Spring is Starting to Awaken, 02-10-20

The winds died down a bit today, so I went out to the American River Bend Park to look for lichens.  It was 45° when I got to the river, and 64° when I got back home.

I had gone looking for lichens so I could get more detailed photos of them. I saw about 20 different species, including some on the Buckeye Trees. The mature Buckeye trees are just starting to get their new leaves, and baby Buckeye trees seems to be sprouting up allover the place.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

I came across a California Pipevine plant that was overloaded with flowers.  Each flower looks like a chubby Calibash pipe, and there were literally hundred of flowers on just this one plant. 

The flowers are pollinated by fungus gnats (Mycetophiladea) which are attracted by the scent. The gnats enter the “mouth” on the top of the flower, and bang around inside the flower’s belly transferring pollen to the receptive female stigma. I found one of the flowers with gnats inside of it (and one at the mouth), and held it up to the sunlight to see their shadows flitting and bumping around.

The other cool thing of the walk, for me, was coming across a herd of about six Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, all bucks, all still in their antlers.  One of them had antlers that were almost taller than his legs were long.  He was very impressive.

Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus

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

Species List:

  1. Bark Rim Lichen, Lecanora chlarotera [looks like Whitewash Lichen but has apothecia]
  2. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  3. Blessed Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
  4. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  5. Boreal Button Lichen, Buellia disciformis [pale gray to bluish with black apothecia on wood]
  6. Brown-Eyed Shingle Lichen, Pannaria rubiginosa [on trees]
  7. California Buckeye Chestnut, Aesculus californica
  8. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  9. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  10. Creeping Moss, Conardia compacta
  11. Crescent Frost Lichen, Physconia perisidiosa [green or gray green on trees/wood]
  12. Dryad’s Saddle, Hawk’s Wing, Polyporus squamosus
  13. Farinose Cartilage Lichen,  Ramalina farinacea
  14. Frosted Rim Lichen, Lecanora caesiorrubella [light gray with light gray apothecia on wood]
  15. Common Sunburst Lichen, Xanthoria parietina [yellow-orange, on wood/trees]   
  16. Giraffe’s Spots Fungus, Peniophora albobadia                                                          
  17. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  18. Golden Shield Lichen, Xanthoria parietina
  19. Gouty Stem Gall Wasp, Callirhytis quercussuttoni
  20. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  21. Hoary Lichen, Hoary Rosette, Physcia aipolia
  22. Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
  23. Hooded Sunburst Lichen, Xanthomendoza fallax [leafy, yellow-orange, on trees]
  24. Ink Lichen, Placynthium nigrum [pitch black, fine grained]
  25. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
  26. Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri
  27. Pin-cushion Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona polycarpa
  28. Powdered Ruffle Lichen, Parmotrema arnoldi [gray, has soredia or eyelashes/hairs on the thallus, on trees]
  29. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  30. Rusty Bog Moss, Sphagnum fuscum [reddish-brown slender stalks, on trees]           
  31. Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona Candelaria
  32. Strap Lichen, Western Strap Lichen, Ramalina leptocarpha
  33. Toothed Crust Fungus, Basidioradulum sp.
  34. Turkey Tail Fungus, Trametes versicolor
  35. Velvety Tree Ant, Liometopum occidentale
  36. Western Shield Lichen, Parmelia hygrophila [blue-gray, foliose, dull insidia on leaves]
  37. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare