September 16, 2017

Fall Fungi Frolic

So, I have decided to do a mushroom program at "Youth in the Outdoors" this year to help me take time to learn more about our local fungi. Since I know how to ID only a handful of species - think you can count them on 2 hands - I took a walk in the woods and tried to photograph and collect some of each of the fungi I found. I brought examples how where I could to try and figure them out.

It isn't easy but I think I am making some progress.

I have four mushroom books:

"Mushrooms Demystified"
"Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America"
"Fascinating Fungi of the North Woods"
and my new favorite "Mushrooms of Northeast North America - Midwest to New England" - A key I can actually use!

It is slow going so if anyone out there can help it would be greatly appreciated.

Posted on September 16, 2017 12:24 by rangersara rangersara | 72 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 04, 2017

Kids in the Woods

Yesterday the Delta County YMCA day camp Kids in the Woods headed out to the Refuge. This was their second year and we had a great time despite the rain. They spent the day biking, playing games, doing beaver art work, exploring the visitor center, taking hikes, and conducting a pond study.

Pond studies are always interesting and you never know what you are going to find. Together we found quite a few great aquatic invertebrates and a couple of vertebrates too, a central mudminnow and a green/mink frog (I need to work on my ID of the two species I never know unless it calls).

Two of the observations I am completely stumped over. The little reddish worm. I initially thought it was a tubiflex worm but I am not certain if I see some little appendages on the front of the body? The other is a green blob that we find every time we go out, people ask about it every time and I am stumped. Is in an algae? Or something else...

Posted on August 04, 2017 12:16 by rangersara rangersara | 17 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment

August 02, 2017

August in the Backcountry of Seney National Wildlife Refuge


Today I took a ride in the back country of the Refuge as I was collecting counter numbers. It seems that many of our early summer flowers have started to seed and the late summer flowers are starting to bloom.

I started at the Visitor Center and drove to the Wigwams then finally up to Driggs River Road where I began to make observations.

The goldenrods are in bloom now or at least starting to bloom. I wish I could tell them apart but they are so difficult. I think I have 2 species mostly down and with little effort I can identify them (grass-leaved goldenrod and Canada goldenrod). Beyond that I have trouble. I need some sort of non-botanist identification key because I always get bogged down in the terminology and give up.

I saw a lot of monarchs but did not make an observation because I couldn't get a photo. The milkweeds are starting to sinesse. I think I read that scientists speculate when this starts to happen a change happens in the development of the monarch caterpillar and it is what may cause the monarch to have it's migratory generation.

There were deer? flies following the car, a whole cloud of them. Every time I opened the window to take a picture a few would fly inside. I only got out a few times because they were so intimidating and they would if not attack one or two would land and bite.

I saw several wood ducks. The males are in eclipse plumage right now and stick out because of their reddish orange beak. A few trumpeter swans. The pairs I saw today had no cygnets with them but I have seen several cygnets on the Refuge. I wonder why not in these locations? Canada geese galore. I finally saw the loon on A Pool and it had 2 chicks. This was the first time I saw in it a long time. Noted a few belted kingfishers, ring-necked ducks, mallards, and 2 great blue herons (I wish I would have seen them earlier because it would have made a great photo but they flew away before I could get the camera). I made an eBird post of the sightings.

I also looked at a few lichens. I am pretty sure they are all reindeer lichens. There were at least 3 colors but I am not sure if this delineates different species or if they are the same species. I would think different species but I am just not sure.

At the end of the trip I stopped and looked at a patch of milkweed and noticed a few little flies there. Some of them were metallic looking. I did manage to get a photo so hopefully someone can help me identify it.

Posted on August 02, 2017 12:17 by rangersara rangersara | 12 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment