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What

Broadleaf Forget-Me-Not Myosotis latifolia

Observer

arnel

Date

February 15, 2020 10:25 AM PST

Description

Some Broadleaf Forget-me-not (Myosotis latifolia), photographed along the Fire Rdge Road at Sam McDonald County Park in central San Mateo County, CA. Note that there are four photographs in the set of pictures documenting this specimen:

Shot 1: Provides a close-up of the flowers and inflorescence of the plant.
Shot 2: Provides a close-up of the upper surface of the leaf.
Shot 3: Provides a close-up of the lower surface of the leaf.
Shot 4: Show the entire plant in situ along edge of the Fire Ridge Road.

In this part of the San Francisco Bay area, only two species of Myosotis are known to be present: M. latifolia, whose flower corollas are pink when newy opened (turning blue with age), and M. discolor, whose flower corollas are yellow when newly opened (also turning blue with age). Since the youngest, most recently opened flower in my photograph has a pink corolla, that makes the plant to which it belongs M. latifolia. The flowers of M. latifolia are also substantially larger than those of M. discolor; here, in my photograph of the M. latifolia inflorescence, the corolla is between 5mm and 10mm in diameter, whereas it would only be between 1mm and 3mm in diameter for M. discolor.

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What

Western Jack-O'-Lantern Omphalotus olivascens

Observer

arnel

Date

July 20, 2017 09:16 PM PDT

Description

A Western Jack O'Lantern (Omphalotus olivascens), photographed along the Farm Bypass Trail at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in western Santa Clara County (near Cupertino, CA).

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What

Reticulate Taildropper Prophysaon andersoni

Observer

arnel

Date

January 4, 2020 09:53 AM PST

Description

A Reticulate Tail-dropper Slug (Prophysaon andersoni), photographed along the Canyon Trail at Pescadero Creek County Park in central San Mateo County, CA. The reticulated, fishnet-like wrinkling on the lower half of this slug's body seems to be fairly distinctive.

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What

Lace Lichen Ramalina menziesii

Observer

arnel

Date

February 15, 2020 10:15 AM PST

Description

Some Lace Lichen (Ramalina menziesii), photographed along the Ridge Fire Road at Sam McDonald County Park in central San Mateo County, CA.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rustgills and Gyms Genus Gymnopilus

Observer

arnel

Date

January 4, 2020 10:33 AM PST

Description

A Rustgill (Gymnopilus sp.), discovered on a fallen log along the Canyon Trail at Pescadero Creek County Park in central San Mateo County, CA. Note that there are 5 photographs in the set of pictures documenting this speciment:

Shot 1 provides a view of the upper surface of the mushroom's cap;
Shot 2 provides a view of the mushroom's gills (on the lower surface of the cap) and stipe, including some of the mycelial strands which attached this mushroom to its wooden substrate.
Shot 3 provides a closeup of the gills and their point of attachment at the stipe (note the slight notch in the gills at this point of connection);
Shot 4 shows the gills after aging/drying out and spore deposition;
Shot 5 shows the stipe after aging/drying out.
Shot 6 shows the spore print of this mushroom.

This mushroom can be fairly readily classsified as belonging to the genus Gymnopilus on the basis of the following observed characteristics:

1) Growth directly on wood;
2) Bright, rusty0brown spores;
3) Orange fruiting body;
4) Gills that are adnate to slightly notiched (but not free);
5) Partial veil present when the mushroom was young (you can see remnants of it as the torn tissue along the edge of this mushroom's cap, as well as remnants of it on the stipe).
6) Stalk present, central in placement with respect to the cap (not offset).

Getting to species is far more difficult, as this genus is poorly studied and poorly understood; moreover, the different species within the genus are often very similar to one another. The few species within Gymnopilus that can be identified exactly are those with unusual characteristics, such as size (e.g., Gympnopilus ventricosus [= G. junonius = G. spectabilis]) or color (e.g., G. punctifolius). The specimen in my photographs is one of a large class of middling-sized, orange-capped Gymnopilus species that are hard to differentiate to species. Consequently, I am leaving this one identified to genus only.

References:
1) Siegel, Noah & Schwarz, Christian (2016). Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast. Berkeley, CA: Ten-Speed Press. See especially note to species description for Gymnopilus aurantiophyllus on p. 133.
2) Davis, R. Michael; Sommer, Robert & Menge, John A. (2012). Field Guide to the Mushrooms of Western North America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
3) Arora, David (1986). Mushrooms Demystified. Berekely, CA: Ten-Speed Press.
4) Kuo, Michael (2007, February). The Genus Gymnopilus. Retrieved on 2/17/20 from the MushroomExpert.com website at https://www.mushroomexpert.com/gymnopilus.html. Still a good treatment of the genus.
5) Gymnopilus (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved on 2/18/20 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnopilus

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What

Cramp Balls Annulohypoxylon thouarsianum

Observer

arnel

Date

February 15, 2020 10:07 AM PST

Description

Some Carbon Balls (Annulohypoxylon thouarsianum), discovered on the dead trunk of an old Tan Oak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus) along the Ridge Fire Road at Sam McDonald County Park in central San Mateo County, CA. This species is also called Cramp Balls, although that name is also applied to Daldinia grandis, which is rare in California.

Photos / Sounds

What

Hairy Curtain Crust Stereum hirsutum

Observer

arnel

Date

January 4, 2020 08:08 AM PST

Description

Some False Turkey Tail (Stereum hirsutum), photographed in the rain along the Tarwater Trail at Pescadero Creek County Park in central San Mateo County, CA. Note the hairy cap with orange zonation and the lack of obvious pores on the underside of this cap.

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What

Gilled Polypore Trametes betulina

Observer

arnel

Date

February 15, 2020 10:03 AM PST

Description

Some Gilled Polypore (Trametes betulina), emerging from the cut surface of a fallen log at Sam McDonald County Park in central San Mateo County, CA. At least locally, this is the only polypore that appears to have true gills on the underside of its cap, so it is virtually impossible to confuse with any other species.

Note: Many still know this fungus by its older scientific name, Lenzites betulina.

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Observer

arnel

Date

February 16, 2019 11:49 AM PST

Description

The bright orange "dots" near the center of this photograph (on a chunk of fallen branch) is some type of Jelly Spot fungus (Dacrymyces sp.). Aa the piece of fallen branch is from an old oak tree, I do not think this is Dacrymyces stillatus, which is associated with coniferous wood. However, it is probably a close relative within the genus Dacrymyces.

Photograph was taken beneath an old oak tree at Pioneer Memorial Park in Mountain View, CA.

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What

Rock Pigeon Columba livia

Observer

arnel

Date

January 17, 2020 04:22 PM PST

Description

Some Rock Pigeons (Columba livia), photographed at the Lawrence Square Shopping Center in Santa Clara, CA.

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What

American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos

Observer

arnel

Date

January 17, 2020 03:45 PM PST

Description

An American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), photographed on a building bordering John D. Morgan Park in Campbell, CA.

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What

Eastern Gray Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis

Observer

arnel

Date

December 13, 2019 04:06 PM PST

Description

An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), photographed behind the U. S. Post Office near the intersection of Waverley Street and Hamilton Avenue in Palo Alto, CA.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Gull Larus californicus

Observer

arnel

Date

January 21, 2020 09:39 AM PST

Description

Some California Gulls (Larus californicus), photographed on the roof of a retail outlet at the McCarthy Ranch Shopping Center in Milpitas, CA.

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What

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus

Observer

arnel

Date

February 8, 2020 05:08 PM PST

Description

A male and female pair of Red-winged Blackbirds (Agealius phoeniceus), photographed at the North Point Shopping Center in Fremont, CA.

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What

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans

Observer

arnel

Date

February 9, 2020 11:44 AM PST

Description

A Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans), photographed at Almaden Meadows Park in San Jose, CA.

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What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

arnel

Date

February 9, 2020 11:25 AM PST

Description

A California Ground Squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi), photographed at Almaden Meadows Park in San Jose, CA.

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What

Fox Squirrel Sciurus niger

Observer

arnel

Date

February 8, 2020 10:54 AM PST

Description

A Fox Squirrel (Sciurus niger), photographed on one of the pine trees near the playground of Hellyer County Park in San Jose, CA. This is the most common color form. Note the inflated look to this squirrel's face (not gaunt, as would be the case with the Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis), as well as the huge tail with heavy, orange tones in it.

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What

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Observer

arnel

Date

February 8, 2020 05:58 PM PST

Description

A pair of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) cruising what appears to be an artificial stream, located in a business park south of Warren Avenue, and between Lakeview Boulevard and Bayside Parkway, in Fremont, CA..

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What

Eastern Gray Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis

Observer

arnel

Date

January 17, 2020 03:35 PM PST

Description

An Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), phtographed at John D. Morgan Park in Campbell, CA.

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What

California Gull Larus californicus

Observer

arnel

Date

December 21, 2019 04:57 PM PST

Description

A small flock of California Gulls (Larus californicus), gathered together on the roof of a building on the campus of Mountain View High School in Mountain View, CA.

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What

Rock Pigeon Columba livia

Observer

arnel

Date

January 1, 2020 02:37 PM PST

Description

A Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), perched on a street light near the intersection of Woodside Road and Oxford Street in Redwood City, CA.

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What

Audubon's Warbler Setophaga coronata ssp. auduboni

Observer

arnel

Date

February 7, 2020 06:34 PM PST

Description

A Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata), photographed at Cupertino Library Park in Cupertino, CA. The yellow patch on this bird's throat indicates that it belongs to the Audubon's race of Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata auduboni).

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What

Anna's Hummingbird Calypte anna

Observer

arnel

Date

December 8, 2018 12:41 PM PST

Description

A male Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna), photographed at the Dr. Robert Gross Groundwater Recharge Pond in San Jose, CA.

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What

California Gull Larus californicus

Observer

arnel

Date

January 12, 2020 04:46 PM PST

Description

A first-winter California Gull (Larus californicus), photographed on a street light at the Calaveras Plaza Shopping Center in Milpitas, CA. Key field marks: (1) the long, pinkish bill with the black tip; (2) pale face with dark iris; (3) pale, pinkish legs; (4) barred brown-and-white pattern to the scapulars and wing coverts; (5) all-tips to the primaries (no white "mirrors").

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What

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans

Observer

arnel

Date

August 4, 2018 09:37 AM PDT

Description

A Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans), photographed at the Ulistac Natural Area in Santa Clara, CA.

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What

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

Observer

arnel

Date

August 4, 2018 08:42 AM PDT

Description

A Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) perched near the top of a Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea) at the Ulistac Natural Area in Santa Clara, CA.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Scrub-Jay Aphelocoma californica

Observer

arnel

Date

August 4, 2018 10:21 AM PDT

Description

A California Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica), photographed at the Ulistac Natual Area in Santa Clara, CA. The grayish head indicates that this is a recently fledged juvenile.

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What

California Ground Squirrel Otospermophilus beecheyi

Observer

arnel

Date

February 8, 2020 05:55 PM PST

Description

A California Ground Squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi), photographed on the banks of the (apparently) artificial stream between Lakeview Boulevard and Bayside Parkway, just south of Warren Avenue, in Fremont, CA.

Photos / Sounds

What

White Sweetclover Melilotus albus

Observer

arnel

Date

February 8, 2020 11:52 AM PST

Description

Some White Sweetclover (Melilotus alba), photographed along the eastern shoreline of Cottonwood Lake at Hellyer County Park in San Jose, CA. Six photographs have been provided to document this specimen:

Shot 1 - Shows the entire plant in situ.
Shot 2 - Provides a close-up view of the unopened flowers of one of the plant's inflorescences.
Shot 3 - Provides a close-up of the open flowers of one of the plant's inflorescences.
Shot 4 - Provides a magnified close-up of some of the plant's open flowers.
Shot 5 - Shows one of the plant's branches and its associated leaves.
Shot 6 - Provides a close-up view of one of the plant's leaves.

Note that this plant is annual/biennial forb with inflorescences that consists of very long racemes of white flowers and leaves that are odd-1-pinnate in structure. The flowers are pea-like, white in color, and between 3.5mm and 5mm in corolla length. The leaves consist of only 3 leaflets, each of which is elliptical, with shallowly toothed margins. Both the upper and lower surfaces of each leaflet are glabrous.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Brittlebush Encelia californica

Observer

arnel

Date

December 24, 2017 03:39 PM PST

Description

Some California Brittlebush (Encelia californica), photographed in the garden in front of the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society offices at McClellan Ranch Preserve in Cupertino, CA. This plant is not native to the San Francisco Bay Area (it is native to southern California), so it had to have been cultivated at this location. However, it is popular with the local insect population, which uses it for pollination, food, and shelter.

Note that there are four photographs in the set of pictures documenting this plant. Shot 1 provides a relative close-up of one of the shrub's flowers. Shot 2 provides a moderate close-up of its leaves. Shot 3 shows the shrub's branches/stems, and Shot 4 shows the entire shrub in situ. Key field marks to note are the following:

1) The plant is a perennial shrub with bisexual flowers conisisting of radiate flower heads.
2) Flower heads solitary (see Shot 4). Ray flowers are yellow, disk flowers with purplish-brown corollas. (See Shot 1.)
3) Leaves narrowly ovate to diamond-shaped, with acute tips and entire margins; both upper and lower surfaces glabrous to sparsely hairy. (See Shot 2.)
4) Shrub consists of many slender branches emerging from its base. (See Shot 4.) Older stems with smooth or rough bark. (See Shot 3.)

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