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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Some Fungi from "Down the Hill" (Ramona), Following our Rains

We have been getting some decent rain lately, maybe even the beginnings of the "El Nino".

Last Monday I made a little trip down to Dos Picos County Park (now called Dos Picos Regional Park) in Ramona, about 45 minutes west of Julian and our home in the Cuyamaca Mountains.

There were not a lot of "big" mushrooms, but still some nice photogenic fungi:

Probably Psathyrella conopilus (with a little unidentified friend).

These little mushrooms were growing on a small branch in the chaparral. They were about 10 mm tall.

A tiny shelf-like fungus, about 15 mm wide.

More tiny ones. The largest is about 15 mm wide.

The lichen was growing luxuriously all over branches in the chaparral, enjoying the recent rain.

An owl pellet, soaked by rain, with a good-sized skull in it.

An Interesting Scorpion...IN the House

On the morning of December 2nd, one of the cats was trying hard to tell us something but we were not quite getting it. Then I walked out into the hallway between our guest room and study and saw something odd along the edge of the base of the railing. It was clearly a small scorpion, dark in color. The cats wisely did not try to engage it. I quickly captured it and placed it in a container for further study. Unfortunately it was a Wednesday morning and I had to rush out the door to get down to Mesa College to teach a class and did not have time to do more than quickly post the image of it in the hallway to the web, in hopes of an identification. Kari McWest helped tremendously, and narrowed it to the genus Kovarikia and then later to K. williamsi, a species that is seldom-photographed alive.

On Friday, finally free from my intense mid-to-late-week schedule, I was able to do a photo shoot of the scorpion, then let it go to the natural habitat surrounding the house.

Here are the images:

The first view of the scorpion in the hallway. We speculated that it might have been carried in on firewood.