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What

Pacific Trillium Trillium ovatum

Observer

arbonius

Date

March 11, 2020 02:24 PM PDT

Description

Note the stalked inflorescence.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Fetid Adderstongue Scoliopus bigelovii

Observer

arbonius

Date

March 11, 2020 02:13 PM PDT

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Observer

arbonius

Date

March 11, 2020 06:04 PM PDT

Description

Although the white petals may suggest T. albidum to some...the red connective tissue between the (laterally-positioned) anthers of the stamens indicates T. chloropetalum, which does have white-flowered forms.

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant Wakerobin Trillium chloropetalum

Observer

arbonius

Date

March 13, 2020 06:27 PM PDT

Description

A massive clump of Trillium chloropetalum...much bigger than I've seen at this locale in the past.

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Observer

arbonius

Date

February 8, 2020 01:36 PM PST

Description

More "purple fuzz" fungus...found by Joerg on a piece of bark on the ground.

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What

Golden-eye Lichen Teloschistes chrysophthalmus

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 11, 2020 12:41 PM PST

Description

I believe the lichen here with the conspicuous orange apothecia is Teloschistes chrysophthalmus (see also images here and here). But I'd also love to know what the other lichens in the photo are (e.g. the leafy pale-green and white-encrusted one, and the other near the top of the photo with black apothecia).

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Poison Oak Toxicodendron diversilobum

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 11, 2020 11:52 AM PST

Description

Apical fasciation on poison oak stems was epidemic along an area to the south of the trail here (in patches over ~60 feet long). Those who are familiar with poison oak (e.g. from too many rash-engendering encounters ;-) can identify it even when leafless by its smooth bark, fairly long internodes, and characteristic branching pattern. The 1st photo here also exhibits remnants of its tell-tale fruits.

An informative "Bay Nature" article on fasciation (by iNat contributor Damon Tighe) features an opening photo of a magnificently fasciated poison oak plant growing in the Oakland Hills (at Knowland Park).

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Observer

arbonius

Date

February 11, 2020 12:49 PM PST

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What

Pacific Mistletoe Phoradendron leucarpum ssp. tomentosum

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 11, 2020 02:43 PM PST

Description

On initial view from a distance, the tan colored portions in the photo here appeared to be old leaves or other detritus. But if you examine the photo at full-resolution (click it twice), you can see that those areas are actually dense clusters of mistletoe fruits. We'd seen some Cedar Waxwings visiting clumps of mistletoe earlier in the day, and they were almost certainly after the mistletoe "berries".

The Jepson eFlora treatment of P. leucarpum ssp. tomentosum is here.

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What

Hookedspur Violet Viola adunca

Observer

arbonius

Date

June 4, 2015 01:15 PM PDT

Description

Note a (very) short stem (a diagnostic character of V. adunca) is visible in the upper right portion of the photo. There's also a fruit dangling just below & left of center of the image.

Photos / Sounds

What

Violets Genus Viola

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 8, 2020 11:54 AM PST

Description

We saw a small group of these plants along the Fall Creek Trail during a CNPS field trip in the Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell State Park. Initially the flower color brought Viola adunca to mind...though the open habitus (i.e. w/ long, lanky, erect petioles & peduncles), and shaded redwood under-story habitat seemed atypical in my previous experience with that species. Only later that night did I recall encountering & grappling with the identity of a similar-looking species in similar habitat 2 years earlier in adjacent San Mateo County. Upon study, that population was determined to be the introduced species V. odorata (for details see this CalPhotos post).

According to the Jepson eFlora Viola key (and also that in Munz) V. adunca and V. odorata separate by either having a (perhaps short) stem or being stemless, respectively. My photos didn't capture that character, so I'm posting them here under the genus for now...although I suspect these plants are likely V. odorata.

Indeed, almost exactly 8 years earlier (on 2/11/12), the very keen naturalists Brian & Eileen Keelan made this CalFlora observation of Viola odorata at approximately the same location as ours. There is also mention of a 1975 record of this species from Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in the Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Santa Cruz County. ...though it's unclear whether that record was from the main part of the park or the Fall Creek Unit of the park (added in 1972).

Photos / Sounds

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 12:12 PM PST

Description

"The most beautiful crab spider in California" according to Robert Z. Schick, author of 1965 "The Crab Spiders of California".

At the time of writing in 1965, this was called Diaea pictilis...a species described in 1896 and considered native to coastal California from Sonoma & Napa counties south to San Diego and into northern Baja California.

Only later was it synonymized with D. livens...a species of central & southern Europe and reaching east to Iran. Presuming that synonymy is sound, it suggests this may be an introduced species in CA.

For more details on the ID here (with lots of supporting links & references) see this companion BugGuide post.

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What

Bonny Doon Manzanita Arctostaphylos silvicola

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 12:58 PM PST

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What

Bush Poppy Dendromecon rigida

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 01:35 PM PST

Description

As pointed out by Sandy, there were a number of these "witch's broom" (cf. here or here) on the terminal ends of many bush poppy plants (Dendromecon rigida) along the trail here.

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What

Shelf Fungi Order Polyporales

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 02:55 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 03:20 PM PST

Description

This rather intriguing purple "mold"(?) was growing on bark at the base of a tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus).

The flash brought out the color better...the color was more subtle-looking in the low light beneath the forest canopy.

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What

Polypody Ferns Genus Polypodium

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 12:42 PM PST

Description

Had to photograph this picturesque epiphytic Polypodium. I presumed in the field it was P. californicum...but checking the Jepson key I realized I can't really guarantee this isn't P. calirhiza or perhaps even P. glycyrrhiza. Maybe others viewers will be able to verify which species this is from the photo, location, & habitat?

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What

Redwood Sorrel Oxalis oregana

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 03:29 PM PST

Description

Lots of this was seen in leaf under the redwood understory (of course)...but at this early point in the season this was the only O. oregana flower seen.

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What

Western Jack-O'-Lantern Omphalotus olivascens

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 01:07 PM PST

Description

We saw a number of these on the hike...impressive!

Photos / Sounds

What

Milkcaps Genus Lactarius

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 12:38 PM PST

Description

According to the key on pg. 47 of "California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide" distinguishing Lactarius from Russula depends on whether the fruitbodies do or do not (resp.) exude latex (white, orange, or red) when cut across the gills. I can't see evidence of exudate in my photos, and we didn't check by making a small "slice" in the field.

Some companions on our walk opined this was Lactarius deliciosus, and iNat's automatic ID matching algorithm also suggested the same. But the description of L. deliciosus in "California Mushrooms" states the cap of is "convex to plano-convex" and is illustrated as substantially gray...whereas the cap here appears appreciably "concave-up" (umbella-like) and all brownish-orange (or "br-orange"? ;-).

So I'm just placing to Lactarius for now.

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What

Pacific Madrone Arbutus menziesii

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 02:54 PM PST

Description

Recently fallen madrone by the trail.

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What

Peak Rushrose Crocanthemum scoparium

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 02:40 PM PST

Description

I used to know this as Helianthemum scoparius (e.g. see here)...which really seemed like it should have been a name for a composite rather than a member of Cistaceae! But now that's somewhat moot, as it's had a name change (cf. here).

At this early time, only this one flower was found open...even though hundreds of these bushy plants were seen (most of which hadn't even leafed-out yet).

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What

Beaked Hazelnut Corylus cornuta

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 12:45 PM PST

Description

Male catkins of hazelnut plants in this area were much more common at this early point in the season than the much smaller (& graceful & beautiful!) red-stigmas of the female flowers...of which only a few were seen.

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What

Glossyleaf Manzanita Arctostaphylos sensitiva

Observer

arbonius

Date

February 4, 2020 01:19 PM PST

Description

Note the 4-lobed corolla...separating A. sensitiva and A. nummalaria from all other manzie species.

The Jepson eFlora key break between A. sensitiva and A. nummarlaria is based on old stem bark ("smooth & red" vs. "generally rough-shredding, gray or red-gray", resp.). I didn't photograph (or check) the old stem bark. But according to the key and descriptions, in the Santa Cruz Mountains only A. sensitiva is present.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rabbitfoot Grass Polypogon monspeliensis

Observer

arbonius

Date

January 28, 2020 09:13 PM PST

Description

This iNat post was prompted by a novel field-observation of strange glowing-green "clumps" initially seen among rocks along a small creek within coastal oak woodland during overcast-to-drizzling weather. The scene appears in the photo from Joerg's post shown below (click it to enlarge):

.

At first glance from a distance, these "clumps" looked like happy patches of moss. It was only after a member of our group (Edith) looked closer that she realized one of the "moss clumps" was actually attached to the end of a senescent grass culm!

None of us in the group had ever seen such a thing, but it appeared to be a dead grass culm whose dense, withered inflorescence had retained much of its seed which was now profusely sprouting in place at the end of the dead culm. Numerous other dead grass stems from last year were seen in the vicinity with similar terminal "false moss clumps".

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Rockbell Wahlenbergia marginata

Observer

arbonius

Date

September 25, 2019 04:11 PM PDT

Description

1st photo show habitus of a typical plant of Wahlenbergia marginata as found at this site...where plants were a bit taller and less densely-bushy then in some other curb-side stations I've seen in San Francisco.

2nd photo shows "zoomed-out" view relative to the 1st, giving a sense of the type of disturbed habitat...a cement and asphalt covered road median. The plant in the 1st photo appears at the junction of the hardscape cracks at center-right of the 2nd image.

The plant in the 3rd & 4th photos was pulled from the upper left corner of the lid for the utility box seen on the ground at bottom-center of the 2nd image. The plant was scraggly and somewhat disintegrated compared to many others present there, but that allowed for a less cluttered image showing structure of the stems. Plus the taproot was anchored in unusually pliant inter-crack soil, and I was able to remove a full 32 cm of it before the point where it broke from its very-narrowly tapered distal end.

Hand gives a visual scale, and the red clip-board gives an exact scale (also 32 cm...when the root was stretched straight it was virtually exactly as long as the clip-board!)

Photos / Sounds

What

Winged and Once-winged Insects Subclass Pterygota

Observer

arbonius

Date

September 16, 2019 11:28 AM PDT

Description

The 5 photos in this observation show larval pitfall traps from 3 sites within the "location circle" viewable by zooming-in on the accompanying map. For a sense of scale, my thumbnail appears in the 5th photo...it's 17 mm long. The pits varied between a few millimeters up to about 15 mm in diameter.

My best hypothesis is that the pitfall traps here were mostly made by "wormlions", i.e. diptera of the genus Vermileo. But some (perhaps many, or even all) may be pits of antlions (i.e. Neuroptera of the family Myrmeleontidae). Since I'm not sure, I placed these under the lowest rank taxon on iNat containing both of those taxa.

Note that sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll actually be able to see the linear outline of a Vermileo larva (covered in the surrounding dust) lying partially exposed across the bottom of the pit...as in Alice's observation here. An antlion, on the other hand, will often have it's narrower, minutely bristly, and apically somewhat curved jaws spread wide open (at almost 180°) and held perfectly still...waiting to snap at a hapless prey to fall in.

Or, if you happen to find an ant nearby, you can try to drop it in a pit and see if you can discern whether a worm-like larva attempts to stab and/or wrap around the ant's body or legs...vs. if instead a pair of antlion jaws starts snapping at the ant and then trying pull it backwards under the sand. In Alice's observation here you can see a portion of the wormlion's body wrapping around the leg at lower left of the full-size image (click that image to fully enlarge). But unfortunately I wasn't able to unequivocally tack down whether the occupants were worm- or ant-lions.

Note that two dead ladybird beetles can be seen on the ground in the first image. One of them was barely moving a leg when I first saw it. But I'm not sure if it had fallen into a pit and been injected with "venom" by the resident worm- or ant-lion...or whether it was already expiring on its own from "old age". It seemed rather large for the larval pit occupants to handle, and I saw other weak and dying lady-bird beetles elsewhere in the area far from pit traps.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Rim Lichens Genus Lecanora

Observer

arbonius

Date

May 8, 2018 06:30 PM PDT

Description

I've been fascinated for years by these gray to very pale pastel-green crustose lichens which often form patches and lateral bands on the trunks of Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) in frequently foggy parts of the CA Coast Ranges. (If you click the photo twice, the full-size image shows fairly good detail.) Sometimes the greenish-gray bands alternate with subtly mauve bands, and there are scattered black lichen "spots" [I don't know if the black spots are some sort of fruiting bodies or what...but they look very "disconnected" from one another, as if they're either erupting from beneath the gray-green and purplish thalli or produced by (or parasitic on?) them].

I initially noticed this "lichen pattern" on Coast Live Oaks, and presumed it constituted a coherent & consistent cluster of lichen species associated specifically with the bark of Quercus agrifolia. But I now think that was likely a neophyte's naive misconception...lichen are much more taxonomically diverse than I realized, and the nuances distinguishing taxa are quite subtle. I've since seen a similar "lichen pattern" on the bark of Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), and it may be present on other trees & shrubs. And there may be many other "lichen patterns" on Coast Live Oak that involve all sorts of combinations of species.

Photos / Sounds

What

Scorpionweeds Genus Phacelia

Observer

arbonius

Date

July 15, 2010 12:20 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

arbonius

Date

May 9, 2019 11:54 AM PDT

Description

Agrostis lacuna-vernalis?

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