I’m still feeling a bit crappy — fighting a cough and cold bug — but I was also getting a little stir crazy just laying around the house, so I got up around 7:00 am and headed over to the American River Bend Park for a walk and some fresh air.
I was looking for helvellas and coral fungi, and found the helvellas (commonly called Elfin Saddles) but no coral fungus yet. It’s a little bit rare out there, but I always keep an eye out for it. Lots of other mushrooms and different kinds of jellies were out today, though. There was one tree that was so loaded with the orange Witch’s Butter jelly fungus that it was practically “glowing”. I could see it from yards away… Along the river’s edge I saw a couple of seagulls and as I approached, I noticed there was a Great Blue Heron standing near the shore, eyeballing the gulls. I’m not too overly fond of taking seagull photos (because they’re so… “ubiquitous”) but I really liked the fact that the heron was so close. I got quite a few photos of him, and a little video too when it tried to approach one of the gulls and steal its snack from it.
In the woods, I came across two does sheltering a young fawn. One of the does looked pregnant to me. And elsewhere, as I was driving out of the park, I came across a troop of bucks (about 5 of them) of varying ages. I came up on them so suddenly, and they were moving at a pretty good pace, so I had to shoot video through the car windows of them before they disappeared into the thicket. They’re always such a treat to see. And two of them were jousting a little bit. I also got to see a Red-Breasted Sap Sucker and a Nutthall’s Woodpecker…
When I drive into and out of the park, I always go extra slowly, so I don’t run over or into and critters, and so I can watch for cool stuff among the trees from the road. Today, I saw something large and bright pink on the side of a fallen limb. Because of its color, I assumed it was some kind of slime mold, but I’d never seen a pink mass that large before, so I had to go check it out. I pulled the car off the road in the nearest turnout and walked back to the limb… And sure enough, it was a kind of slime mold I’d never seen before: Red Raspberry Slime Mold, Enteridium splendens. It looked like big lumps of whipped up raspberry yogurt, but felt firm and rubbery to the touch.
So the trip was fun, but I think I over-did it. By the time I got home, I was coughing more and aching all over. So much for trying to get better, huh?