|just another vinalhaven sunset|
December 24th, 2012
about a log with Split Gill fungus
Highlights – goshawk, merlin, barrow’s goldeneye, snow fleas!, Fungus!, crossbills and grosbeaks, some otter action, Canada geese, Thick-billed Murre, Mink, moon jellies, other things
|snow fleas have been active|
please hike carefully
|otter poop with frost. |
there may be nothing as beautiful
don't forget the Tiit trick - click on any photo to enlarge said photo to full screen size. take this photo of frosty otter poop for example. if you want a closer look at the poop, then just click on the photo and magically it will appear to fill up your full screen. you may not want to click on all otter poop shots, but you also may want to. everybody poops...
photo by sally
|addy is the one in purple|
photo by susan raven
They also congealed (that’s not the right word – “gathered” is the better word I think) over at the school and young Addy Raven did her best to “keep the c**p” off the school grounds by chasing them and most likely yelling in excitement. (Actually, she was looking to hug one or two). Anyway, even though they have Canada in their name we still love/like ‘em and hope they keep on honking it up for months to come. If they could just stop c******g on the fields…
|check out how the mandible don't match, they cross.|
wonder why they are called crossbills?
|nice cross bill...|
Purple Sandpiper-6, Double-crested Cormorant-2,… On the island at various places including Lane's Island, State Beach, Old Harbor Pond, The Basin, etc.-- White-winged Crossbill-10, very close to us, carrying spruce cones from the ground to low branches to feed on them (some actually feeding on the ground); mixed flock of males, females, and young males
Am. Tree Sparrow-6, Song Sparrow-2, White-throated Sparrow-2, Common Yellowthroat-1, (young male) Red-necked Grebe-12, Horned Grebe-3, Common Goldeneye-10, Barrow's Goldeneye-1, Bufflehead-12, Hooded Merganser-3, RB Merganser-20, Great Cormorant-4,
Belted Kingfisher-1, Bald Eagle-5, Golden-crowned Kinglet-1, Red-breasted Nuthatch-1.
photo by john drury
photo by john drury
Greens – John Drury reports both Northern Goshawk and Merlin landing in some of the random remaining trees out on Greens. John got these wonderful photos of the Merlin as it headed off in pursuit of small birds. Small birds = good grub, but we all knew that…
|moon jelly in old harbor pond|
Moon Jelly - Old Harbor Pond - (12/8) - after the big Hurricane Sandy storm came thru there was little to report compared to the damage and travesty felt in the mid-atlantic states. One thing that was seen was a storm surge that was remarkable. In early December - the 8th to be exact - while checking on my favorite otter latrine - what? like you don't have a favorite otter latrine? - in old harbor pond i spotted maybe 5 or 6 Moon Jellies that had been blown to the southern/eastern most shores of the pond. Now, Old Harbor Pond is certainly tidal with the biggest of tides, but the double bottleneck scene over by the bridge somewhat limits just how much salt water mixes in with the constant influx of fresh water from Mack's Pond (and thusly Cedar Pond) that flows in. From salinity tests with high schoolers in old harbor pond, "Brackish " would be an overstatement for the pond - there just isn't much salt influx from the ocean there, especially when compared to the fresh water that is constantly being dumped into the pond
|this jelly was soon to be frozen with the coming cold wave|
And yet there were these moon jellies at the furthest reaches of the pond from the old dam that connects to the open salt water that is old harbor. Locals i've talked to have never seen jellies in the pond, which made the event all the more special. here's our take on this - storm surge with Sandy was high, the jellies came in with a push during the storm and then were blown across the pond with the prevailign winds, which have been towards the sands area - trust me, they have been blownin'! anyway, cool to see jellies in the pond, even if they are/were doomed from the entry. storm do cool (and awful) things, but the cool things are what we appreciate about them.
Barred owl - Tracy Littlefield reports a Barred Owl in her yard not to long after hearing about the barred owl on Greens! Moments after (an exaggeration for sure) reading about the Barred Owl out on greens in the last VSR, Tracy Littlefield (super nice person) reported stepping outside her place and having a Barred Owl fly low over her yard (and chickens!) and land in a nearby tree. Tracy got some great looks at it before it flew! this is the last Barred owl report our way this fall. very cool!
Fungus first responder –and so, we’ve all been hearing more than enough about the winter moth scene (they’re here, they’re in big numbers, and they’re not going shopping), but it makes you wonder who else is taking advantage of the warm, and sometimes wet spell we’ve had pretty much all of December (except for flying santa) you ask? The answer is many species have been taking advantage - Fungally speaking of course (of course). Late fall mushrooms are turning into winter mushrooms as we speak-
|right side up|
Orange mock oyster – a fall/winter classic on white birch, this beauty of a gilled mushroom blooms every fall/winter on island, this year being especially nice with the warm wet weather.
|we are big marasmius fans|
Marasmius – especially abundant under spruce these days, mostly cuz this is the one that decomposes spruce needles so well. Hefty response to the nice warm wet weather. Look under a spruce tree, I dare ya. Bet you find some…
|frozen orange jelly|
Orange jelly – frozen or thawed we love the orange jelly. Someone told me out here their mom call them “witches boogers”. That’s cool, call them what you want.
|old man jelly tooth|
Jelly tooth – had never seen them before getting to Vinalhaven. They have become old friends fast. This is the 6th year in a row that I’ve found them fruiting/blooming on this particular log. 6 years in a row? That is an old friend.
|split gill is sexy|
|this is an otter pooping at 9:23 pm|
|this is an otter pooping at 9:26 pm|
|this is an otter pooping at 9:26pm|
38 seconds after the last poop
|this is an otter peeing at 5:02 am|
|this is a bald guy who had to pee at 10:58am|
and who missed the otters by just a few hours
|this is frozen "yellow-greenish jelly"|
that comes from the intestines
|this is gross. this is frozen froth.|
froth associated with the yellow-green jelly stuff mentioned above
this is the remains of a frozen bubble in the froth.
but the bubble popped. leaving only this.
|this is a partial overview |
of the latrine at old harbor pond
|the VSR family|
photo by the dr.!