Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Basic Birding Skills for Oak Ambassadors and Docents

These are great Oak Ambassador training resources from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology:

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hikin' and likin' LATO trail lichens!

The January 29,2016 Oak Ambassador fungi and lichens training hike bunch with our guide Dennis Sheridan

The previous post features photos and notes about the fungi we found. Here are photos of the lichens we discovered. February 7,2016 - Notes coming...check back soon. Enjoy! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Getting to know LATO trail fungi

The photos shown here were taken by Katrina Sharon during our January 29,2016 Oak Ambassador fungi and lichens training hike with our favorite fun-guy guide Dennis Sheridan. A word of caution: Do not ever eat a mushroom unless you're absolutely sure of its identity. Dennis shared that there are about 400,000 different kinds of mushrooms worldwide; roughly 10% are edible, 5% are poisonous. The ones in between? Not too tasty but not poisonous. Never touch, sniff or eat mushrooms unless you have expertise in mycology or you are guided by someone who does.

Updated February 7,2016
The January 29,2016 Oak Ambassador fungi and lichens training hike bunch with our guide Dennis Sheridan

Western Jack O'Lantern mushroom at the base of the old twisted valley oak trunk. This interesting mushroom is poisonous - do not confuse this with the chanterelle mushrooms! - and has the unusual ability to glow in the dark due to its bioluminescent spores.

We found many of these small, delicate Mycena sp. mushrooms along the first leg of the oak trail.
This mushroom and the one below belong to the Genus Lepiota. Beware, many members of this genus are highly poisonous. 

What a beauty! This colorful mushroom is a member of the Genus Boletus. Notice in the photo below that it has pores instead of gills. 

Rubbing the pores of this Boletes mushroom causes an instant color change from tannish orange to blue.
More picture of Boletes

This black beauty is an unknown fungus. Dennis reminded us that in science it's okay to say, "I don't know." We can use our best science sleuthing skills to try to find out.

Take a look and you'll see why these are called Turkey Tails!

This is Helvella lacunosa, or Black Elfin Saddle fungus.

Another picture of the Western Jack O'Lantern mushroom.

Agaricus campestris, the meadow mushroom, found along the Learning Among the Oaks trail.

See those tiny white droplets in these photos? This is a Lactarius sp., named for the milky latex exuded by the gills.

More pictures of the Meadow Mushroom

More turkey tails on an oak stump