Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Salt Point

OK, so Michael had his turn

He did a great job, but there was a little more to the day than just mushrooms. 

We woke to find another beautiful day staring us in the face and we were faced with a dilemma.  Laundry and house work or adventure.  Seriously, is that a real decision? 


Today's schoolwork, kids, is an examination of the geological and botanical features of the northern California coast in winter.  Note please, if you will, the evidence of erosion presented in Fig. A.

Fig. A
Please do take note of the remaining structures.  They are the strongest remnants of a long eroded coastline.  Watch these natural processes work.

Fig. B

Fig. C
With each wave an imperceptible amount of material is worn from the rocks and carried up to the dark sand beach or carried away in the sea.  During large storm events, pockets of softer material can be swiftly worn away, dramatically changing the coastline almost over night. Come, we must examine more closely.

Fig. 7

Fig. 9
Down closer to the natural process in question, attempt to discern an notable changes in the igneous rocks remaining behind.  Also, see if you can find any local fauna to categorize and report. Take note as well of the larger than average tidal fluctuations brought about by the King Tides.  Events such as this are a part of the natural ebb and flow of the cycle of life on the coast.

Fig. Purple

Fig. it out.

Fig. I'm done with this bit.
Enough study children.  You may engage in some frivolity in the back seat as we progress to our final destination. 

Yeah, it went just like that. 

Once we arrived at Salt Point State park, the education and exploration began in earnest.  The Sonoma County Mycological Society has meetups and mushroom forays here, so we figured we should check it out.  We certainly understand now why they do.  There were mushrooms everywhere. 

Free maps.  Now with bugs!
Found this intriguing specimen

Partial veil is transparent. like cellophane.

A big old cup of NOPE!

Oh yeah, it was pretty there.
King Max.

One of our favorite finds of the day, black trumpets.

Another favorite find, a cool tree circle.

The view up was cool.
Max said he was fishing.  Yup...fishing.
 Then, on the way back to the car, the light was just perfect for a moment.  We only got around 2 minutes of it and I struggled to get the best picture possible before it changed. 

Not bad, but too much belly.

Better, but not quite right.

There, now it's beautiful.
Alas, we farted around too much to spend more than about 45 minutes exploring the beginnings of the trail.  We found several good mushrooms for identification, as you could see in Michael's post.  I now know we need to get our early to go hunt for mushrooms in earnest. I hope I get to. 

Then, there was nothing left but to drive home.  Laundry will still be there tomorrow.

Mycol: another chantrelle? really?

Today we went to Salt Point. The car ride was.... you don't want to know.
Oh man. There were a lot of mushrooms. Chantrelles everywhere we're like: another one? They were not prized chantrelles or something. Not particularly delicious either BUT. We also found.... BLACK TRUMPETS. That was my find. Here's a pic:
we have not eaten any chantrelles. horn of plenty or other.
Oh yeah, we also found hundreds of other species. One looked like plastic! The normal chantrelles were small.
this one also had a "veil" it was completely transparent

blusher? yellow fly agaric?

a chanterelle that had two caps coooool

brown cap chanterelle
If you have any suggestions  about what these are, please leave them in the comments! Thanks.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Point Reyes

Had to get out of the house today.  It has been raining and flooding almost constantly for the past two weeks or so.  No complaints, I know how much this area needs the water.  But, when the weather reports says cloudy more so than rainy, it is time to get out and enjoy the mediocre weather!

Our expectations were pretty low.  Let's just get out of the house, maybe go for a drive and see the coast. 

Yeah, why bother getting outside?
The coast was beautiful.  We were headed out to Point Reyes National Seashore.  It is always fun to go find the very pointiest tip of land you can find and get there.  Mountain peaks work, so do peninsulas.  Heck, I'll walk out to the end of a dock just to get out on the pointy bit. Along the way we came across this view down to a beach where the surf was pounding like crazy.  The sign said South Beach, so we went.  It wasn't anything like the one in Miami.  This one was better.

The sea was angry that day my friend.

Ohhh, look a high dangerous place...let's go!

I love the salt spray streamers.
"Hey guys!  Want some kelp?"

Nah, I'll just throw stuff.

Michael was impressed with the waves

Beautiful family.

We kept seeing signs for the lighthouse.  That and it is on the high pretty place up over there.  So, of course we had to keep going. 

We drove up to the headlands and got out to walk around.  The lighthouse is closed on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  It was Thursday, so we settled for just walking around.  We saw this hawk hovering over a field in the 20 knot straight winds.  He hovered, adjusted, hovered and adjusted for quite a while.  This is when I kick myself.  ALWAYS BRING THE ZOOM LENS IDJIT!

Yup, would have been really cool zoomed in. 

He just hung out there, waiting for his closeup

Take my picture!

OK, so this one would have been worse with the zoom.

Not this one though.  sigh.
He hung around for one last shot

Fine, we will just walk down to the lighthouse.  SQUIRREL!  or more like, TREE!

Not THAT tree, too little...

Those trees.

The ones with built in kid seats.

Parakeet perch, he called it.

There are three deer in this picture.  Have fun!

Seriously?  To a lighthouse?
But lighthouses suck.
Not they don't Max!  Light houses are cool!  And you never know what what you might see on the way.  After all, I forgot to put the zoom lens in the backpack, so it is likely to be really cool!

Like maybe a peregrine falcon

Or a distant lighthouse!

You know what would make this lighthouse picture better?
A whale.
Stinkin' whale, so far away.

And you Mr. Falcon.  Just a little farther than I would like with this setup.
Seriously though, a whale and a peregrine falcon.  How cool is that?

A little more time to soak up the vibe of being at a high pointy place with a lighthouse and a whale and a slightly snobby peregrine falcon. 

Then it was back toward the car.  Oh yeah, and the trees.

My beautiful sweetie

And her monkey.

There are 5 deer and one people in this one.  :-)
So it just goes to show.  Some times it pays just to get out of the house.