Lotsa Lichen at the River Bend Park, 01-17-20

I was up around 7:30 am and out the door around 8:00 to go to the American River Bend Park.  It was a chilly and foggy 39° when I got there, and the temperature went up to 46° when I left.  By then, the fog had lifted to a high overcast with moments of sunshine.  When the sun came out, the forest floor “steamed”; so cool looking.

Start Time: 8:30 am
Start Temperature: 39º F
End Time: 11:30 pm
End Temperature: 46º F
Weather: Very foggy, clearing to a high overcast
Total Hours in the field (includes travel time): 4 hours
Kilometers Walked: 2.5

When I first drove in, two young Black-Tailed deer bucks cross the road in front of me.  One was a spike and the other one had 2-points.  They jumped the line fence and went off into the woods, though, before I could get any decent photos of them.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

I had gone to the park looking again for coral fungus and cauliflower fungus, but found neither one.    I did find several species of jelly fungus and some Bleeding Mycena mushrooms. I’d never intentionally made that species of mushroom “bleed” before, but I did that today and took some photos of the “blood”.  It’s a red exudate that comes out of the stipe(stem of the mushroom) when the stipe is broken. 

Bleeding Mycena, Mycena haematopus

And I came across a little pile of stuff in a hole in a downed log that had Hair Mold, Phycomyces sp., growing on it.  That mold is recognizable by the yellow heads on some of the fruiting stalks.  But I couldn’t tell what it was growing on.  It was a collection of reddish-brown masses that felt cold and rubbery to the touch.  I think it might have been something’s organs, but I’m not sure.

I also found some kind of mold growing on the old husk of a Buckeye chestnut.  I think it was a slime mold but it had already gone to spore, so I couldn’t tell what kind it was.  There were also a lot of the windfall chestnuts are sending out their taproots into the ground.  They’re bright pink, so they’re had to miss.

            There was a bachelor group of Wild Turkeys who were sort of doing their hierarchy battles, but they weren’t really into it.  Some would mock-chase others, and one grabbed his fellow by the neck and they wrestled for a few seconds – nothing like the protracted battles I’ve seen them do before.  Maybe it was too cold for them to do much of anything this morning…

Later, I came across a lone female turkey who was limping through the woods. It looked like she was having trouble bearing any weight on her right leg. I considered for a short second chasing after her and grabbing her and taking her to a wildlife refuge, but, seriously, can you see me running around the uneven ground of the forest?  And if I got a hold of her, it was almost a mile back to the car… with her pecking at me and trying to get down.  Not a good idea.  So, I sent an email to the rangers with photos of her after I got back home.

When I was walking along the riverside part of the trail, I noticed several male Common Mergansers in the water swimming in circles and posturing for a female… but the female was trying to rest. She ignored the males for a while, but when they got closer to her, she opened her mouth and “yelled” at them with a loud squawk.  

I tried looking closer at more of the lichens and differentiating between them, but it’s still proving to be a little difficult for me because I’m learning piecemeal.  I’ve been reading up on them through books, but now I think I’ve confused myself even more. Hah! I need to find a good lichen class close by, I think, in order to get a better hand on things.

Here’s a good start online for lichen IDs.

 Today, I think I’ve found specimens of American Starburst Lichen, Imshaugia placorodia, Common Button Lichen, Buellia stillingiana, Green Starburst Lichen Parmeliopsis ambigua, Starry Rosette Lichen, Physcia stellaris, and Whitewash Lichen, Phlyctis argena, but I’m not entirely sure.  It’s confusing, but it’s also kind of fun. I like the effort of learning new stuff.

I walked for about 3 hours and then headed back home.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. American Starburst Lichen, Imshaugia placorodia [darker green, green apothecia]
  3. Audubon’s Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  4. Barometer Earthstar fungus, Astraeus hygrometricus
  5. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  6. Black Jelly Roll fungus, Exidia glandulosa
  7. Bleeding Mycena, Mycena haematopus
  8. Brown Jelly Fungus, Jelly Leaf, Tremella foliacea
  9. California Buckeye Chestnut, Aesculus californica
  10. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  11. California Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor hirsute [chrysalis]
  12. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  13. Clustered Bonnet, Oak-Stump Bonnet, Mycena inclinata
  14. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  15. Common Button Lichen, Buellia stillingiana  [white with black peppery dots, on trees]
  16. Common Ink Cap Mushroom, Coprinopsis atramentaria
  17. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  18. Fairy Ring Mushroom, Scotch Bonnet, Marasmius oreades
  19. False Turkey Tail fungus, Stereum hirsutum
  20. False Turkey Tail fungus, Stereum ostrea
  21. Gem-Studded Puffball, Common Puffball, Lycoperdon perlatum
  22. Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina
  23. Gray Veiled Amanita, Amanita porphyria
  24. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  25. Green Starburst Lichen Parmeliopsis ambigua
  26. Hair Mold, Phycomyces nitens
  27. Hoary Lichen, Hoary Rosette, Physcia aipolia
  28. Horsehair Mushroom, Gymnopus androsaceus
  29. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  30. Live Oak Gall Wasp, 1st Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
  31. Mallard duck, Anas platyrhynchos
  32. Many-Headed Slime Mold, Physarum leucopus
  33. Mower’s Mushroom, Haymaker Mushroom, Panaeolus foenisecii
  34. Netted Crust Fungus, Byssomerulius corium
  35. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  36. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
  37. Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri
  38. Palomino Cup Fungus, Peziza repanda
  39. Pinwheel Mushroom, Marasmius capillaris
  40. Pleated Ink Cap, Parasol Ink Cap, Parasola plicatilis
  41. Powdery Goldspeck, Candelariella efflorescens  [yellow lichen, powdery texture]
  42. Purple Core, Bluet, Blewit, Clitocybe nuda (Lepista nuda)
  43. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  44. Rosy Saucer Lichen, Ochrolechia trochophore
  45. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen Polycauliona Candelaria [yellow, folios lichen]
  46. Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularius
  47. Star Moss, Syntrichia ruralis
  48. Starry Rosette Lichen, Physcia stellaris [gray, with brown apothecia]
  49. Sunburst Lichen, Xanthoria elegans
  50. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  51. Western Gull, Larus occidentalis [spot on bill, pink legs, orange circle around eye]
  52. Whitewash Lichen, Phlyctis argena [Light grat/white, crustose lichen]
  53. Witches Butter, Tremella mesenterica
  54. Yellow Field Mushrooms, Agaricus campestris
  55. ?? Orange moss/lichen on tree