Sunday, November 20, 2011
|Eastern Speckled Shield Lichen - Punctelia bolliana|
- bluish-grey thallus
- growing on the bark of deciduous trees
- rather large brown apothecia (first picture below)
- brown to black dots (pycnidia) on the thallus surface (see second picture below)
- white, grainy spots (pseudocyphellae) on the thallus surface (see third picture below)
- whitish to tan underside with pale rhizines
- K + on the cortext (I got a greenish-yellow color)
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Sherburne History Center, the two cemeteries are very close together. Down the road from Orrock Cemetery I notice a little sign for another cemetery. The sign read Gronnerud Cemetery, along with mentioning a scout troop and the Sherburne County Historical Society. I got out of the car and followed a barely noticeable trail into the scrubby woods until I came across two gravestones. They were from the late 1800s, but were apparently tended for with a little bench and some flowers and were fenced in with a chain link fence, the fenced in area being about 5' x 5' (though a big tree had recently fallen on the fence). I wondered if this was the Two Stone Cemetery? Perhaps more importantly, it made me stop and contemplate the history of the two places I had just visited, in the sense of the stories of the people buried there, and of the natural history and how the two might possibly have intertwined.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I'm not sure why I picked this specimen of G. frondulosa (I picked it in September), it was already quite dried up and not edible. I suppose it was the dry fall we've had and the general lack of fungus; I needed something to satisfy my myco-curiosity. I think in this case it paid off.
Speaking of dried fungus, curiosity and pay offs, I once tried drying some Giant Puffball slices in the oven to see if I could make "Puffball Chips" (my own uniformed idea, since I've later learned that Giant Puffballs become leathery with drying). The odor of the puffballs drying in the oven was intense and filled the entire house quickly. My wife, Sara, was pregnant with our second daughter Adele, and the smell made her sick. The experiment was quickly ended and the windows were promptly opened. Anyway, I brought this Hen of the Woods with the cicada exoskeleton home and kept it inside, but not for long; it had the same overpowering odor, and it quickly went outside until I got my camera out to take the above picture (after which it went into the compost bin).
Saturday, November 5, 2011
For a little more information and thoughts about these moths, visit three of my older posts: Bruce Spanworm Moth, Fall Cankerworm Moth, and Linden Looper Moth.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
A picture taken looking down (while balanced on my bark-shimmed log). These conks were just little white nubs when I first started watching in March.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
|Bruce Spanworm - Operophtera bruceata|
This is the third species of moth to show up on the garage at Westwood Hills Nature Center late in the fall. It's another cold weather specialist, like the Fall Cankerworm Moth and the Linden Looper Moth, both featured in previous posts. And like those other two species of moth, the females of the Bruce Spanworm are flightless. Presumably the reason for flightless females is a trade off; being able to fly in cold weather for an insect takes a lot of energy and producing eggs takes a lot of energy, so something had to give, so to speak.
By the way the counts were anywhere from 30 moths to 100 (total of all three species). I think there were probably about 60 moths, the most yet this fall.