At the Cemetery, 02-13-20

Up at 6:00 am and out the door by about 6:45 to get to the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery for a walk with my friend and fellow naturalist Roxanne.  It was mostly sunny and relatively warm outside.  I just had to wear my light jacket.

We’d gone there to see if we could find lichen on the gravestones, fence lines and monuments, and got to see quite a few.  However, Some of the best-looking specimens of lichen were high upon the surface of the statues and the roofs of some of the mausoleums where we couldn’t reach them.

While we were there, we actually saw more birds than I thought we might, including lots of crows, Audubon’s Warblers, and Lesser Goldfinches.  We also heard and saw a few Cooper’s Hawks. 

Cooper’s Hawk, Accipiter cooperii

Our sort of totem bird, a Black Phoebe, posed for us on top of a grave marker, and we saw a juvenile male Anna’s Hummingbird.  He and some of the finches were bathing in and drinking from a fountain.

Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Roxanne had never been there before, and I was hoping the perennial and native plants gardens would be showing off a bit for her.  It was very disappointing then to find that the gardens had been stripped down until they were almost bare, and the plots covered with large ugly wood chips.

We did see a few scattered flowers like Bearded Irises and some Cream Narcissi and Common Daffodils.  There were also some springtime plants growing up between the plots like Giraffe’s Head Henbit, California Poppies, violets, Common Sow-Thistle and Shepherd’s-Purse. I’m hoping that in another month or so, the place will be filled with more flowers and color.

The most interesting thing we found was some red dusty-looking growth on one of the trees. I couldn’t tell if it was a fungus or a lichen, so I researched it after I got home. At first I thought it might be Christmas Lichen, but the form was wrong (even in the early stages), so I kept looking. I think what we found is a plant pathogen called Red Phanerochaete pathogen, Phanerochaete sanguinea. The color was really remarkable.

Red Phanerochaete pathogen, Phanerochaete sanguinea

We only walked for about 2½ hours because my left hip and groin area were aching.  (I think Wilson might be coming back.) 

Species List:

  1. ?? Slime mold, too far gone to spore to correctly identify to genus
  2. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
  3. Audubon’s Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
  4. Bearded Iris, Iris x Germanica
  5. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  6. Cabbage, Brassica oleracea
  7. California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica
  8. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  9. Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
  10. Chinese Arborvitae, Platycladus orientalis [a kind of ornamental cypress]
  11. Chinese Fringe Flower, Loropetalum chinense
  12. Common Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  13. Common Daffoldil, Narcissus pseudonarcissus
  14. Common Goldspeck Lichen, Candelariella vitellina
  15. Common Sow-Thistle, Sonchus oleraceus
  16. Common Stork’s-Bill, Erodium cicutarium
  17. Cooper’s Hawk, Accipiter cooperii
  18. Cream Narcissus, Narcissus tazetta
  19. Cumberland Rock-Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia
  20. Dark-Eyed Junco, Junco hyemalis
  21. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  22. Giraffe’s Head Henbit, Henbit Deadnettle, Lamium amplexicaule
  23. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  24. Hoary Cobblestone Lichen, Acaraspora strigata [light gray with dark grey apothecia on rocks]
  25. House Finch, Haemorhous mexicanus
  26. Hoverfly, Long-tailed Aphideater, Eupeodes fumipennis
  27. Ink Lichen, Placynthium nigrum
  28. Italian Cypress, Cupressus sempervirens
  29. Jacaranda, Blue Jacaranda Tree, Jacaranda mimosifolia
  30. Japanese Camellia, Camellia japonica
  31. Lesser Goldfinch, Spinus psaltria
  32. Mexican Bush Sage, Salvia leucantha [purple with white sox]
  33. Nightshade, Solanum sp.
  34. Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  35. Orange, Sweet Orange, Cultivated Orange, Citrus X sinensis
  36. Oregon Sunburst Lichen, Xanthomendoza oregana [on wood, yellow/orange thallus bearing granular soredia on the tips and/or underside; looks like leaves with grainy edges]
  37. Ponderosa Pine, Pinus ponderosa
  38. Pyracantha, Pyracantha coccinea
  39. Red Cluster Bottlebrush Tree,  Callistemon sp.
  40. Red Phanerochaete pathogen, Phanerochaete sanguinea [pathogen, red dusty-looking fungi on trees]
  41. Redflower Buckwheat, Eriogonum grande
  42. Scattered Button Lichen, Buellia dispersa [light gray on rocks with black spots]
  43. Seven-Spot Ladybeetle, Coccinella septempunctata
  44. Shepherd’s-Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris
  45. Sidewalk Firedot Lichen, Xanthocarpia feracissima
  46. Silver Ragwort, Jacobaea maritima [silvery leaves, yellow flowers]
  47. Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora
  48. Stonewall Rim Lichen, Lecona muralis
  49. Summer Snowflake, Leucojum aestivum  [looks like a white lily of the valley with green dots on tips]
  50. Violet, Viola sp.
  51. Weeping Cypress, Cupressus cashmeriana