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The Vinalhaven Sightings Report is organized and edited by Kirk Gentalen on behalf of Vinalhaven Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Out and about on Vinalhaven, MCHT steward Kirk Gentalen reports on what he and others have seen in their travels. Contributions of stories and photos are welcome, and can be sent to vinalhavensightings@gmail.com.



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Sunday, November 24, 2013

state beach

Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report-
November 23rd, 2013
Highlights – Bat stuff – including bat hopping video, Red-throated Loon, Carolina Wren, Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Gannets, evolution of a Sunset, Yellowlegs falls in the water, blah, blah, blah and other stuff.

 








this deer is dead
Alright – Silly distractions and hunting season have left this VSR feeling “a little thin”. At this time of the year we keep out of the woods as much as sanity allows. I was actually told I was “brave” the other day for going in the woods. My being “brave” well – “it could happen” (Judy Tenuta). I didn’t even come close to being shot that day. Anyway – continue to wear Orange when out and about.

 

Contact the VSRvinalhavensightings@gmail.com . for all of your “contactual needs”, naturally speaking of course.

 

Tiit trick – “click it or squint it!” Click the photos to enlarge.

this 4th year eagle probable
ate some of the deer above
 

Congrats - On behalf of everyone who has ever read a VSR, we extent a huge “congratulations” to Colleen and Jim Conlan on being the first married team (not on the VSR staff) to have both partners send in photos for a particular VSR. I think we all knew it was going to be them.

 

A certificate in honor of their achievement is in the mail with the certificate for the owl band Faith Osgood and I reported. In other words, it may take a while. You still should be touched by such an honor. Here’s what they sent in…  

 

bat out of the belfry
photo by Jim Conlan
Sightings – What’s new with the Conlans? - Bat stuff – Not sure if this means anything, but we (the royal “we”) receive more photos and reports of bats from turbine neighbors than from anywhere else on the island. (Don’t worry; we’re confident “P-Dol” did a thorough bat study of the area).

 

Anyway, Jim sent in this photo of what appears to be a Northern Myotis Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) doing push-ups or something. Note the “long ears and long narrow tragus” (judgment call and not a nice one – sorry sensitive ear and tragus people) and what appears to be “pinkish/brown facial skin”.  For those wondering - “The tragus is used in echolocation to help direct sound to the ear”- Fiona Reid, Peterson Guide to Mammals of N.A. . I thought that was called “the ear”. Anyway…


help I'm a rock
Ancient Estonian proverb – “Where the tragus starts and the ear begins, there is elfin treasure to be had”

Jim also shares this video of the same bat bouncing along the ground. Or hopping. Or something. Maybe too many fermented apples? We (the royal “we” again) joke of course, these aren’t fruit bats, but seeing a bat in this state raising concerns for sure. Colleen thought he was hurt, Jim thought it might have been cold and disoriented. We are certainly not Bat-ologists or anything, but it looks like something is up with this dude. No white-nose fungus though, so it has that going for him….which is nice. He hopped over to some shrubs, hung out and relaxed and has not been seen since – alive….or dead or whatever. Anyone know a good bat interpreter? 

 


video


 

snail with white stuff. hand not identified
photo by Colleen Conlan
Snail StuffColleen Conlan sent in this photo of a land snail with “white stuff” on it. The photo was sent on “behalf of Island Cultivations crew” – so here’s a quick VSR shout out to the crew! Glad to know you are out there and looking! Anyway, back to the snail….

 

Colleen reports – “We see these little yellow snails all season long. Now all of them seem to be covered over with this white lid.” And asks “ Do snails close up shop for the winter?”.

 

“Boy, man. God, spraint” – A snail question! Where’s that land snail guy when you need him?

here's the ear of a saw-whet owl
a dead one -
 

Well, a quick “something” search turned up a Wiki (“where would we be without wiki?” – Jersey state motto) page on land snails. Here’s what we lifted from the “hibernations and estivation”

 

Hibernation and estivation


Some snails hibernate during the winter (typically October through April in the Northern Hemisphere). They may also estivate in the summer in drought conditions. If snails are not able to hibernate, the snail can die or its species may even go extinct like the Aldabra banded snail. To stay moist during hibernation, a snail seals its shell opening with a dry layer of mucus called an epiphragm.” – wiki


amy and leif checking out the
dead saw-whet

Wiki is so funny. First off, who the hell wrote this?

Snail Tangent Alert! – STA! - “If snails are not able to hibernate, the snail can die or its species may even go extinct like the aldabra banded snail.” This kind of implies that the Aldabra Banded snail went extinct because it wasn’t able to hibernate. That might be a stretch, word is a “change in the weather” – (less rainfall – longer, hotter summers) on the one atoll in the Indian Ocean where the snail was found resulted in its quick descent from super numerous to no more. Here’s what wiki says about the Aldabra Banded Snail –

“The Aldabra banded snail was endemic to Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean. In 1906 it was the most common snail species on the atoll.[5][6]






wolf's milk is beautiful this time of year
After 1976 however, only adult snails were found on Aldabra, and no live individuals have been found at all since 1997.[3] Researchers believe that this species became extinct during the late 1990s, after a series of unusually long, hot, and dry summers caused by climate change. These summers appear to have killed off a large number of the younger snails.”

Nice one people. Sure, being able to estivate for the summer would have been good trick for these gastropods, but the snails never had to close up shop before so their lack of that certain adaptation can’t really be blamed for their demise. You could also say their lack of wings caused their extinction – if they could have flown away they would have survived! Anyway-  STA over! “Nice tangent” as they say. Or, “what are we talking about?”.


does this Merulius undercarriage make you tremble?

 

Anyway, so the white stuff is probably some white mucus drying up to make the “epiphragm” or protective covering that allows them to stay moist and survive the winter. Anyway, that’s it about snails for now. Thanks for sharing!




 

Funky Tweeters – (Bird spraint) -

 

Wren and suet
photo by Sally
Skin Hill – Carolina Wren – (The legendary) Skin Hill Sally got some sweet Carolina Wren shots from her feeding station (11/14). A Carolina Wren was reported the same day (or around then) from Camden (thanks for the tip “K-Lin”). Anyway, readers will remember that a Carolina Wren spent much of last winter on Skin Hill, tapping into several feeding stations fir grub. No word on whether this dude is “hangin’ on the hill” still today. Very few of us have ever seen a Carolina Wren on Vinalhaven, I certainly have not seen one….








wren looking good
photo by Sally
Cardinals at the Delsandros -  Word has it that a pair of Cardinals were observed feeding at the Delsandro feeders recently. Sofia Delsandro (age of 4 soon to be 5! – Happy Birthday Sofia!) was quoted as saying “we have to tell Kirky about this” while watching the Cardinals! I am honored even more than when people say “I thought of you when I saw some scat”! We look forward to Sofia’s observations in the future as well!




Evolution of a sunset in 9 phases– (11/19) was a nice evening for a sunset. This is the best time of the year for sunsets. Thank you pollution from Ohio!!!!!!!
 
phase 1 - got there a little too early
phase 2 - tuckin' behind some clouds

 

 

 

phase 3 - still behind clouds









 

 

phase 4 - closer













phase 5 - sunlight going up!



phase 6 - out of the way ferry!!!
















phase 7 - have you set yet?

phase 8 - cool lines


















phase 9 - afterburn


great cormorants on "great cormorant rock"
Ferry Rides – From the mouth of Captain Pete! – Peter Drury told us (the royal “us”) the other day that he had seen a Razorbill the day before (11/20). Coincidently, Pete mentioned this minutes after I (the royal “I”) had seen one from the ferry (11/21). No numbers or anything, but a lot of “ winter friends” that make the ferry ride a pleasure for everyone have returned. Here’s what we’ve seen on a few rides recently….Red-throated Loon, Common Loon, Oldtails, Red-necked Grebe, loads of Guillemots, Razorbill, Bonaparte’s Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Rd-breasted Mergansers, Surf Scoters, Bufflehead, Common Eiders, Bald Eagles, Iceland Gull, Northern Gannet, Great Cormorants.
crappy kittiwake photo
hi, i'm an iceland gull

 





 



surf scoters getting the heck
out of dodge - or the way!



Red-throated Loon – Greens Island - John Drury reports a Red-throated Loon fly-by (11/1) …”also had bufflehead oct 30, purpl sand nov 1, red throat loon nov 1, oldsquaw nov 1”
Always lots to see on Greens. Thanks for sharing!

Northern Gannet
photo by John Drury
 

Around the island – State Beach – Red-necked Grebes (high counts – 40+), Oldtails, Northern Gannet, Black Guillemots, sunsets….Pleasant River – Hooded Mergs, Bonaparte’s Gulls, Greater Yellowlegs, Bald Eagles…Carver’s Pond – Canada Geese, Hooded Mergs, Bufflehead, Bald Eagles…

a bin of loons
 

 



it all started out fine











Greater Yellowlegs knocked over by incoming tide - Pleasant River.


"what the...?"














i meant to do that




road to recovery


















Bonaparte's Gulls - have been stating their presence with authority at Pleasant River, Basin Bridge and from the Ferry. These shots were from the basin bridge. Good spot to look for Bonies and Balds (eagles that is)

















 
 
 
There is probably a lot more that is being overlooked here. That's the way it goes.
 
on the other hand we jumped into a leaf pile, so nothing was overlooked at all. here's a couple of videos
 
video
 
 
video
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Anyway, we’ll see you out there!

Friday, November 15, 2013


windsor orange number seventeen
Welcome to the non VSR,

Winter Moth In-action Alert!

November 15th, 2013

 

The VSR will return in a few days with a regular report…..

 

Links to past Winter Moth Action updates are listed at the end of this post. In case you are really bored or are looking for some background info.

 

Video contest – if you observe Winter Moth adults erupting from their summer roosts, take a 10 second video and send it to vinalhavensightings@gmail.com . The VSR staff will judge all videos received and the videographer of our favorite video will win a quart of Finnish beer! Or something yet to be determined.

 

Special Business - WMB – Winter Moth Business – So Halloween has come and gone and folks may have noticed that it’s getting a bit brisky outside these days. Some may have even foolishly shaved during last week’s warm spell and only now are learning what the phrase “cold as a beardless chin” really means. All of this can only mean one thing – its winter moth time! Remember those punks? and the huge numbers of adult moths that flew in December last year making those “damn moths” a top 3 conversation topic for about a month last Dec.? Well, get ready folks, cuz here we go again!!!!!

 



Before we go any further or “Believe it when we see it”- the real answer to the Winter moth (and all the world’s problems really) is the parasitic fly that kills Winter Moth. (We don’t have to go thru this again, do we?). Anyway, we are in line to receive a dose of these flies next spring, which is good news and makes everyone happy, even happier when it happens. So let’s not forget that help is on the way.

 

It takes 10 years for the flies to take hold, and so things are bound to get worse before they get any better. But still, the flies are the antidote and we are getting them. Good to remember, or at least not forget. Feel free to go back to American Idol……now!

 

Current Status – As far as we know gagillions of Winter Moth are in the ground in pupas or cocoons and have been there since June. The pupae are about the size of a speck of dirt and they have been slowly morphing (meta-morphing even!) inside the pupa, “puberty in a package”, getting ready for what’s next. It’s what they do.

 

 

What’s to come – Soon adult moths will emerge from the pupae and attempt to fulfill their purpose in life - find true love (it’s “love at first whiff” when the pheromones are flowing), mate and lay gagillions of eggs all over hardwoods in town, and all around the island (soon enough if they have not spread yet). Once again, the males have wings and can fly, and the females have vestigials (wings that is) and cannot fly, but instead can march up trees in mass. The mating strategy of Winter Moths is to send out gagillions of adults all at the same time, and with gagillions of “randy” moths cruising around everyone has a chance to mate, even the weird ones.   

 

Blast from the past - Folks may remember last year’s adult Winter Moth flight being staggered over a few weeks from just before Thanksgiving and mid-way into December. We are all excited to see what this year’s schedule will be!

 

Where we are at – We tried! – Well, the big guns in the winter moth world visited our island since we last talked  – Joe Elkington (the parasitic fly guy) and Charlene Donahue (official state bug lady) – and upon surveying the town for damage they have concluded that we have loads of them. Even with last year’s banding efforts. Some might dare to go so far as saying “ a Spraintload”, but that’s a judgment call.

 

We have so many in fact, that even a massive tree banding (* - see tree banding below) effort in town would have little to no impact on Winter Moth numbers. Not with the caterpillars ability to “balloon” from one tree to another using silk and the wind. At this point there is little we can do. Let’s let that sink in a little.

 

This is not surprising when you look at all the small trees on the slopes around skin hill – it would be impossible to band all those trees. They all have had Winter Moth the past and will have another generation of eggs laid upon them in the upcoming weeks. So it goes.

 

Inaction In action! – or So what now? – Should we band? –

 

Banding (*) – cruising thru town you may notice that some bands - where sticky stuff is put around a tree to catch females as they march up the trunk – are being put up. Banding at this  time is now viewed as a monitoring technique to document numbers and distribution of winter moth on Vinalhaven.

 



And a very useful monitoring technique they are! It is understood that Winter Moth is likely to cover Vinalhaven (if it hasn’t already) before the flies take hold and so bands are going up in different spots around the island to capture females and see just how widespread these punks are.

 

Things to remember – And while winter moth spread is inevitable for the island, we can be mindful of not moving hardwood pieces to remote areas on the island. No need to help out the moth!

 

And taking hardwoods off island is not recommended. For the sake of communities not infested with Winter Moth.

 

Thanks for reading. Rock on 

Here’s links to winter moth action updates from last year – if you are bored and want more background stuff.

 
1) http://vinalhavensightings.blogspot.com/2012/11/winter-moth-actionupdate-november-23-rd.html


2) http://vinalhavensightings.blogspot.com/2012/12/winter-moth-news-update-december-11-th.html








4) http://vinalhavensightings.blogspot.com/2013/05/welcome-to-winter-moth-action-update.html


 

 




Monday, November 4, 2013


hope everyone had a happy halloween
Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report
November 3rd, 2013
Brought to you with the support of
MCHT and VLT
“Why can’t I bring my legos to college?”
 Leif after watching Toy Story 3

 

 

proof that dinosaurs
lived on mars.
or that shorebirds are at
state beach
Highlights – slug babies, owls “rescue, dead & dying”, thrushes, Tree Sparrows, ducks, bird sounds,  fungus, frogs!, snakes, a bunch of videos, other stuff and whatever

 

BusinessDon’t forget to share! Please send in your sightings, pictures, comments to vinalhavensightings@gmail.com if you want to be guaranteed(*) that your sightings make the VSR. Sightings/photos sent to other emails (like baldfulmar) often get buried (cuz we’re soooooo popular) and may not make it in the VSR. 
 
 
 

you are almost guarenteed
a sunrise or sunset shot in the VSR
this is sunrise with owl's head light.
from the ferry.
 

(*) There are no guarantees in the VSR, just like there is no crying in baseball. Unless you are a St. Louis Cardinal. Speaking of which, congrats to Big Papi and the one or two other Red Sox players (non-pitchers) that had cameo (but crucial) moments in the World Series. What a performance (by Big Papi that is)!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 


my guess is that this dude is going to be toast soon
Got Orange? – Hunting season means more than a killer breakfast at the brown church Saturday morning. It means people shooting and others (hopefully all others) avoiding being shot. Do yourself a favor (and the hunter’s too!) and put on some orange before heading out. And not just orange socks! Hat, coat, gloves, whatever. Nobody wants to shoot you (I can’t confirm that statement) and no one wants to get shot (I can’t confirm that statement) so do your part and be smart – WEAR ORANGE!!!!!!
 
there is a waxy cap (Hygrocybe genus) in this photo

Tiit trick – click on the photos to make them bigger. You need to see Wooly Velvet Polypore jumbo size! You’ll never go back – I swear!












 

hygrocybe from the side


One last thingGot sick bird? - if you are a person your friends call about an injured and non-injured wildlife, or maybe you are someone who likes birds (as opposed to the bird haters out there!) then it might not be a bad idea to jot this number down – (382-6761) – it’s for the Avian Haven place in Freedom (ME). More on them later! (Ha, Ha. I wrote “more on”!).     












 

Sightings – We start with a springtail video, from the "tidepools" in the Reach

video







let there be slugs
photo by Erin Creelman
Slug babies! They are so cute when they are young! Erin Creelman, the sender of odd nature photos (odd = good in this case as in most cases) has topped even herself with this photo of young slugs emerging from a gang of egg cases (presumably a gang of slug egg cases). Looks like it’s already sick of its siblings as it is high-tailing it out of there. Awesome shot, awesome find, and awesome observation. Thanks for sharing! And while we’re at it…

 
 
 


there's an owl in there
photo by Erin Creelman
Owl Rescue – “we have a problem” was the phrase Mike Bunker started with after knocking on my door the other day. “Oh spraint” I said (paraphrasing) in my head not knowing which of the multiple options of “problem” (some big, some small) it could be. “We have an owl…” and it all went from there. Mike, Loren, and Joe from the Electric Co-op had come across an injured Great Horned Owl by Round Pond. They said its wing looked pretty bad and had it wrapped up in a sweatshirt. Whatever its physical state was, it was clearly pissed as it continued to struggle and bill snap from within the sweatshirt. Who could blame him really, no matter how many times you tell them you are there to help they just don’t seem to get it. Picking up a Great Horned Owl is always dangerous business (even a dead one might hurt someone), but they wanted to rescue the owl, salt of the earth these three guys are.

 





neither an owl nor a bird. seems like as good
a place to mention butterflies -
American Copper - on Greens!
Yahhhhhhooooo! We saw a butterfly!

And so the owl got shipped (was shipped?) literally to the kind folks at Avian Haven (www.avianhaven.org  - 382-6761) in Freedom. We’ve mentioned these birdy rescue people in the past. They take in the injured and do what can be done. Last year a few Saw-whet Owls were sent over (they pick up at the ferry!) and rehabbed. Those birds were starving, but this Great Horned had a smashed up wing. Almost all birds that fly have hollow bones - makes ‘em lighter - Loons (with their thicker bones) are an exception in North America. Anyway, smashed hollow bones don’t heal well very often, and unfortunately the word on the street says that they had to put this Great Horned Owl down (like dead down). So it goes, the boys did what they could – it was a great struggle and effort.

 





Comma (either Grey or Common)
this shot was nto fuzzy until it was posted.
Yahhhooo! another butterfly!
A few days later Mike informed me that there are some action pictures of the owl being placed in a box for shipping. Word is that the Owl remained pissed thru out the entire experience. The pictures are in a place called “the facebook” (similar to “the Netflix”?) and if someone joins this exclusive “the facebook” club then you might be able to find them. That’s the best I can give about that.

 



dead owl
photo by Faith Osgood
*****This Just In***** - And talking about dead owls…. Faith Osgood, from over Old Boston way, has sent in a few shots of a Saw-whet Owl she found this morning along her walkway. With no signs of wounds or blood it was guessed that this Owl probably died the old fashioned way – by smashing into a window? Or on its own. Many owls starve and that may be the case here. The recent blustery weather probably hasn’t helped Owls or any other predators that use sound to at all.  

 

But what makes this even cooler is that Faith took it “to the next level” and searched for leg bands – and found one! Holey moley! And here’s what it read/said:

 


1-800-327-BAND
1014-56456
 


dead owl leg, with band
photo by Faith Osgood
Not a “900” number but almost as good. So for spraints and giggles I called the “Bird Band Hotline” (like just called them) since I failed completely with their website. The conversation started slowly and I wasn’t too sure what to think at first  of the fact that the person on the line didn’t know how to spell Saw-whet. I realized quickly that this was  a bird data entry job that you probably didn’t have to like birds to do.  I was happy with a friendly person on the other side. Anyway, things picked up when they said “and you get a reward for sending in the info”, and I was like “hellsssss yeah! Right on”, to which they laughed and quickly changed their wording to “you get a certificate” with info on the bird you (we) reported. So now Faith and I are waiting eagerly for our certificates that confirm she found a dead bird and that I called a number. Here’s the info on this owl they were able to relay over the phone –

 

It was banded – Nov. 15, 2012. In a place called Fort Loudon, Pennsylvania. (the person on the phone misspelled Fort Loudon as well). Anyway & for folks keeping track at home, that's roughly 638 miles away from Vinalhaven, or a 10.5 hour car ride - probably not including the ferry ride!  



this vole is dead, and a lot of owls eat voles

 

Anyway, maybe we’ll have more information when the certificates arrive, as this is a "last second" story with more to develop (or not) soon. Anyway and in conclusion, the bottomline is that this bird put some serious miles on those little owl wings. And I got to say  “Fort Loudon” for the first time in my life! Still don't know where it is though! Somewhere south of Buffalo! Moving on and thanks for sharing Faith!

 

look at that red tail
photo by Karen Oakes
Around the island – Songbirds #1 songbird on the island -  When we last left off (two weeks ago) Vinalhaven was essentially covered with Yellow-rumped Warblers. These days its Hermit Thrushes and American Robins. Every Winterberry and Mountain Ash plant thing is libel to have a fine mix of both species. Or so it seems. Here’s a few nice Hermit Thrush shots sent in by Karen Oakes….

 

mackin' on berries
photo by Karen Oakes



Sparrows - Tree Sparrows are back! Along with White-throated, Song, and Savannah Sparrows are the most numerous around the island. A Lincoln Sparrow has been reported from Greens by John.
golden-crowned kinglet
photo by Sally

 








armbrust White-throated Sparrow
photo by Sally


In the woodsHermit thrush, Brown Creepers, Nuthatches, Chickadees, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets,  Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers (honorary songbirds)

 




\










Pinky Tuscadero
photo by Sally
Cool backyard observation. Skinhill Sally (as she is known to me) sent in some recent photos of Cardinals from her yard and feeding station. Sally keeps such a close eye on her yard (do not mess with her garden!) and her yard birds that she took note when a "pinker" cardinal showed up for a day. Knowing your yard "regulars" like Sally does lets you clue in when something "different" shows up, no matter how slightly different it is. ( Speaking of which - (11/4) 31 Reach Road - Just had 2 Common Grackles show up in my yard - 1st time in months!).

for comparison
photo by Sally


Anyway, Sally was kind enough to send in a photo of a "regular" looking Cardinal for comparison. Now that is awesome and thoughful. Thanks to Sally and everyone else who's shared their observations in the VSR. Enough!








On the water – seabirds, sea ducks, and Captain Pete ‘s report

 

Surf Scoters - "Poor man's Puffins" from Huber
From the ferry - 10/18 Lots of Gannets
10/23 Mergansers (red-breasted)
10/26 Long Tailed Ducks (lots)
Scoters (surf)
Bufflehead (a few)

 

Thank you captain Pete!

 

State Beach – Gannets, Loons, Great Cormorants, Horned and Red-necked Grebe, Guillemots, Red-breasted Mergansers, Song Sparrow, ….

 
buffleheads - coming to a cove near you

"Sea Ducks" happening – Surf Scoter (Huber, The Reach, Ferry), Red-breasted Mergs (State Beach, Ferry), Buffleheads (Carver’s and Huber), Old-tails (Ferry)…. Other ducks Wood Ducks (Folly Pond, puddle ponds), Black Duck (Folly, Pleasant River, Carvers), Hooded Mergansers (Old Harbor Pond, Carver’s, Pleasant River).

 

Thorofare – Scoters and Old-tails are reported!

 

Gulls – Multiple reports of people enjoying Bonaparte’s Gulls recently. We are running out of time and need to post this soon,  and let’s face it – Gulls are a low priority – even the cool ones! Ha! Anyway, here’s a video or two from Pleasant River – lots of Bonaparte’s and Ring-billeds at low tide. Bonaparte’s make a great sound! Listen up!

 

 
video

 
and here was the ring-billed gull scene the same day, just "up river" 100+ Ring-billeds


video
 

Herps – fun to be writing about Amphibians and Reptiles (you know, the cold blooded ones) in November. Unfortunately some of it is the continuing saga of road kill snakes. (8/23) was a classic bike ride – 10 snakes – 8 dead, one soon to be dead (squirming and rolling with intestines partially on the “exo”-side) and then one live one right by my house. Picked him up, let Leif and Zo handle him and then let him go. Here’s a couple of videos from the release.

 

video
 

video
 

late fall oysters and
brick tops
Still seeing daily snakes – (11/2) 3 dead and 1 live ring-necked snake.

 

Halloween FrogsDyer’s Island – Elaine Drury reports an active Pickerel Frog scene out on Dyer’s on Halloween. ….Reach Road - Peeper still heard (10/31) in one, warm, sunny, spot.








Mycenas are sexy no matter how you see 'em
 









Salamander’s – Two reports of Spotted Salamanders in the last week. Erin Creelman saw one in her neighborhood, Josh Clayter found one near Loud’s Quarry.
















turkey tails are so dang pretty
 

Fungus -  we start with some recently bloom’ Turkey Tails from Perry Creek. The “shelves” of this(these) particular fungi individual like to reconnect. Don’t always see that. Anyway, here’s a bunch of TT photos to start with….

 












these turkey tails are
all brothers. or something like that








 






polypores so cool stuff like this
And now for what everyone’s been waiting for – Fungal Focus on Wooly- Stalked Polypores!!!!!  

 
And so of course we all love Polypore Mushrooms (and the associated fungi too!). Turkey Tail, Red-belted & Tinder Conk, Birch Polypore and VTP (not the disease) - these are the ones we see year round, these are the ones that are medicinal, these are the classics. These are the ones that have little to no “stalk” (a “stipe” really, but we are not big fans of REM), for they often fruit along the sides of standing trees (“dead or alive” – Bon Jovi), essentially using the tree as its stalk. Once again, the whole purpose (mostly) of the stalky stipe in mushrooms to lift the cap as high up as it can be (duh!) so wind and gravity can work together to gain maximum spore dispersal. Man, there has to be a better way to word that.   

 

 


here is your side view, some people would say
"its better side"


So some Polypores decompose the roots or the lower portion of trees (“the butt”)  

 

David Arora, from Mushrooms Demystified - “these are the fleshy to rather tough polypores with a clearly defined cap, pore surface, and stalk. As such they are easy to recognize – the presence of a stalk separates them from most other polypores, and confusion with the boletes is unlikely because boletes have a soft fleshy texture, central stalk, and tubes which are usually longer (deeper) and peel away easily from the cap (and often from each other”

 


wooly velvet polypores are around this year


First off, I love any “fungal group description” where the majority of talk is what they are not. Stalked Polypores are not boletes! Neither acting nor looking like. We have a few examples of stalked polypores on the island – Shiny Cinnamon Polypore, the random Hen of the Woods to name a few. As of late though the Wooly Velvet Polypore has put out a bloom that has been fun to watch. A bigger bloom than I have seen before out here, and one noted up and down the coast from recent walks.







leaf absorbed
 

We like the way the fruiting bodies of polypores absorbs what’s in their way rather than pushing leaves and grass to the side. Anyway, I don’t see them all that often.

 





 



old friend

The original “old friend” - Crowded Parchment – Stereum complicatum (cool species name).
Something like 18 Years ago, back when letters were folded (and envelopes licked!), I sent a letter to an “old friend”, Tad Drake, about seeing lots of Crowded Parchment in Ohio. In Tad’s reply from California (CA has a noted lack of crowded parchment) he referred to the C.P. as an “old friend”. Not sure why I am sharing this, but Crowded Parchment always brings a smile to my face. The original “old friend”, one of many mushroom “old friends” these days. Anyway – found at the Huber!

parchments are smooth on the bottom
if you know what i mean
 









here's some others to round out the fungal scene these days....




so many species of fungus are bloomin on logs i've cut.
brings a tear to the eye







had a nice Purple Coral mushroom session towards Zeke's Point....


purple coral



purple coral looks cool from above






 ...reported fungal scene that is....
...























and so leif was stoked on his costume


please don't tell leif you've seen a photo of
his secret hiding place
not so secret with the nunchucks red hanging from the tree







stoked on rock cairens on greens







and stoked on legos in general
 ....

rock on everyone!

we'll see you out there...