bioblitz at Golden Gate National Parks continued through Saturday, March 29 with the official deadline for submitting all observations of plants and animals in the parks at noon. On Saturday, it was raining. Real rain like we actually live on the edge of a giant reservoir of water and arbitrator of weather - the Pacific Ocean. Rain like we haven't seen in two years. Rain that cut the number of attendees at the inventory hike Naiad and I led at Rancho Corral de Tierra from the 30 who signed up to five brave souls.
We led those five brave hikers into the park in the rain, past the fungi, insect, bird and botany teams, and into a forest. Many of the Monterey pines had foam streaming down their trunks in the rain which formed frothy piles at the base of each tree. I've seen this phenomenon before but never with so many trees.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Friday, March 28, 2014
|Meadow vole at the trailside breakfast place.|
Sunday, March 16, 2014
|Gopher skull, seedlings of filaree, popcorn flower and grasses.|
There's hopeful life and impassive death all around. Life and death, it's all part of a cycle, right, nothing unusual. Just look for the loop I tell myself and it will all make sense. But when I reach out to detect its invisibleness, I get nothing not even the delayed snap of a spider strand.
I am a soap plant. I present my simple leaves to the moon and she approves of their sinuosity. If I bloom at all this year, it will be low to the ground and just long enough to feed the moths. To save the energy, I'll abort those seeds and the gusts at summer dusk will blow them into cracks in the soil all around me. I will survive this drought by slowing breaking down one cellulose wall after another in my shrouded bulb. See you another year cute little seedlings.
Friday, March 14, 2014
This striped skunk has walked by this wildlife camera many times and ignored it. For some reason on this particular night, the striped skunk (presumably the same striped skunk) decided to charge the side of the camera. Was there a strap blowing around? Was the skunk in a testy mood? Was there an animal behind the camera? I don't know, just one of those camtrap mysteries.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
|Wolf's milk - actually not a fungus or a Hostess pastry - a fact I learned while browsing iNaturalist|
A bioblitz is an event where animal and plant species are identified in a specific location over a short period of time. The eyes and ears of students and citizens are led by scientists to cover as much area in the park as possible and to confirm identifications. The inventory is useful to understand the park's ecology but it is also a great way for everyone to experience the biological richness of our public lands and the techniques of scientific inventory.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Arrggh, that sinking feeling when I open up my Bushnell HD Trophy trail camera and the date says January 1, 2013. It's not January and it isn't even 2013. Rats, the camera reset itself! I know this means the Bushnell has probably missed some shots and quite possibly has a completely blank memory card.
I check the battery level, the memory card, and every one of the 20 steps in the complicated menu. And I check them again. Everything seems to be working fine, at least right now. One of the batteries is sticking out a little. I tap it. Was it loose or not? I don't know but the rangers are waiting for my advice and I've got a dreadful feeling.
(click Read More to continue but be forewarned there are gory photos of a deer carcass coming up and predator photos)
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
|Mountain beaver (a.k.a. aplodontia) is one of the unusual mammals you get to practice camera trapping on at this workshop in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. It took me several months to realize why this particular camera, Wingscapes Birdcam 2, would occasionally get great close-up nighttime photos with flash but never more than one. Something about the electronics in this model shut the camera down after one or two flash photos. This model is now discontinued. For more info about this unusual burrowing mammal go here and a fellow alumnus has better photos of the zombie rodent here.|
Thursday, February 6, 2014
|Centipede strolling in this morning's rain.|