Tag Archives: white-finger slime mold

Wren Housekeeping and Slime Molds, 05-21-19

I got up a little before 6:00 am and headed over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for my regular Tuesday trail-walking gig.  It was cool and rain threatened, but it didn’t actually start raining until I got back into the car to head home, so that was nice.  I was joined on the walk by Mary Messenger (The Other Mary), and we took the trails in a counterclockwise fashion just to mix things up a little bit. I was hoping to see the young coyote again, but I didn’t.  Later, Rachel (the volunteer coordinator) told us that she’d spotted it in the company of a larger coyote in the big field right before the turn off to the nature center.  She suspected it was too-lean female, but I think it’s a juvenile.  Hard to tell, though, unless we can get a really good look at it.

CLICK HERE for the album of photos.

I did get to see couple of slime molds, which was cool, and also got to watch House Wrens doing their daily chores: bringing twigs and feathers to line their nesting cavity; bringing breakfast to the kids; and taking out the trash (taking the babies’ fecal sacs out of the nest).  We also got photos of a cooperative Desert Cottontail rabbit who was eating clover along the edge of the trail.  So cute.

We walked for about 3 ½ hours and then head back home.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus,
  2. American Bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus,
  3. Anna’s Hummingbird, Calypte anna,
  4. Ash-Throated Flycatcher, Myiarchus cinerascens,
  5. Black Jelly Roll fungus, Exidia glandulosa,
  6. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans,
  7. Black Walnut, Juglans nigra,
  8. Blessed Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum,
  9. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus cerulea,
  10. Bryum Moss, Bryum capillare,
  11. Bush Katydid, Scudderia furcata,
  12. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi,
  13. California Pipevine Swallowtail, Battus philenor hirsuta,
  14. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica,
  15. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica,
  16. California Towhee, Melozone crissalis,
  17. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica,
  18. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis,
  19. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus,
  20. Desert Cottontail, Sylvilagus audubonii,
  21. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger,
  22. Eastern Phoebe, Sayornis phoebe,
  23. English Walnut, Juglans regia,
  24. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris,
  25. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris,
  26. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata,
  27. Hammond’s Flycatcher, Empidonax hammondii
  28. Honey Fungus, Ringless Honey Fungus, Armarilla tabescens,
  29. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon,
  30. Jelly Spot Jelly Fungus, Dacrymyces chrysospermus,
  31. Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos,
  32. Miniature Lupine, Lupinus bicolor,
  33. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura,
  34. Mower’s Mushroom, Haymaker Mushroom, Panaeolus foenisecii,
  35. Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii,
  36. Painted Lady Butterfly, Vanessa cardui,
  37. Poison Oak, Pacific Poison Oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum,
  38. Rock Shield Lichen, Xanthoparmelia conspersa,
  39. Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciose,
  40. Split Gill Fungus, Schizophyllum sp.
  41. Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor,
  42. White Finger Slime Mold, Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa,
  43. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare,
  44. Witches Butter Jelly Fungus, Tremella mesenterica,
  45. Wolf’s Milk Slime Mold, Lycogala epidendrum,
  46. Wrinkled Crust Fungus, Phlebia radiata

Redbuds and Slime Molds at the River Park

Redbud Tree. ©2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.
Redbud Tree. ©2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.

I got up around 7:00 am.  A big storm was expected to move in later this afternoon so I figured I’d better get outside while it was still relatively dry outside.  Almost made it.  It did start raining, but nothing too heavy…  I went over to the American River Bend Park and walked around for about 3 hours.  There was lots of Dog Vomit slime mold (Fuligo septica) out today, and I could tell by looking at the patches of it that Friday had been a BIG day for the stuff.  It goes to spore quickly, and I could see huge areas where it was already crusted over and going dark.  Yesterday those areas would have all been covered with bright yellow froth…  Missed it.  Dang it. Still, I got to see some smaller patches of the stuff, and also came across some White Finger slime mold (Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa) in another spot (but it was already going dark, too.)

In the high grass I saw a lot of Giraffe’s Head, Blue Dicks and Woodland Stars; and the Valley Sedge is starting to show off.  I also came across some Stinging Nettles (Urtica urens).  They were right next to a large mushroom.  I always forget what those guys look like until I get stung by one.  The plants have microscopic hairs on them called trichomes that inject histamine and other crap into your skin when you brush up against them.  It burns like heck for 10 to 20 minutes, but doesn’t do any damage (at least not to my skin).  Still, it’s really annoying and painful.  I should knew better, but the dang plants get me at least once every spring…

The oak trees are starting to sport their catkins – to which a lot of people are allergic – and the Redbud trees were all in bloom.  There’s one very large Redbud in the park that shows off every year, and it was standing in all its pink glory when I was there today.  So pretty.  I also got to see some fungi including mushrooms, jellies and puff balls.   Didn’t see any deer today, but I did get some photos of a Red-Shouldered Hawk, some Canada Geese, and a Great Egret.

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And here’s a time-lapse video of the Dog Vomit Slime mold so you can see how it changes over the course of a day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B79Z56vl02A&feature=youtu.be

I also encountered two of my pet peeves on the trail: a bicyclist on the “no bicycles” nature trail.  He was going fast right down the middle of the narrow trail; I had to step off the trail into the wet grass so he wouldn’t run me over.  And then there was a jerk walking his dog off-leash (which is illegal) but holding a leash in his hand – like that helps.  His dog walks right up to me and puts its giant nose in my groin.  Uh.  Idiot Human, get control of your animal!  I hate those kinds of people: the ones who go through life thinking the rules apply to everyone else on the planet except them.  Must be nice to have no have no scruples…

Anyway, when I was done with my walk, I headed home, stopping at Togo’s to pick up some sandwiches.  Then I relaxed with the dogs for the rest of the day.  We had some hard rain in the late afternoon, but the major storm didn’t hit until the evening.

Hate the Time Change, But Loved the Walk

Ugh!  I hate this time change.  I get up at 7:00 but it’s really 6:00… an hour stolen from me again…  I was out the door with the dog around 7:15 am and we headed over to the American River Bend Park.  It’s overcast this morning, and I figured it would be a good photographing day… and it was.

The first thing we saw when we entered the park was a pair of Mule Deer does standing alongside the road.  They hopped the fence and kept right on going…After that Sergeant Margie and I walked for almost four hours (!) finding all different kinds of mushrooms, polypore and bract fungi, jelly fungus, crustiform and foliose lichen, and several different kinds of slime molds.  We came across some strutting male Wild Turkeys that were battling each other, and further up the path I came across a couple of males following after a small troupe of females.  I was actually able to film a mating pair… of course, they were “doing it” right in the middle of the main path through the park, so they were difficult to miss.  Hah! But it just seemed like there was so much neat stuff to look at, I didn’t stop until my old feet and ankles just couldn’t go another step.  I ended up aching badly — but with about 200 photos!

So, I hate the time change… but I loved my walk.