Monday, December 28, 2009

More Trail Work

Our days at the coastal sanctuary are numbered, but I'm glad to be leaving the place better than we found it.  Here's a before and after series of the latest bit o trail work.

The beginning, a dangerous slope with loose soil. 

The log cribbing -- halfway done.

Most of the cribbing done, with willow spikes at either ends of the logs.

The final product, with rocks capping the logs and some pine straw to make it look pretty. 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Latest Mushrooms in Northern California

We've had a couple hard freezes, followed by warm spells and some good, drenching rains.  This has brought up a new crop of mushrooms.  It's definitely a new phase in mushroom season: gone are most of the amanitas, slippery jacks and chanterelles, and in their place are some smaller and more delicate fruits.

A beautiful shaggy mane.  I ate one once, it was delicious, but then again so are most things fried in butter.

Blewits!  A fragrant and sweet smelling mushroom, often found in rings around here.

Here's the last of the amanitas.  This line of death caps (amanita phalloides) was along the side of the trail.  They haven't sprung up again, so it may be the last of "Death Cap Row" until spring.  One of most poisonous mushrooms in the world, death caps are enjoying a territory expansion thanks to modern human activity.  These mushrooms will melt your liver about 3 days after ingestion. 

The only amanita that I've seen recently is the prized amanita muscaria or fly agaric.  Hoping we'll see some fresh ones this week!