urbpan: (dandelion)
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I like the Massachusetts story of the heaviest flying bird in North America. It has gone from valuable food source to completely extirpathted from the state, reintroduced from other states, and is now a fearless suburban pest. Wild turkeys are hunted across the region, but they have adapted to rely on human food sources, and the protections that come with living in settled areas. There's no turkey season in the town center, or at the wildlife sanctuary where I took these photos.

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Imagine if the largest land mammal in North America had a similar story. Wood bison at your birdfeeder? Towering hornless rhinos nibbling at the tops of the maples and sycamores lining main street?
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Here we are, the May 2nd 2015 mushroom class! Let it be known that it was insanely dry and sunny out there. Old dry crispy Trichaptum biforme were the main mushrooms we found. It seemed like a lot of the participants were interested in going out under better conditions, and I hope they join Urban Nature Walk or the Boston Mycological Club to deepen their interest.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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When I was scouting out Drumlin Farm on Sunday morning, checking for mushroom hot spots, I came across this troop of giant birds. They were not very afraid of me. I held still, two of them walked right by me while the others cut through the woods to avoid me.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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We saw lots of mushrooms but I only brought home three photos. This one's scaly yellowish tops (not pictured), crowded brown gills, and habitat (growing from a dead hardwood) suggest Gymnopilus sp., but the lack of a distinct ring on the stem says otherwise. File as unknown.

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Colors look like Ganoderma lucidum complex, but matte finish texture is all wrong. File as unknown polypore.

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Coral mushrooms need microscopy to positively identify. Color, habitat (growing from deadwood), and degree of branching strongly suggest Artomyces pyxidatus.

We found a group of blewits, too--but instead of the expected purple they were a faintly pink buff color. All other field markings including odor and spore print fit perfectly.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Here's my four person mushroom class from this past weekend! I was surprised to have such a small group since this time of year is great for mushrooming, but small groups like this get to learn more. I like actually knowing their names and what their interested in, and staying together in one group rather than spread out so I have to repeat myself to the stragglers. Good, interested group!
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Hey it's my Fungi Field Walk group! Thanks for coming along everyone.
urbpan: (dandelion)
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I was frankly dreading today's Fungi Field Walk, because we're in the middle of a drought. I don't think it's rained in over 2 weeks. I expected to find maybe some polypores and perhaps some little forest mushrooms like this one--probably Dacryopinax spathularia.

Read more... )
urbpan: (dandelion)
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Here's the gang from the June 15th mushroom walk! Another great batch of folks who really were engaged and interested and asked questions that showed that they were listening to me and cared what I said. I hope they take me up on my offer to answer any lingering questions or attempt to id any mushrooms they get good pictures of. I know I at least have to address the question of what mushrooms are the most dangerous to dogs in the yard.

Read more... )
urbpan: (dandelion)
Okay youngsters (are there any young people left on LiveJournal?) "hook up" means getting a behind-the-scenes tour at a zoo, clean out your mind.

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Right away I got to see my old friend Orville, a turkey vulture who used to try to rip strips of flesh off of me despite me not being dead yet. He did not do that this day, maybe he's mellowing with age (he's got to be in his 50s now) maybe he's relaxed now that he has a partner. That white duck is one of these baby ducks! all grown up.

more! )
urbpan: (dandelion)
When we moved to our Dedham house, we left one room full of junk that we never took with us. Fortunately our beloved friend Alex has been living there all that time, and all that stuff sat there as it has, for three years. That doesn't seem like a lot of time, but when I went back recently and grabbed a few boxes I was surprised by what I found.

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I was vaguely aware that this photo existed, but had no idea where it was, if it was anywhere any more. This is from around 2003 when I was working at Drumlin Farm. The wildlife care staff was visiting a wildlife rehabber. We acquired most of our collection animals from rehabbers--animals that had been rescued from some man-made trauma and cared for well, but could not be safely released into the wild.

This is a fisher Martes pennanti cub. Very cute but kept biting my shirt and I had to pry his jaws open to get it back!
urbpan: (dandelion)
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*Alarm goes off*
Mushroom walk leader (casually) "I'm just going to take a picture of the path behind us..."

Read more... )
urbpan: (dandelion)
Snapshot hidden to protect the suddenly and surprisingly included in the snapshot project without proper notice )
Before the class I walked around looking for mushrooms--it had been extremely dry, and I wanted to make sure we were going to find some! I passed this guy on the path and we went our separate ways.
Also some mushrooms )
urbpan: (dandelion)
Last week I led the earliest and driest fungi field walk I've ever done. When I say dry, I don't mean that I wasn't scintillating and poetic in my presentation, I mean that it had been sunny and breezy for several days running, and the soil and leaf litter and dead wood was all dry as dust. Fungi need moisture to produce mushrooms, so most of what we found were old dry specimens, crispy relics from the previous fall. But I had the idea to look inside an old rotten straw bale and...

Coprinoid mushrooms! These were still intact within the wet innards of the bale.

Read more... )
urbpan: (dandelion)

On Saturday I went to Drumlin Farm to see Lawrence Millman talk about mushrooms, and then joined the guided mushroom walk.

It's been quite dry (I write this as Hurricane Sandy is ripping the trees out my window apart with 60 mph drizzle) so many of the mushrooms were dry like this withered Pholiota

Other mushrooms that were fresher tended to be very small and hidden amongst very wet rotten wood.

That includes these very very small discs of Mollisia cinerea.
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Behind the scenes at the zoo rides.

And five years ago today:

Behind the scenes at the Drumlin Farm bird cages.
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This past Saturday I went to a Winter Mushroom Walk and Talk at Drumlin Farm! It was led by Lawrence Millman, author of that mushroom guide I told you about back in September.

Read more... )
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Five years ago today I posted a bunch of beautiful pictures of snowy Drumlin Farm, while back in the city it was ugly and slushy. I should go back and ogle this sexy tree:

Speaking of those who I miss and am fond of (awkward!) I really miss my friend [livejournal.com profile] rockbalancer, and here she is with the dogs.
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Hard at work, I think.

Five years ago today I posted about having a pack of girl scouts help me move a whole bunch of brush and dead wood. Also I posted this picture:

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Five years ago today I posted a picture of the lower half of a Broad-winged hawk:


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