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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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Friday, October 25, 2019


 
 
Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – October 25th 2019

Brought to you with pleasure by MCHT and VLT

Blip - #3 coral, jellies, clubs, and an earthball.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

PSA – You should be wearing orange when out in the woods these days – it is deer hunting time in Maine. Currently we are in archery season and while there are certainly less of these hunting types,  youth day is approaching quickly (October 26), with fire arm season (Nov 2-30) and muzzleloader/expanded archery  extending the season until mid-December (Dec 14). Exciting times in the woods, for sure. Good idea to get in the habit of orange hats, jacket, vest, gloves, etc. just to announce your presence a little more.  Especially when close to deer habitat which is pretty much the entire island.

 



There is no hunting statewide on Sundays and never hunting on the Lane’s Island Preserve. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

this is the earthball - poisonous pigskin puffball.
not a puffball at all really
And so…..it’s been a while, the entire staff at the VSR was gone, outta state, outta mind for a stretch. To make a long story short, the VSR was placed on the royal “backburner” maybe a dozen times over the last two months. Things collected – piled up really, some good stuff too. We have now come to the conclusion that we won’t have enough time in one “fell swoop”, so instead we will be making “little swoops” – kind of blips and bleeps, “shorties” for those Aqua Teen Hunger Force fans – and so here they come. 

 
 
here's another view

 
 
 
 
 
Thanks of course to all those who have shared and continue to share sightings – natural and beyond – because sharing is what the VSR is all about. Send your photos, stories and emails to vinalhavensightings@gmail.com – it’s what the cool kids are doing!

 




yellow tipped coral - Ramaria formosa
New stuff – What a late summer/fall for Coral Mushrooms – Clavariaceae.  Bunches of coral could be found along trails, clumped along roots and underground wood the Coral fungi were/are decomposing.

 

Maybe I did not find “all the colors of the rainbow” in the coral mushrooms over the last month (and maybe you did), but there was quite a variety of shades and shapes to be found simply walking down the trails…

 

White Coral – Ramariopsis kunzei -

love clustered coral
 
 
 
 

Clustered Coral (Ramaria botrytis)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Crested coral
 
 
 
 

As of late - Grey Coral - Clavulina cinerea -




Crested Coral (Clavulina cristata)



 
 
violet branched coral
 
 
 


Violet-branched Coral (Clavulina amethystine) –
 
 

 
 
 
 
spindle-shaped coral
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Spindle-shaped Yellow Coral – Clavulinopsis fusiformis -

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
irregular earth tongue
not a pleasant name necessarily

Earth Tongues (Family Helotiales) are sometimes referred to as “coral mushroom wannabes”, but not when I’m around!  They are cool, oddly shaped (judgment), and are pretty much the only representative of the Ascomycetes in this post, and probably the rest of the current wave of blips. The kingdom of Fungi is divided in two groups – the Ascomycetes (Subdivision Ascomycotina) and Basidiomycetes (subdivision Basidomycotina) – and the difference is in the development of spores. Ascomycetes’ spores develop in round, saclike microscopic structures called “asci”. Basidiomycetes’ spores develop “on appendages protruding from variously designed(usually club-shaped) microscopic structures known as basidia. Anyway, the photos and discussion often focus on Basidiomycetes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Current on the trails (10/23) – and with all that here is a ascomycetes – Irregular Earth TonguesNeolecta irregularis. On most trails – in most trails! Decomposing roots, usually smaller and less clumpy than the spindle shaped coral mentioned above.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
common earth tongue
Geoglossum difforme
 
 
 
 

also known as jelly babies!
 

Another ascomycetes somewhat recently has been – Ochre Jelly Club – Leotia lubrica. Lovely.

 









ochre jelly club



yellow tuning fork



bears head tooth









Another “coral like” – but more of the hanging sort is “Bear’s Head Tooth” or Hericium americanum.

 

 

More to come!

 

Thursday, October 24, 2019


 
Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – October 18th 2019

Brought to you with pleasure by MCHT and VLT

Alaska Blip - #2 – family in Haines

 
 
 

PSA – You should be wearing orange when out in the woods these days – it is deer hunting time in Maine. Currently we are in archery season and while there are certainly less of these hunting types,  youth day is approaching quickly (October 26), with fire arm season (Nov 2-30) and muzzleloader/expanded archery  extending the season until mid-December (Dec 14). Exciting times in the woods, for sure. Good idea to get in the habit of orange hats, jacket, vest, gloves, etc. just to announce your presence a little more.  Especially when close to deer habitat which is pretty much the entire island.

 

 
 
There is no hunting statewide on Sundays and never hunting on the Lane’s Island Preserve. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

And so…..its been a while, the entire staff at the VSR was gone, outta state, outta mind for a stretch. To make a long story short, the VSR was placed on the royal “backburner” maybe a dozen times over the last two months. Things collected – piled up really, some good stuff too. We have now come to the conclusion that we won’t have enough time in one “fell swoop”, so instead we will be making “little swoops” – kind of blips and bleeps, “shorties” for those Aqua Teen Hunger Force fans – and so here they come. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thanks of course to all those who have shared and continue to share sightings – natural and beyond – because sharing is what the VSR is all about. Send your photos, stories and emails to vinalhavensightings@gmail.com – its what the cool kids are doing!

 
 
 
 
 
 

New stuff – This is the companion post to the Alaska blip #1. These are Haines pictures with people in the them! Enjoy!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

































 
 
lots of pictures of people laying down!
 
 
 
 

 

 
Alaska brown bear - with attitude!

 
 
Welcome to the Vinalhaven Sightings Report – October 18th 2019

Brought to you with pleasure by MCHT and VLT

Alaska Blip - #1 – Haines, some animals

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eldred Rock
 
 
 

PSA – You should be wearing orange when out in the woods these days – it is deer hunting time in Maine. Currently we are in archery season and while there are certainly less of these hunting types,  youth day is approaching quickly (October 26), with fire arm season (Nov 2-30) and muzzleloader/expanded archery  extending the season until mid-December (Dec 14). Exciting times in the woods, for sure. Good idea to get in the habit of orange hats, jacket, vest, gloves, etc. just to announce your presence a little more.  Especially when close to deer habitat which is pretty much the entire island.
 
 

spotted sandpiper from above
 
 
 

There is no hunting statewide on Sundays and never hunting on the Lane’s Island Preserve. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

common mergansers, ducks in a row
And so…..it’s been a while, the entire staff at the VSR was gone, outta state, outta mind for a stretch. To make a long story short, the VSR was placed on the royal “backburner” maybe a dozen times over the last two months. Things collected – piled up really, some good stuff too. We have now come to the conclusion that we won’t have enough time in one “fell swoop”, so instead we will be making “little swoops” – kind of blips and bleeps, “shorties” for those Aqua Teen Hunger Force fans – and so here they come. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Thanks of course to all those who have shared and continue to share sightings – natural and beyond – because sharing is what the VSR is all about. Send your photos, stories and emails to vinalhavensightings@gmail.com – it’s what the cool kids are doing!

 
 
 
 
 

New stuff – so in August Amy, Leif and I headed back to some old stomping grounds- Santa Cruz, Pescadero, and the Bay Area in California, as well as Haines and the Kenai Peninsula – Homer and Seward mostly. Fun times. Here’s some bear and bird stuff from Haines. Will be followed by Haines family shots. More fun.

 
 
 

Haines – Amy and I used to lead Wildlife tours in Haines Alaska with “Alaska Nature Tours” – a nature mom and pop with Dan and Joanna Egoff being the mom and pop. We worked in Haines the summers of 2001-2, the first two of our 18 or so “summers of marital bliss” at this point!

 
 
 
 
 

And so Amy and I returned to Haines for the first time since 2002 (and Leif for his first time ever!) and what changes we noticed were welcome ones – Fireweed pizza didn’t take forever! - and overall things had largely stayed the same in a good way – we could still get pizza at the Fireweed!.

 

from a safe distance








Thanks to Dan and Joanna we had a vehicle for our second and 3rd nights in Haines, both evenings we hightailed it (with Pizza!) to have dinner where we used to go look at Brown Bears.

 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
The bears did their thing – 4 great sightings over the 2 nights, 3 or 4 bears in all.

 

Perfect way to start our trip. Bears? Check! 

 
 
white winged crossbill torpedo
 
 

 
 
White-winged Crossbills were everywhere. Almost literally,

 
 
 
 
 
no shortage of bald eagles in Haines!
 

Went on a bunch of great hikes – Battery Point trail had a negative elevation gain from about 25 ft. above sea level to sea level. Beautiful time along the Lynn Canal, nice people, and loads of young Boreal Toads – Bufo boreas boreas – subspecies of the western toad. Lead a ton of hikes on this trail 2001-2, never had we seen toads on the trail before. Leif got peed on by 3 I believe.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lynn Canal from Battery Point
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
sooty grouse female
 
 
 
sooty grouse youngster
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We also had our first family 100,000 step day (that’s what our fitbits say!). It was an all-day event going up Mt. Ripinkski, from zero to above tree line (3599’) right from town. Love Alaska.

 
 
 
 

Sooty Grouse were a hit; Say’s Phoebe, American Pipit, and Cedar Waxwing were all numerous on the ledges below the summit. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It was the common Ravens though that were the show tweety-bird wise. Incredible aerial displays with striking backdrop mountain ranges.

 

We love Haines.