Focus: Harbingers of the Rainy Season. Today I took a look at the early-emerging moisture-loving species of Roy's Redwoods. These organisms have been largely dormant through the warm, dry summer months here in Northern California, but some are beginning to show activity above ground level:
Fungi, including Hypholoma capnoides (Smoky-Gilled Hypholoma) and Pluteus exilis (Western Deer Mushroom;) The Yellow-Spotted Millipede ( Harpaphe haydeniana;) Two salamander species: Ensatina eschscholtzii and Taricha granulosa (Rough-Skinned Newt;) and Banana Slugs ( Ariolimax sp.) Hypholoma capnoides (Smoky-Gilled Hypholoma) cluster emerging on the east side of a fallen Coast Redwood ("Up & Over Log.") The partial veil is still intact, covering the gap between the cap margin and the stipe (stem.) Photographed 25 October 2018. Same cluster of H. capnoides, photographed 26 October 2018. The wispy partial veil is beginning to break. Mature & senescent P. exilis fruitbodies, growing on the same log as above at ground level. Photographed 25 October 2018. Pluteus exilis (Western Deer Mushroom) fruitbody emerging on a fallen peppernut/California laurel tree ("Big Woodpecker Log.") Photographed 25 October 2018. Same P. exilis fruitbody as above, photographed 26 October 2018. Taricha granulosa (Rough-Skinned Newt) out & about at the noon hour, on leaf litter near a group of peppernut logs ("Crossroads Log Pile.") Photographed 25 October 2018. T. granulosa in the same spot, same hour, on 26 October 2018. This appears to be the same individual I spotted yesterday, based on size, color, and habit (he retreated to the exact same spot under a particular log.) Going... ...going... ...gone. While it's not uncommon for T. granulosa to emerge in daylight hours during the rainy months, they do tend to retreat to cover when approached. Adult Ensatina eschscholtzii salamander, nestled into a cavity under a rotten log. Voids like this one - excavated & then abandoned by carpenter ants - offer both refuge & hunting grounds for salamanders. Photographed 26 October 2018. Large adult Banana Slug ( Ariolimax sp.) Photographed 26 October 2018. Mystery mushrooms found fruiting under a log in a creek bed. These are tiny - about 1 cm tall. Stipe is truly yellow - I double-checked with a loupe & flashlight to be sure. I can't seem to parse this one out; closest I can find in appearance is Mycena epipterygia (Yellowleg Bonnet,) but these seem far too small, caps too pale.
19 October 2018
27 October - 02 November 2018