Stalking Fungi in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Berry Creek Falls

I've been seeing some wonderful fungal photos coming out of the SC mtns this year, so I headed over there for about a day and a half. Spent Friday afternoon puttering around a small area at the end of Gazos Creek Rd. recommended to me by a Flickr friend, where I found my first fetid adder's tongues of the year, along with many interesting fungi, and my first California Torreya! Did I mention there was a bunch of wild ginger? Cool little spot, with a glorious Hericium abietis at the end to top it all off. Also stopped by Pigeon Pt. before it all for a little birding.

Looked into camping at Costanoa, but that place is ridiculous. $40 for a campsite? So I drove up to Big Basin, where I had wanted to go the next day anyway. $35 there, but at least it went to the park service. Lots of mushies around the campsite, but I think the most remarkable thing was being awoken by the sound of owls, either Saw-when or Northern Pygmy (they sound pretty similar in the iBird recordings): high pitched and very regular.

Spent the next day hiking the Berry Creek Falls loop, which is a fantastic trail through some beautiful redwood and tanoak stands, with some wonderful waterfalls. Saw many wonderful fungi. Would love to go back.

Lähettänyt kueda kueda, 20. tammikuuta 2010 06:01

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Koralliorakas (Hericium coralloides)

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kueda

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Tammikuu 15, 2010 04:22 PM PST

Kuvaus

An amazing, must-stop-for fungus.

Kuvat / Äänet

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Tammikuu 15, 2010 12:54 PM PST

Kuvaus

Every part of this flower is exceptional. This year I have realized the awesomeness of its anthers. Amazing.

Kuvat / Äänet

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Orahytykkä (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum)

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Tammikuu 16, 2010 10:58 AM PST

Kuvaus

Saw several of these along the trail, but these were the only ones that looked weird and brown. Odd.

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Muuttohaukka (Falco peregrinus)

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Tammikuu 15, 2010 12:02 PM PST

Kuvaus

Very distant Peregrine Falcon atop the rocks south of Pigeon Point

Kuvat / Äänet

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Sepelhanhi (Branta bernicla)

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Tammikuu 15, 2010 11:50 AM PST

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Tyrskykahlaaja (Calidris virgata)

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Tammikuu 15, 2010 11:49 AM PST

Kuvaus

This leaves a lot to be desired in the photography department, but it does show off the differences between two similar birds that I have definitely confused in the past. Surfbirds are light grey with yellow legs, while Black Turnstones are almost black with ruffly looking wing feathers and dull red-brown legs. Noted.

Kuvat / Äänet

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Tammikuu 15, 2010 01:54 PM PST

Kuvaus

I'm pretty terrible with tree IDs, but these long, falt needles just called out and said, "Hey yew!" Jesus. That was terrible.

Anyway, this is California Torreya (aka California Nutmeg, aka Stinking Cedar), and it is, in fact, in the yew family (Taxaceae). It's also a California endemic, growing only in the central coast ranges and in equivalent latitudes in the Sierra foothills. Wikipedia tells me that its close relative the Kaya tree (Torreya nucifera), is the tradional source of wood for Go boards in Japan.

Kuvat / Äänet

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Tammikuu 15, 2010 01:42 PM PST

Kuvaus

There was quite a bit of wild ginger growing at the end of Gazos Creek Rd.. First time I've seen it in CA! It wasn't flowering, but every single one had a little bud under the duff like this one, so I'm going to keep an eye out for it in the next few weeks. Hopefully I can catch it flowering, and maybe get a quality pic.

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Oranssinuijakkaat (Suku Clavulinopsis)

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Tammikuu 16, 2010 08:45 AM PST

Kuvaus

Possibly C. laeticolor, but MD provides so many alternatives that seem to be distinguishable only by the spores that I can't really be sure.

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Punavahakas (Hygrocybe coccinea)

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Tammikuu 15, 2010 02:12 PM PST

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