap (Lactarius rubidus)
Eyelash Cup (Scutellinia scutellata)
Trooping Crumble Cap (Coprinellus disseminatus)
Fairy Fingers (Clavaria fragilis)
Deceiver (Laccaria laccata)
Emery Rocktripe Lichen (Umbilicaria phaea)
Hare's-foot Inkcap (Coprinopsis lagopus)
Hooded Rosette Lichen (Physcia adscendens)

OTHER ANIMALS

Red Swamp Crawfish (Procambarus clarkii)
Bat Star (Patiria miniata)
Common Earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris)
By-the-wind Sailor (Velella velella)
Common Desert Centipede (Scolopendra polymorpha)
Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)
Purple Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus nudus)
Pacific Sand Crab (Emerita analoga)
Common Rough Woodlouse (Porcellio scaber)
Eccentric Sand Dollar (Dendraster excentricus)
Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis)
Common Shiny Woodlouse (Oniscus asellus)
Sunflower Sea Star (Pycnopodia helianthoides)
Western Spiny Brittle Star (Ophiothrix spiculata)
Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)
Western Sea Roach (Ligia occidentalis)
Red Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus)
Thatched Barnacle (Semibalanus cariosus)
Xystocheir dissecta
Six-rayed Star (Leptasterias hexactis)

RAY-FINNED FISHES

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)
Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis)
Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
Tidepool Sculpin (Oligocottus maculosus)
Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)
Redear Sunfish (Lepomis microlophus)
Northern Clingfish (Gobiesox maeandricus)
Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
Northern Anchovy (Engraulis mordax)
Kelp Greenling (Hexagrammos decagrammus)
High Cockscomb (Anoplarchus purpurescens)
Jack Silverside (Atherinopsis californiensis)
Coastal Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus)

PROTOZOA

Dog Vomit Slime Mold (Fuligo septica)
Tapioca Slime Mold (Brefeldia maxima)
carnival candy slime (Arcyria denudata)
False Puffball (Reticularia lycoperdon)
Chocolate Tube Slime (Stemonitis splendens)
Stemonitopsis typhina

CHROMISTA

Rockweed (Fucus distichus)
Bull Kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana)
Sea Palm (Postelsia palmaeformis)
Sea Cauliflower (Leathesia marina)
Bottlebrush seaweed (Analipus japonicus)
Ditylum brightwellii
Chaetoceros socialis
Thalassionema nitzschioides

Posted on April 15, 2017 08:06 AM by kueda kueda | 16 comments | Leave a comment

April 12, 2017

City Nature Challenge: East Bay

Apologies for those of you who don't care about this, but there are a number of East Bay spots in https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Aeg_ELc0h9IiHNN7N3rKkp1JZRtIk-8p275rcl_Eqx4/edit#gid=1333502718 that don't have any volunteers. I signed up for the summit of Diablo on Sunday, but I'm pretty free in the morning and early afternoon on Saturday, and maybe Monday if I decide to call this "work."

So, anyone want to hit some of the remaining East Bay spots, either with me or not? Some places that I think need some attention are: Serpentine Prairie, Mitchell Canyon (esp. for birds, but tons of other stuff too), Las Trampas, Lime Ridge, Black Diamond Mines, Springtown, Sunol. To a lesser extent: Briones, Huckleberry, any other East Bay park (I just don't think they have as many endemics as the hotspots).

I'm planning on running my moth light Friday and Sunday nights, locations TBD. I don't have high hopes, forecast is for cool temps and possible rain...

Also, just a reminder that CCNH is running a wrap party Tuesday evening at Revolution Cafe (very close to West Oakland BART).

@damontighe, @ang, @hfabian, @kevinhintsa, @catchang, @leftcoastnaturalist, @rhislop, anyone else: any volunteers / plans? Looks like Kevin's already planning to head to Big Break on Saturday, and Damon is doing dock fouling at Jack London on Monday. Rad.

Posted on April 12, 2017 10:23 PM by kueda kueda | 21 comments | Leave a comment

March 23, 2017

wildflower report for Science Friday?

Looks like I'm going to be on Science Friday tomorrow morning talking about iNat, wild flowers, and citizen science, noon-12:40 PDT. I've reached out to a few of you but just in case anyone else is reading, anyone else in the U.S. want to report some of their favorite recent wildflower sightings, or what you think folks interested in wildflowers should be looking for at this time of year in your part of the country? I'm looking at the data of course, but it's always nice to hear from people directly.

Actually, reports from anywhere would be interesting if you've got them. Not sure how many people listen to SciFri outside of the U.S, though.

Also, I think it's a call-in section (?), so call in!

Posted on March 23, 2017 10:42 PM by kueda kueda | 9 comments | Leave a comment

March 19, 2017

Borrego Botanizing March 2017

With reports of a "superbloom" in the offing, I felt a desert trip was in order, so some botanically-inclined friends and I headed down to Anza Borrego, where we met up with some SoCal iNat folks and saw a lot of plants. It was great. Huge thanks to @finatic and @matthew_salkiewicz for sharing their time and knowledge on Saturday, and to Stew Winchester and Fred Melgert for providing some remote location tips.

I mostly just want to use this post to help me remember some of the logistical details for future explorations, so apologies for the brevity. For the curious, observations by everyone in our group and those iNat-folks we met are at

http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2017-03-10&d2=2017-03-13&order=asc&order_by=observed_on&place_id=14&subview=grid&user_id=kueda,damontighe,ang,sea-kangaroo,finatic,biohexx1,matthew_salkiewicz,smmwwfc

As I write this, it seems like together we've received help from 100+ identifiers! That makes me feel great. Many thanks to all of you!

Thursday 3/9

Sylvie, Angela, and I drove down 101 in the evening and camped at Oak Flat Campground, a Forest Service campground right off I-5 near Castaic. Lots of beer bottles and broken glass, but otherwise a fine place to stop between the Bay Area and the deserts.

Friday 3/10

After waltzing through some poison oak we continued on our merry way and arrived at Culp Valley campground around 2pm... which was almost full. We claimed a spot, but it was kind of nuts. Still, lots of good stuff around the campsite, which is quite a bit higher than the valley floor and has a different flora. Saw my first Lithariapteryx, a colorful genus of moths that has some dune endemic species with wonderful illustrations in Powell & Opler. Meanwhile, Damon and Cynthia started their drive and checked out the Lancaster area, which apparently wasn't blooming, but Damon still managed to see this totally sweet wingless crane fly and discovered that some ants have beards. Back in Anza, S, A, and I decided to head down to the valley and glean what info we could from the visitor's center. On the way down we couldn't resist making some stops at the pullouts and were rewarded with all kinds of amazing things, including our first Nemacladus. Appetites: whetted. Borrego Springs was not completely insane at that point, but it was still pretty busy. We got a map of recommended spots and decided to try Di Giorgio road to find some desert lilies (later we realized the map was actually a pretty good guide to avoiding the crowds: just go anywhere not on the map). Di Giorgio passes through some dense orange groves, which were in flower and unleashing a heady miasma of scent, making it impossible to really smell any other flower. Nevertheless, there were lilies everywhere at the end of the road, along with fields of spectacle pod, Abronia, brown eyes, etc. The dusk lighting, heady aroma, dust from the cars, and many other fellow flower aficionados (including a group of Buddhist monks) made for a surreal but pleasant evening. For extra surreality, in SoCal while you are botanizing a well-journalized bloom, apparently other people are doing this.

That night Cynthia and Damon rolled in, as well as Sean and Cat, who flew down (like, in a plane). Set up the moth light though it didn't bring in too much. Had more entomological success wandering around with headlamps. Timema galore adorned the buckwheats and other shrubs, butts held high into the night. Why? Waiting for mates? Can't the bats "see" them or do they just look like sticks if you're echolocating? Found some caterpillars too. Had been consulting Dave Wagner's caterpillar book a week or two before and he mentioned they were easier to find at night. Now I believe.

Camp was a bit noisy due to the crowding and some particularly noisy neighbors. Was glad of my earplugs.

Saturday 3/11

Connected with BJ and Matt in the morning despite my stealthy sombrero-based disguise. Decided we would try to relocate desert lupine and Ives' phacelia at Dump Rd east of Borrego Springs, two flowers that came up in this bloom but hadn't been seen locally in decades. There seem to be checklist records of both on Calflora from 1997, but it's not clear to me if those represent actual observations or just someone making a list of what should be there. If those 1997 records are not observations, then L. shockleyi hasn't been seen around Borrego Springs since 1939, and P. ivesiana hasn't been seen since 1895 (!!), when it was collected by T.S. Brandegee, husband of M.K. Brandegee, former curator of botany at the California Academy of Sciences and one of the pioneering female scientists the Academy prides itself upon. T.S. apparently was no botanical slacker either. I suspect the seeds that germinated this year weren't actually waiting around for 100 years and people just hadn't noticed it in the intervening century (it's pretty small), but regardless 122 years is a long, long time for a plant to go unnoticed, and I'm sure the seeds were lying dormant for decades at least. Remarkable.

From there we headed to into Borrego Springs to use the facilities and fill up on water. There we witnessed the horde of people who also had come to witness the "superbloom," and, apparently, also need to use bathrooms and drink water. The gall. Usual conflicted feelings of excitement over interest in nature and horror over loving nature to death, etc.

Next up, Glorietta Canyon, which, while not empty, was relatively uncrowded by people and very crowded with flowers. Road in was totally accessible, even saw a Prius successfully navigate it, though apparently that's not always the case. Seemed like there was also camping near the entrance, though no water or bathrooms. Met up with @biohexx1 and a woman whose name I didn't catch there too! Flora was a lot like our roadside stops down S22, but we saw a lot more stuff with time to move slowly and the input from the local experts.

Finally, we decided to do a quick walk and run BJ's moth light for a while at Yaqui Wells, where mushrooms managed to find Damon as they tend to do, and we saw the lyrepod open up for the evening. The light didn't bring in too much, but still, fun times. Failed to extract some folks who got their sedan stuck in the sand up to the axle, and also failed to connect with our friend Nik, who was nearby.

Parted ways with BJ and Matt, onto Borrego Springs where we refilled the water tank at a coin-operated water machine outside a liquor store, then back to camp. A little more nocturnal exploring around camp revealed a different suite of things, including fungally-infected flies, sleeping marbles, and more caterpillars. Neighbors far less noisy that night, plus I was way more tired.

Sunday 3/12

Parted with Cat, Sean, and Cynthia in the morning (after seeing my first Scott's Oriole around camp), decided we would try our luck due south away from Borrego Springs. First stop was across from a dirt road with a "no camping" sign. I don't even remember why we pulled over, maybe to look at the beautiful teddy bear cholla. Turned out to be enormously productive and we added several species we saw nowhere else on the trip, including two more Nemacladus and desert five spot. Cholla was brutal, though, damn near impossible to avoid and hard to extract.

Next we tried Torote Canyon in search of frankincense (er, elephant tree) and whatever else we could find. Road in was slightly more dicey than Glorietta, but it seemed like people with less clearance than us were managing ok. Taking a tip from Sean, Cynthia, and Cat the day before, some of us took naps in the shade.

Since we hadn't had enough, we decided to try Moonlight Canyon, despite mild exhaustion (at least on my part), and were in no way disappointed. Found the glorious Lytta magister at Agua Caliente, as well as just a very different sort of desert habitat in Moonlight, where there was a trickle of water, weird milkweeds, different asters, and after nightfall, Red-spotted Toads, bats, poorwills that sadly went unphotographed, and hooting owls.

Back at Culp Valley things had quieted down significantly. Still a few folks around, but mostly empty. For some reason decided to walk around a bit and again found different things, including a weird grasshopper, a new walking stick, and two flowers we had somehow missed, including a jewelflower.

Monday 3/13

Explored camp a little more and then hit the road. Nice poppies along CA-79, but insane floral displays along I-15. Stopped at Minthorn St. in Lake Elsinore for some amazing fields of Phacelia minor, and at Walker Canyon for what were probably the most insane poppy displays of my life to date. Walker was crowded, but not to the detriment of the flowers. There was a drone crew there and I can't find their footage, but it seems like numerous other people were flying drones and shooting video. Here's one:

Half pleased, half creeped to know I was probably being filmed by several people with phones and several robots in the sky.

Final botanical moment was some spectacular washes of Monolopia along CA-46, some of which were accessible from the road. Lovely mix of Monolopia, Amsinckia, and Phacelia. Also huge fields of what looked like pure Amsinckia. Made me want to plant it at home in the hopes that it would outcompete the introduced weeds in the yard.

All in all, a fantastic trip. The desert is truly amazing. Also, I had what is becoming my usual experience with other iNat folks: you people are amazing at noticing and photographing stuff! Not to mention knowing and sharing stuff. I was again enormously grateful to hang out with such wonderful naturalists.

Posted on March 19, 2017 11:15 PM by kueda kueda | 7 comments | Leave a comment

January 15, 2017

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

Posted on January 15, 2017 06:36 AM by kueda kueda | 24 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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?

Posted on January 15, 2017 06:25 AM by kueda kueda | 8 observations | 1 comments | Leave a comment

January 08, 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.

Questions:

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)

Posted on January 08, 2017 10:14 PM by kueda kueda | 32 observations | 1 comments | Leave a comment

January 01, 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.

Posted on January 01, 2017 11:30 PM by kueda kueda | 23 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

September 13, 2016

Excluding Taxa from Identify

Whipped up a little experiment to see how useful it would be to exclude taxa from Identify, for anyone interested.

Non-lichenized Fungi: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?taxon_id=47170&without_taxon_id=54743,117869,152030,152028

Moths (i.e. Lepidoptera without butterflies): http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?taxon_id=47157&without_taxon_id=47224,47654

Invertebrates: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?taxon_id=1&without_taxon_id=2

Vascular Plants w/o Grasses: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?taxon_id=211194&without_taxon_id=47162

Haven't committed to the extent of adding UI for it. Holler if you find this useful. Obvious doesn't deal with situations where people ID things at a high level, e.g. lichens ID'd as "Fungi" are going to appear in that non-lichenized fungi search. Also, since this is based on IDs, these URLs will break after drastic, high-level taxon changes, but there shouldn't be too many of those. Also have not added this to obs search, just Identify.

Posted on September 13, 2016 07:44 PM by kueda kueda | 8 comments | Leave a comment

February 20, 2016

slime molds this weekend?

Someone from KQED just contacted me about finding some slime molds to film in the Bay Area this weekend. Anyone out there know of good spots / want to lead them around? @ang, @damontighe, @moonlittrails, looking in your direction...

Posted on February 20, 2016 01:49 AM by kueda kueda | 3 comments | Leave a comment
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