19 de abril de 2021

2018-2019 Notes

Beginning of June 2018:
St. John's wort (check it now)
Last of burn piles (check with fire dept)

End of June 2018:
Termite hatch
End of elderflowers
Time to cut down grasses (should be fully brown)

Mid July 2018:
Reign orchids blooming

Late July 2018:
Beginning devastating wildfires statewide
Pennyroyal blooming and fragrant
Fawns still have spots

October 2018:
apples and pears ripe

(NC October 2nd and 3rd week)
Fall foilage hadn't begun (back east a lack
of fall colors throughout)
Monarch butterflies everywhere

Fourth week October 2018:
Leaves changing color on oaks and poplar,
only one rain so far

First week November 2018:
Coccora mushrooms appearing in yard
Ravens en masse, huge group cawing outside
Tom turkey presenting to a group of females

Dec 31 2018:
Mushroom hike: black trumpets starting to
come up, along with yellowfoot chanterelles,
and some hedgehogs. Nothing in great quantity.
No golden chanterelles at all.
Only a few candy caps were seen. Last hike
almost nothing was fruiting after the first
big rain.

End of April 2019
Tom Turkeys presenting
Wild Strawberry flowers

Beginning of May 2019
Madrones still in flower
Grasses along highway 101 turning brown

Mid May 2019
Elderflowers in bloom (even through rain)
First fawns born
Doug fir tips (made into iced tea)

End of May 2019
St.Johns Wort in full bloom on roadsides
Elderflowers beginning to bloom on tree at
The Flats
Madrones leafing out
Deer antlers still fuzzy

Publicado em 19 de abril de 2021, 08:03 PM por bjoelle bjoelle | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

12 de junho de 2019

Keep on logging plant times

I have been keeping a log at home but realize I should keep it here.

Timing this year recently:
The Buckeye started blooming mid-May and are still blooming now second week of June.

Mid-may I harvested douglas fir tips and made a yummy punch with four cups tips, eight cups water and two cups sugar, cooked in crockpot overnight then cooled. It was tasty this way but could be adjusted.

End of May I started seeing St. John's wort blooming. Now that we're in the second week of June it is in full flower, with large patches blooming in the disturbed areas and burned areas from 2017.

End of May through beginning of June firecracker flowers are blooming along Archer Lane (what pollinates them??) At the same time the Ceanothus stopped blooming after having flowers all May.

At the beginning of June I saw the beginnings of elder blossoms on the Brooktrails tree near the flats, but before that in May along Highway 101 in the 2017 burn areas the elders were already flowering. Now in the second week of June, the Brooktrails tree has caught up and is loaded with blossoms. The elder in the spring that was planted is also blooming earlier than the tree on the Flats. (I haven't observed blossoms in the canyon this year, but along westside road in Sonoma County they bloomed even earlier).

Also at the beginning of June the soap root sent up shoots and I harvested several. The deer beat me to many that were growing in the meadow. The tender stalks sauteed like asparagus and had no detectable saponin taste in them.

Second week of June the mariposa lilies are in full bloom, along with the mallow at the end of Archer Lane. The etherial spears are in full bloom as well. I have never dug for them up to this point.

Also, at this time the flowering for the wild strawberry in Brooktrails had finished and I saw ripe fruits, but by the second week of June I couldn't locate any new flowers or fruit (by contrast my domestic strawberry plants growing on the shady deck are only just now flowering).

Berries have set on the manzanita but are green everywhere that I've seen them.

Publicado em 12 de junho de 2019, 04:43 PM por bjoelle bjoelle | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

02 de abril de 2018

Bio Blitz at Low Gap

Went out Saturday to record species in bloom at Low Gap in Ukiah. Haven't done many outings since being back in Mendo and need to remedy that. I received a solid plant list to guide me in getting to know this new place, and met people who have grown up playing in the park which is a huge in when it comes to learning a place. I'm hoping to start logging more observations and getting out more in general, but my number one goal will be to catalog the diversity around the new house. I wish I had a baseline for Brooktrails where I grew up but instead I've started a project and will go from there.

Publicado em 02 de abril de 2018, 08:12 AM por bjoelle bjoelle | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

29 de dezembro de 2015

Teaching Moment: Mushroom Hike

Happy 7th birthday to my little Mandy!

Well, today took friends of mine up to Salt Point this morning to go mushroom hunting -- it was the first time for all three of them. How fun! We found so many. It was great being the teacher and walking them through the important mushroom characteristics, habitats, species, the way that I learned. Even after this holiday weekend (I'm sure it was busy in the park), we saw so many species popping up everywhere that it was distracting and we didn't get to my intended location until well past noon. Every time we tried to sit down and take a "break", no one could help themselves and we were up and looking again.

Eventually we had to put our heads down and start seriously hunting for some edibles so there were many species I didn't try to key out. Those that I did and was sure of I listed here, totaling 21 species which I think is more than enough when you are new to this. Shel took lots of photos so once I see those I'll add them to my observations.

Dec 28 / End of the Year Notes - Found no porcinis this year and it may be too late (but did find a massive butter bolete). Have Found a few golden chanterelles and a few last hike; no huge finds but just enough. Hedgehogs starting to come up. No black chanterelles in the usual spot, but found a couple large groups by my house that were smooshed by all the rain but should keep coming up. More oysters than usual along the creek, right now many are starting after the rain. No yellow foot chanterelles seen yet this year. Tons of Candy Caps today as we hiked around.

Publicado em 29 de dezembro de 2015, 08:33 AM por bjoelle bjoelle | 1 comentário | Deixar um comentário

28 de dezembro de 2015

First Year: Christmas Bird Count

At the last minute I contacted one of the area leaders, David Berman (who was an instructor for my naturalist course) and he allowed me to join his group in area 15 of Western Sonoma County. We met in Duncan's Mills (got delicious coffee!) and left to meet up again at Russia House. The staff came out and helped us bird right there at the Jenner Bridge. It was wonderful to meet everyone and see how passionate they were about this job! Loved it! Even as a novice birder, each person took time to teach me something special, and I was sure to hang out with the other beginners so that everyone was included. But boy was it COLD! We walked a lot today and I think some people wouldn't have been able to handle it. We had a lot of ground to cover and yet, we spent sufficient time each place that we went. I was amazed how many species we saw. As usual, the only camera I had on me was my phone which was next to useless for birding but I took a couple shots of the gorgeous surroundings. Also, I only added observations that I personally witnessed and actually saw/heard. There were many others that I wasn't there for or that I "heard" we had tallied on our list, but I didn't want to include those here. I wanted to make sure I added this to mark my first year and to keep practicing these particular birds. What a fun way to spent a holiday Sunday!!

Publicado em 28 de dezembro de 2015, 03:59 AM por bjoelle bjoelle | 30 observações | 1 comentário | Deixar um comentário

01 de novembro de 2015

Getting a Handle on Lichens

I needed a place to stick this link, which, will likely help me immensely as I learn more about area lichens:


Publicado em 01 de novembro de 2015, 06:22 AM por bjoelle bjoelle | 1 comentário | Deixar um comentário

26 de junho de 2015

June 23 Saddle Mountain Hike

I hiked in the Saddle Mountain Preserve on Tuesday June 23rd from 8:50am until almost exactly 1pm. I crossed Weeks Creek, then crossed Alpine Creek and continued through the property onto Erland Rd. I turned around and backtracked, turning towards the Hunter's Cabin and Pond. I didn't check the Northern Overlook. In terms of trail blockages I found one large limb down on the way to the Hunter's Cabin just before the meadow where the sign and fork are located between the Cabin trail and the overlook trail. That limb is maybe 6 in. diameter small and easy to step over, but would be a pain if you were trying to drive up. It's a live oak and covers the whole trail. The second is just before the Hunter's Cabin, within sight of it. The tree cracked mid-way up and is dangling in a diagonal angle towards the ground. It looks steady and probably won't fall further, but the limbs are blocking the path and it looks like people have been walking around it. This will be a big job to clear due to the way the tree is suspended above the trail. Again it's a live oak and whole trail is blocked.

In terms of wildlife, I scared numerous does and fawn resting near the trail. A buck snorted at me for several minutes on the trail to Erland road. I saw several wild turkeys, lots of birds: acorn woodpeckers, jays,etc. Along Alpine creek I found a ground hornet or other ground bee nest dug out of the ground by an unknown critter. Between the downed tree and the hunting cabin there were two reptile nests dug out of the ground with egg shells littering the ground. Even closer to the hunting cabin was a fresh wild turkey kill. Right outside the front door of the cabin was several day old bear scat, loaded with manzanita berries. Elsewhere on the property on the trails was coyote scat. I didn't see or look for lion scat or tracks. In Alpine Creek right at the crossing were fish. They were tiny and hard to identify and I didn't see them elsewhere. Weeks Creek appeared too stagnant and was loaded with algae, but Alpine ran clear everywhere I looked.

Along Weeks Creek where blackberry was recently removed, the plant hasn't come back very much there, which is a surprising and a good sign if more needs to be removed. On the trail to Erland the meadows are loaded with star thistle. Lots of butterflies and other insects were using it for pollen. Most other flowering plants were brown and dead from the heat. Manzanita are becoming ripe; bay nuts are in abundance but not ripe. No major reports on the plants this time.

Publicado em 26 de junho de 2015, 12:08 PM por bjoelle bjoelle | 12 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

26 de abril de 2015

Tide Pools

Quick trip to Shell Beach at low tide 1035 hrs on Friday. Tide was only at 0.1. Two schools were there, one class on each side of the beach. I mainly went to check how the seaweeds were doing and to see if I could find any sea stars. The seaweeds were more robust but less varied. I saw no cystoseira at all, very little kombu or sea lettuce, no wakame (that's probably a good thing) and less feather boa and Turkish towel than I'd seen before. I forgot to look carefully for any sea palm in the distance, but didn't happen to see any. Nori/Laver was doing very well, covering many boulders. Saw other species that I wouldn't generally collect but practiced ID'ing them. Lots of small anemones on the rocks, but the only large one I found open I photographed. Usually I see more. Also, I didn't see a single sea star. Last visit I found three, which was very low. I'd like to learn more about the disease taking out the sea stars. This trip didn't seem all that rich overall; it could have been that I was moving too quickly past each pool, trying to stay ahead of the loud and destructive groups of kids, but it seemed like a less productive walk than usual. I only stayed a little more than an hour, picking up the trash left behind from the kids in the tide pools and decided to leave.

Publicado em 26 de abril de 2015, 07:11 AM por bjoelle bjoelle | 15 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

22 de abril de 2015

Walked the Whole Trail

Two days ago I walked the whole Joe Rodota/ West County Trail from Santa Rosa to Forestville. That was a good 12 mile walk! I didn't expect to log any observations but of course I couldn't help myself. While most of the way there were a lot of non-native plants to be seen and many mysteries, I was surprised that so much was still green and blooming. Stopping in Sebastopol for breakfast and coffee at Coffee Catz was relaxing and I wasn't hungry or ready for another break by Graton so I carried on to Forestville. By then I was happy to celebrate at Backyard where they made me a fresh strawberry lemonade with local fruit and everyone came out to say "hi" to my exhausted pup. I wasn't a fan of the stretch along Highway 116 and especially down Occidental Road right alongside traffic, but after 3/4 miles you're back on a nice trail. My dog was a trooper and trotted the whole way. Next time I would definitely bring binoculars because I really missed out on the bird-watching the whole way. I'll definitely do it again. I left my car in the big dirt parking lot in Forestville and got dropped off at the trail entrance at Hwy 12 and Fulton (the interior parts of the trail in Santa Rosa are a bit sketchy and not so pretty anyway, in my humble opinion). The whole trip took six hours including my leisurely hour-long breakfast/coffee break and several longish chats with other walkers.

Publicado em 22 de abril de 2015, 02:32 PM por bjoelle bjoelle | 18 observações | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

19 de abril de 2015

Update on Hacienda

It's been a long while since we've had any rain in Hacienda. I haven't been journaling the way I was last year so I wanted to note a few things. It seemed like the water levels were going down more quickly this year. Just this week the bigger pools have come down quite a bit and they are mostly isolated now. At this point now that the stream isn't flowing through the pools to refill them, it won't be long before it's completely dry. We didn't see any large fish spawning this year, but we also had near flood stage levels before Christmas. It might have been easy to miss them. In any case, baby fish appeared in all of the pools except the biggest. We haven't seen any crayfish this year either. The baby fish disappeared a few weeks ago after the last rain and we assumed maybe they took the opportunity to swim away. Otherwise they may have died as the pool levels dipped lower. A few things have stood out this year: Everything is still green in the shade and wildflowers, mostly forget-me-nots are blossoming. But hardly any redwood sorrel, calypso orchids or trilliums this year. Last year was the first year we saw any cherries on the old cherry tree in the meadow - this year it is loaded. The severely pruned apple trees haven't quite bounced back and are just now blossoming a little. Last year we had almost no wild plums, but it remains to be seen this year. We had five figs on our tree in the shade, which is a record for us! We've never had more than 3. The only difference is that I did a little pruning so I'll try again this fall. No blossoms on the spice bush plants and still no acorns showing on any of the trees - third year in a row. This winter the woodrats built houses all over the meadow (well over 20) but now the blackberry and poison oak are so thick you can't even see their houses anymore. The creek continues to flow and should remain that way all year beyond the meadow and the little bridge that crossed Skyline.

Publicado em 19 de abril de 2015, 12:02 AM por bjoelle bjoelle | 1 observação | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário