I got up around 7:00 AM and headed out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve. I was hoping to take advantage of the early morning sunshine. When I got to the preserve, it was cold(37º) and breezy but the sun was shining. Within about 20 minutes, though, all the clouds moved back in threatening rain. Luckily, the rain didn’t start until after I was done with my walk and had gotten back into my car.
The highlight of the walk was all of the deer I saw. I counted 22 along the way. Most of them were in small groups of two or three, but the largest concentration I saw was 10 in one field, six does and four bucks including a handsome four-pointer, and the one with the wonky antlers.
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They were close enough to the trail that I could smell the boys’ heady musky scent. I love that smell: a sort mix of burning wood and horse manure. All of these deer were laying in the grass except for one of the bucks who stood up when he saw me coming down the trail and kept in eye on me.
I’m used to seeing the Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus, with their large mule-deer ears (right). But on Sunday, I found some deer with shorter ears (left). I wonder if they have some Sitka, Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis, genes in there.
The Sitkas are another subspecies of mule deer that are usually only found in coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest and in British Columbia. They have shorter ears and spotted coats. I suppose some cross breeding has been going on, or, more likely, the short ears are from throwback genes in the black-tailed deer gene pool.
There were lots of puddles on the trails from the recent rains, and I checked those I passed for any sign of hairworms. Nada. It might be the wrong time of year for them.
I found quite a few different mushroom species, but nothing outside of the norms.
I also found some pinkish/flesh-colored slime mold on the underside of a log. It was too early in its fruiting body stage to tell exactly what species it was, but it could have been Red Raspberry Slime Mold, Tubifera ferruginosa, or (more likely) very early stage of Carnival Candy Slime Mold, Arcyria denudata.
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- Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
- California Camouflage Lichen, Melanelixia californica [dark green with brown apothecia, on trees]
- California Sycamore, Western Sycamore, Platanus racemose
- California Towhee, Melozone crissalis
- Carnival Candy Slime Mold, Arcyria denudata
- Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
- Common Bonnet Mushroom, Mycena galericulata
- Deceiver Mushroom, Laccaria laccata [reddish-tan, dimpled, goblet shaped]
- Fragrant Funnel Mushroom, Clitocybe fragrans
- Gem-Studded Puffball, Common Puffball, Lycoperdon perlatum
- Giraffe Spots Crust Fungus, Peniophora albobadia
- Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
- Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
- Hooded Rosette Lichen, Physcia adscendens [hairs/eyelashes on the tips of the lobes]
- Jack-o-Lantern, Western Jack-o-Lantern, Omphalotus olivascens
- Lilac Oysterling, Panus conchatus
- Lords and Ladies, Wild Arum, Arum italicumm
- Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliate [first leaves, just starting to sprout]
- Oak Mazegill, Daedalea quercina
- Pleated Marasmius, Red Thread, Marasmius plicatulus
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
- Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Regulus calendula
- Silky Pink Gill Mushroom, Nolanea sericea (Entoloma sericeum ssp. sericeum) [very dark brown cap with a nipple on top]
- Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus [heard, glimpsed]
- Tule, Common Tule, Schoenoplectus acutus
- Valley Oak, Quercus lobata
- White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
- White Stubble Rosegill, Volvopluteus gloiocephalusi [white or gray mushroom, slick cap with colored center, pale pink to gills, papery volva]
- ?? Grey mushroom with white gills on wood, Hydropus sp.
- ?? Pink-tinged fungus, Chromelosporium sp.
- ?? white mold