Creps

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Members of the Crepidotus genus are shelf-like gilled mushrooms that superficially resemble oyster mushrooms, but are much smaller than oyster mushrooms and have brown rather than white spores. Creps are round or kidney shaped in outline and have no stalk … Continue reading

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Piliated Woodpecker Drinking

This gallery contains 4 photos.

After years of trying, I was delighted to finally photograph piliated woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) along the Pacific Crest Trail near Burney Falls in Shasta County CA. (See “Piliated Woodpecker” 08-15-14 and “Piliated Woodpecker Continued” 08-18-14) Now that I know where … Continue reading

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Tall Eriogonum

This gallery contains 8 photos.

Tall eriogonum (Eriogonum elatum) is a desert buckwheat that on first glance closely resembles nude buckwheat (see “Nude Buckwheat” 06-21-12). One of the main differences can be seen in the basal leaf rosettes. Nude buckwheat has oval leaves with long … Continue reading

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Hammock Spider

This gallery contains 4 photos.

While photographing wet rot (“Wet Rot” 11-14-14) on a Douglas fir log, I noticed a hammock spider wandering about on the same log. The spider was rather cooperative so I was also able to photograph this little arachnid. I believe … Continue reading

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Wet Rot

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Fungi, along with bacteria, are nature’s “recyclers”,  playing a vital role in the ecosystem by reducing complex organic matter into simple compounds which can then re-enter the food chain. These organisms, neither a true plant or true animal, fall into … Continue reading

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Ruffled Freckle Pelt

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Lichen are composite organisms consisting of a fungus living together in a symbiotic relationship with a photosynthetic partner – green algae, cyanobacteria or both. The photosynthetic partner (photobiont) provides food for the fungus (mycobiont), which in return provides protection from … Continue reading

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Shy Visitor

Hermit Thrush

Shy Visitor

Rarely a migrating hermit ( Catharus guttatus) thrush will stop in our yard (Lookout, Modoc County CA) for a few days before moving on. In March of 2012 we saw a hermit thrush in our cottonwoods. The morning was very cold with snow on the ground. The thrush was not active and I was able to photograph it. (See “Hermit Thrush” 03-20-2012)

Another hermit thrush recently spent several days foraging in our yard. True to its common name, this bird was very shy and retiring. For a week I tried to photograph the thrush with no success. I could watch the hermit thrush from inside the house as it hopped and scraped in the leaf litter looking for insects. As soon as I stepped outside the thrush flew off. I camouflaged myself and sat quietly near where the thrush was feeding and it would not appear , but returned to feed before I was barely back into the house. This cat and mouse game went on for days before the hermit thrush disappeared.

Hermit thrushes are short distance migrators that  summer throughout most of Canada, Western United States, the Great Lakes region and Northeast United States and winter near the West Coast and  in the Southern States and parts of Mexico. Our visitor was probably on its way to a warmer climate for the winter.

After spending so many fruitless hours stalking the hermit thrush I am determined to post a picture of this elusive visitor, even though it is a poor picture taken at an angle through a double pane window.

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