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.
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.
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.
We only walked for about 2½ hours because my left hip and groin area were aching. (I think Wilson might be coming back.)
?? Slime mold, too far gone to spore to correctly identify to genus
Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna
Audubon’s Warbler, Setophaga coronata auduboni
Bearded Iris, Iris x Germanica
Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
Cabbage, Brassica oleracea
California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica
California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
Cedar Waxwing, Bombycilla cedrorum
Chinese Arborvitae, Platycladus orientalis [a kind of ornamental cypress]
I got up a bit after 7:00 this morning and headed out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for my weekly volunteer trail walking gig there. It was about 47° when I got there and about 62° when I left, so I only needed to wear my light jacket (and actually took that off about halfway through my walk). I got to the preserve right around 8:00 am.
The first thing I noticed was that I didn’t the pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks at the nest they were building in a tree at the head of the main trail. I don’t know if I just missed them, or if they’ve chosen somewhere else to nest… I saw and heard Red-Shouldered Hawks all over the preserve today, so they’re out there.
I also heard a lot of male California Quails “chi-ca-going” at each other, so I tried to track them down. One sounded like it was near the riverside but I couldn’t see it. Another was calling from the scraggly undercover near an oak tree ahead of me on the trail, so I waited for him. He eventually came out with one female, and they ran up the trail then into the rocks by the river… so I got butt-shots of them, but nothing face forward. Still, I got hear and see them which is always a treat. They’re such funny, pretty little birds with their dingle-ball headgear.
I also watched some Common Mergansers, a male and a female, fishing in the river with wither faces in the water.
I got to see quite a few deer – at one point, I was able to count 21 of them disbursed on either side of the trail. Most of them were in places where they were backlit by the rising sun, so… not as many good photos as I was hoping for. Most of the deer are shedding their winter coats and look a bit “choppy” all over.
Rachael, the volunteer coordinator at the preserve, told me the bucks were losing their antlers already. But that seemed early to me (they can usually keep them through March); and I’ve seen lots of bucks who still have them – even today . Deborah Dash, one of my naturalist class graduates, recently posted a photo from one of her walks that looks like a male that just shed his antlers… so, I don’t know. It still seems early to me.
Everything in Nature is screwed up by Climate Change, though, and the fact that we’ve had some days in the 70’s here in February is symptomatic of that, I think.
I was also able to find maybe a dozen of the galls of the Two-Horned Gall Wasp on the Live Oak trees, and those seemed to be too early, too. I hope the tiny larvae inside the galls don’t freeze when the temperature drops down to “normal” again.
As I walked along, I could hear the members of bachelor groups of Wild Turkeys fighting with one another. They have to set the hierarchy in place before the mating season starts, and fights can get pretty aggressive. The fights I heard were over before I got to the birds, so I missed those, but I was still able to get some photos of some of the individual males.
I also saw some Jackrabbits today. Seems like “forever” since I’ve seen them. They’re the heralds of Spring to me.
I walked for about 3 ½ hours and then headed home.
Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
Bark Rim Lichen, Lecanora chlarotera [looks like Whitewash Lichen but has apothecia]
Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
Bird Hoverfly, Eupeodes volucris
Black Jelly Roll fungus, Exidia glandulosa
Black-Tailed Jackrabbit, Lepus californicus
California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
Once we got the car loaded, my friend Roxanne and I were off again back toward Sacramento. [[ CLICK HERE for the write up on Day One.]]
We took Highway 128 again and stopped three times along the way to look at the lace lichen on the trees and walk a little bit along Putah Creek. At the first stop, where we were looking at the lichen, Roxanne realized that under the leaf litter, all over the area, was a huge crop of Sulphur Tuft mushrooms. The mycelial web underground that supported them must have been huge!
Then we stopped briefly at the Monticello Dam and got a look at the Glory Hole. Water wasn’t flowing into it, but it was nice to see Lake Berryessa so full just the same. We saw quite a few Robins there and some midges lighting along the rock retaining wall. From a geological standpoint, the rock formations all around that area are quite impressive. Lots of layers, all tipped up onto their side by plate tectonics.
“…Most of Northern California’s bedrock is part of just three large bodies: the granite of the Sierra, the metamorphic rocks of the Coast Range, and the sedimentary rocks of the Central Valley. All three are parts of one entity: a former subduction zone. Picture the Pacific seafloor plate being carried eastward against the North American continental plate and plunging underneath it—subduction…”READ MORE HERE.
At the third stop, along Putah Creek at one of the fishing turnoffs, we were “harassed” by a Mourning Cloak butterfly that at first seemed to want to avoid us, but then followed us all over the place and landed in conspicuous sots where we were able to get a lot of photos of it.
And we saw our first Pipevine of the season in full bloom. The pipevine gets its flowers first and then leave follow. Each blossom is like a fat Calabash pipe. Here’s an interesting article on the plant.
We actually have an endemic subspecies of Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly in Sacramento County that would go extinct in just one season if the pipevine disappeared.
The Mourning Cloaks are interesting, too, in that they estivate (like hibernation but in the hotter months) over the late summer, wake up in the fall and winter to feed, and then mate in the spring. Some of them migrate; some don’t. Females lay their eggs all the way around the stems of willows, cottonwood trees, and other host plants, and when the babies emerge, they form a communal web around themselves and feed together until they’re bigger and stronger and able to go off on their own. In their butterfly stage, they don’t like nectar and feed instead on tree sap and rotting fruits and berries. The caterpillars are black with black spikes and a row of bright red spots down the back.
The big deal to me at this stop was the number of different lichens on the boulders there. I found Stonewall Rim, Ink Lichen, several different kinds of Cobblestone lichen, Tan Nipple Lichen, Sidewalk Firedot Lichen and others. They were all relatively small (in comparison to the substrate) but really showed off under the macro attachment on my cellphone.
When we got into Winters, we stopped briefly for some extra coffee, and then continued on to Sacramento. I got to the house right around 2:00 pm.
Species List from Both Days:
Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
American Robin, Turdus migratorius
Arundo, Giant Reed, Arundo donax
Bay Laurel Tree, Laurus nobilis
Beaded Tube Lichen, Hypogymnia apinnata
Big-headed Ground Beetle, Scarites subterraneus [black, shiny, large mandibles] ??
Black Cobweb Spider, Steatoda capensis
Black Jelly Roll fungus, Exidia glandulosa
Brewer’s Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
Bright Cobblestone Lichen, Acarospora socialis [bright yellow, on rocks]
Bufflehead Duck, Bucephala albeola
California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii
California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
California Slender Salamander, Batrachoseps attenuates
Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
Candlesnuff Fungus, Carbon Antlers, Xylaria hypoxylon [upright, branched, white with a layer of spores; spores release at a touch]
Canyon Live Oak, Quercus chrysolepis
Chamise, Adenostoma fasciculatum
Cinder Lichen, Aspicilia cinerea
Coastal Woodfern, Dryopteris arguta [pointed leaves, two rows of spore sites]
Napa Trip Day One: My friend and fellow naturalist, Roxanne and I, took Highway 113, and stopped in Davis for a little breakfast (breakfast sammich and coffee) and then we stayed pretty much on Highway 128 through Winters, past the Monticello Dam and around Lake Berryessa to the city of Angwin. At a market across the street from Pacific Union College, we met with some of my other naturalist class graduates: Pam, Patty, Elaine, and Deborah (who was the one who organized the group and hosted us at her home). It was so great to see them all again and to spend the day with them out in nature.
“The forested lands of Pacific Union College were once the winter camp of the Wappo tribe of California Indians, who enjoyed a bountiful supply of acorns. In 1843 the land became part of a Mexican land grant to George Yount. After the Mexican-American war, settlers used the redwoods to build homes and make grape stakes for vineyards.
Lumber was the primary industry on Howell Mountain until Edwin Angwin built his resort hotel in 1883. PUC purchased Angwin’s resort in 1909. Since then, the forest has supported the mission of the college by providing lumber for classroom buildings and residence halls, firewood for heat, and recreation in the ‘back 40’. In the 1950s, the biology faculty began to enrich student learning by studying native trees, shrubs, and wildlife.
Today the PUC Demonstration and Experimental Forest is protected by a conservation easement in partnership with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) and the Land Trust of Napa County. As such, it will always remain forest and provide learning opportunities for PUC students as well as 35 miles of recreational trails—for mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding—for students, college employees, and community members. Home to a nesting pair of Northern Spotted Owls, the rare Napa False Indigo, and some of the easternmost Coastal Redwood trees, the rich biodiversity of the PUC forest makes is especially valuable to conservationists and researchers. Our forest truly sets PUC apart and makes Angwin a unique and special place to live, learn, and grow.”
Because of the part of the trail system we were on, we didn’t see a lot of fungi, but the lichens were everywhere and we also found some insects and a tiny, beautiful California Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps attenuates). These little guys are nearly-endemic to northern California and breathe through their skin (so we were careful not to handle it).The one we found was snuggled down into a hole under a log and wrapped around a stick. It’s hard to describe how small they are; most people mistake them for little worms…
According to Wikipedia: “…From May to October, aestivation is the norm for this species. Unlike other members of its genus, egg-laying occurs quite early, as soon as December in the southern part of its range. Oviposition is thought to occur primarily in the tunnels of other creatures, but clusters have commonly been found on moist surfaces beneath bark, rocks, or other types of forest detritus. Clutches contain approximately five to twenty individual eggs, but five to ten different females may use the exact oviposition site; in any case, hatching occurs around March or April, somewhat later in the extreme northern part of the range.”
Such neat little dudes.
As I mentioned, we saw a lot of lichen there that we don’t get to see in the valley. I’d been looking all over for some “Toy Soldier” and “Lipstick” lichen in Sacramento, and just wasn’t finding it anywhere. They’re both lichens that stand straight up and have red “lips” at the end of their stalks. There in the PUC forest, I found several specimens of both… and was surprised by how small they are. In books, you see photos of them and they look as big as your fingers, but they’re really quite tiny.
Along with those two, I also got to see live for the first time specimens of Beaded Tube Lichen, FishboneBeard Lichen, Crabseye Lichen, Speckled Greenshield, Farinose Cartilage Lichen, Mealy Pixie Cups and others.
We also found some great specimens of Woolly Birdsnest Fungus, which unlike the Common Birdsnests we see here, are taller and covered in fine hairs.
And we got to see some Candlesnuff Fungus, also called Carbon Antlers. These were very unobtrusive-looking little “antlers” that were stickling straight up from the ground around a burl. When Deb touched them, they spewed frost-looking smoky clouds of spores all around them. [[I was so busy watching Deb flick the antlers and video the spores, that I forgot to take photos myslef! D’oh! So, I hope she shares her video with everyone.]]
Here’s a little bit of a write upon it from Wikipedia: “Specimens found earlier in the season, in spring, may be covered completely in asexual spores (conidia), which manifests itself as a white to grayish powdery deposit. Later in the season, mature ascocarps are charcoal-black, and have minute pimple-like bumps called perithecia on the surface. These are minute rounded spore bearing structures with tiny holes, or ostioles, for the release of sexual spores (ascospores).”
So, what we were seeing was the release of the asexual spores. How fascinating is that?! The fungus has two ways of reproducing: asexually and sexually. Nature tries everything.
As for mushrooms, there weren’t a whole lot on the part of the trail we traveled, but we did find a few specimens of ones like Cowboy’s Handkerchief, Milky Caps and Slippery Jacks. (Who names these things? Hah!)
I figured we walked from about 9:30 am to 2:00 pm, taking a break once for snacks. I hadn’t carried any food into the woods with me (it was all sitting in the back of the car). I wasn’t really hungry at all but Elaine shared her tea with me, and Deb gave me part of her PB&J sandwich which I thought was super-sweet of them.
I liked Elaine’s idea of taking hot tea out into the forest with you. Seems very “Downton Abbey” to me…except that I’d have to carry the tea myself instead of having servants carrying it and setting it up for me – along with petit fours and cucumber sandwiches – further up the trail. How fun would THAT be! I need to organize something like that sometime… (Where’s my Publishers Clearinghouse money!?)
I’d very much like to go to the PUC forest again sometime, and maybe attack some of the other trails. There’s supposed to be an area where there are young Redwood trees, and wetter more riparian habitat. It’s just that lo-o-o-o-n-g drive back and forth. The gals said, though, that the hotel in Winters is finally finished and that’s kind of at the halfway point between here and Napa, so that might help.
After our walk, Elaine, Pam and Patty all went back to their respective abodes, but Roxanne and I did an overnight visit at Deb’s place. Her house is very cozy and lovely, filled with art and craftwork, some of it done by her and her mom. Her mother does pottery, so there were example of her work in the plates, bowls and trays used throughout the house. And Deb does really incredible work with gourds. You can see some of them here.
The first thing we did when we got to Deb’s was sit around the kitchen table with our cellphones and cameras, and piles of field guides, and tried to make a list of everything we’d see that day. It was so much fun being surrounded by people who get as excited about identifying a “new-to-me” lichen as I do, pouring through the books, comparing photos and notes. I loved it! These ladies are so “my tribe”. Hah!
I got up around 7:00 am and was out the door by about 7:30 to go for a walk at the American River Bend Park. It was sunny but cool at the river, about 46° when I got there.
Weather: Mostly sunny, a little haze Total Hours in the field (includes travel time): 5 hours Start Time: 8:00 am End Time: 12:00 pm Start Temperature: 46º F End Temperature: 58º F Miles Walked: 2
I was looking for fungi and wanted to get some closeup photos of the soredia on Oakmoss Lichen, but also saw and heard quite a few birds along the way. There was a pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks flying back and forth between a couple of trees. I wonder if they were picking a nesting spot. In the river, I saw Buffledheads and Common Goldeneye. They’re both ducks in the genus Bucephala and I wonder if they ever interbreed.
There was also a female Common Merganser and a Snowy Egret nearby on the shore. And when I stopped to get some photos and video of a small flock of Lesser Goldfinches, I was surprised to see a couple of White-Breasted Nuthatches and Northern Flickers who came down into the same area. And them some Spotted Towhees started bathing in a puddle just up the trail. Stand still, and nature comes to you… sometimes.
Part of my research today included turning over some larger logs to see who or what was living underneath them, and in doing so, I came across two different species of Darkling Beetles. Darklings, also called “Stink Bugs” (although technically they’re not bugs, they’re beetles) are what mealworms grown up to be. There are over 20,000 species (!) of them worldwide so properly identifying them can be a bit tricky.
I usually base my IDs on some major identifiers like the shape and size of pronotum (between the head and the abdomen), the segments in the antennae, and the markings on the elytra (the wing covers). Some are smooth and glossy, some have striped grooves, some had pits… Nature is so diverse.
I also found three different kinds of slime mold including White Spheroid, Lilac Physarum and Tan Bullet! The colors and shapes of these things always amaze me.
As I mentioned, I made a point of looking for the soredia on Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri. One specimen gave me views of the soredia AND apothecia, AND also had some Shrubby Sunburst Lichen, Polycauliona Candelaria growing on it. A three-fer!
There were lots and lots of Inkcap mushrooms around, and quite a number of Blewits, too. I was happy to see some Red-Cracking Bolete mushrooms, also called Russian Reds, at the park. I haven’t seen them there for almost a decade! Boletes have tubes under the cap instead of gills, and some of them stain blue when you cut them.
My sister Melissa had postulated that we’re seeing more fungi this year because of the foggy mornings, and I think she’s really onto something there. With the protracted drought, we didn’t have much fog over the past several years, whereas, this year we’re having a lot of fog.
I also found a really nice grouping of six Horsehair Mushroom, Gymnopus quercophilus, on a leaf. This kind of mushroom can dry up into little pin-prick sized ‘shrooms when it’s hot outside, survive the summer, and then reappear as full-sized mushrooms in the next rainy season. They LOVE leaf litter.
When I was getting some close ups of some Black Jelly Roll fungus, I could see a tiny pink creature crawling on it, so I switched from photo to video and got a little snippet of its movements. It was a Pink Elongated Springtail, Podura sp. In the video you see it walking along, falling over, and then springing away.
So, I ended up seeing a lot more than I was actually looking for, which always makes for a fun walk. I was so involved with what I was seeing, too, that I lost track of time. At one point, I wondered why I was so tired… until I looked at the time and realized I’d been walking for about 4 hours! Time flies when you’re ‘shrooming.
I was slated to go to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve to lead a fungus walk for their docents today, so I was out the door by 7:15 am. Friend and fellow naturalist Roxanne came to the preserve and invited the Certified California Naturalist class student, Susan, to join us. Susan can use this walk as a kind of make-up for missing the Tuleyome field trip the class took on Saturday.
Weather: Cloudy to partly cloudy with a little bit of rain Total Hours in the field (includes travel time): 5 hours Start Time: 7:30 am End Time: 11:30 pm Start Temperature: 46º F End Temperature: 49º F Miles Walked: 2
I didn’t know many of the docents, but Rachael the volunteer coordinator was with us for most of the walk, as was Mary Lou, one of the ladies who also works on the Media Committee that I do and writes the blog for the organization.
There were about 10 people in the group, not including me, and everyone was very attentive and excited to learn. They had their notebooks and cellphone camera at the ready, and asked a lot of intelligent questions. See? THIS is why I’d rather teach adults. Hah!
While we waited for everyone to show up, we were treated to the sight of a pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks building a nest right at the head of the main trail. Dad brought twigs to the nest and mom arranged them the way she wanted them, then they both flew off to look for more materials. The tree is in a place that will be relatively visible should the birds choose to use that one to actually nest in. [[Red-Shouldered Hawks sometimes build more than one nest and then choose the one they’ll use for the season.]] The location of this nest means we might get some great family shots and photos of the chicks when they’re born.
Before we even left the sidewalk and headed for the trails, I was able to point out, with my laser pointer, some different crust fungi for them on an obliging tree, and also show them the Oyster Mushrooms Roxanne had spotted high up on another branch. Then I walked them over to another tree where I’d been (non-scientifically) monitoring the progress of a netted tooth fungus around its base and trunk. This let me show them how to use their cellphones to get close-up shots of things so their children’s groups could see structures more clearly.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos. (When I’m leading a walk, I don’t take as many photos as I normally do, so this album is pretty abbreviated.)
As we went along, the docents shared thoughts about what they were looking for in teaching opportunities for the children’s groups they might be leading. That helped me to look for things like that and to tailor some of my comments about how they might explore more with the kids.
One of the best teaching tools, of course, is to simply pick up downed sticks from the leaf-litter and look at what’s on them. On one stick we found Black Jelly Roll fungus, several kinds of lichen and Crystal Brain Fungus, Myxarium nucleatum, which I’ve seen in books before but never saw in person, so that was an exciting first for me.
Crystal Brain is a kind of jelly fungus that’s translucent (white to clear) and the spore-making mechanism inside each lobe of the fugus shows up as a white speck that can sometimes feel hard because it may also include bits of mineral. It supposed to be pretty common, but I’ve never seen one in the field before. It’s also sometimes still frequently referred to the genus Exidia, which is the genus for Black Jelly Roll fungus which has a similar shape to Crystal Brain but is pure black.
Researching more, I found that I may have been mis-identifying another species of jelly fungus, Exidia thuretiana, commonly called White Brain, as Black Jelly Roll that hadn’t colored up yet. But White Brain is usually found in Europe and Asia, so I’m still not sure. There’s also White Jelly Fungus, Ductifera pululahuana, that’s found here, so that might be it… The learning continues.
On another log we found Black Jelly Roll fungus among several different kind of colorful lichen. The docents described it as a “garden”. Another stick showed us Witches Butter jelly fungus and little White Oysterling mushrooms. And at the big downed tree near the Nature Center we found Oak-loving Gymnopus mushrooms and three different kinds of slimemold.
I told the docents that if they learned nothing else from the walk they learned that they needed to stop and really look at what was around them. There’s more to see than they ever realized. And, “the more you see, the more you see.”
During the walk we also had the opportunity to distinguish between the relevance of common names versus scientific names. Rachael kept referring to the Yellow Field Caps as Sunny mushrooms – which was fine. Common names can very a lot; no harm done. But scientists use the Latin taxonomic names to specify exact species. So “Sunny mushrooms” and “Yellow Field Cap” can be used interchangeably for the same species: Agaricus campestris.
When talking about the genus and species names, though, there can still be some confusion for those of us who are still learning about all of this stuff. For example, I found one large ‘shroom which I was sure was a Blewit (based mostly on the very pale purple tinge around the edge of the cap) but when the docents keyed it out through iNaturalist it came up as a “Brownit”, Clitocybe brunneocephala. To my eye, though, the gills of the mushroom weren’t right…and there was still that pale purple tint to deal with. I was still pretty certain I’d identified it correctly, so when I went home, I loaded it into iNaturalist as “Blewit, Clitocybe nuda”… and got a supporting confirmation right away.
Sometimes, those who load observations up into iNaturaist can get real battles over an ID. Whenever someone suggests my ID is incorrect, I double check what they’re referring to, to what I saw. If I feel their ID is more accurate, I’ll change it, but that hasn’t happened too often.
At one point, I had to stop and turn my focus to the deer along the side of the trail. In one field was a doe with her two yearlings, and across from them was a bachelor group of bucks: spikes, 3-pointers and 4-pointers, and one who was just getting his nubs.
So, as we all took photos of them, I was able to tell the group about the structure of the antlers, the pedicles, and the rut in general. Some of the big boys were sitting down, so all you could see were their antlers, while others were standing, browsing, and rubbing their scent on the surrounding trees. Two of them sparred, but it was just for a few seconds. With no ripe females around, they just weren’t into it.
Rachael and a couple of docents left around the 2-hour mark, but the rest of them stayed on and got treated to views of Destroying Angel and Jack-o-Lantern mushrooms, Dryad’s saddles and other fungi.
At one point, the docents asked me how I came by the knowledge I had, and I tried to stress to them that I’m not an “expert”; as a naturalist, I’m a “generalist”. And although I might seem to have a lot of information to them, I’ve only been accumulating it since I took the naturalist class in 2015 and then wrote my books and developed the naturalist class for Tuleyome. Taking that class in 2015 reignited my curiosity and love of nature. I learn something new every day.
As we were heading back toward the nature center it started to rain a little bit, so the group broke as some raced back to get out of the wet and Roxanne and I kept our slow pace up the trail. The rain was soft and brief and actually kind of nice. We ended up walking for about 3 ½ hours (a little over 2 miles altogether).
I was worried, before the walk, that we might not see a lot of stuff to keep the docents interested, but all in all I think we ended up seeing and identifying about 60 different species.
When I went into the office to log my volunteer hours, Rachael was there and she gave me a card and a little lapel pin as a thank you. The card read:
“…Thank you so much for guiding the EYNC docents on a fungus/slimemold adventure today! I so enjoy any time with you on the trail – I always learn so much. Our docents really enjoyed today’s learning opportunity with you, and they really appreciate access to your mushroom primer. Thank you so much for your generosity! With gratitude, Rachael…”
I thought that was so nice of her. Mary Lou also mentioned that she’ll try to do a write up on the walk for the Effie Yeaw blog. That was nice to hear, too.