Thursday 21 February 2019

Thursday Tidbits

School was cancelled today, so I went out on a hike to enjoy the nice weather. My destination of choice for today was Fanshawe Lake in London. 

My main focus today was plants, but found a couple other things as well. Lots of migrant Horned Larks today, as well as a Pileated Woodpecker. Found this friendly little Striped Skunk, apparently unconcerned with me being less than 10 feet away. 

I am a newbie to winter tree ID, but here are a couple that I have been able to identify. I must say, it seems tricky (and is), but I could see how this could become addicting... 

Boxelder Maple (Acer negundo)

Butternut (Juglans cinerea)

Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

Basswood (Tilia americana)

Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)

Eastern Hop-Hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)
I enjoy the challenge of mosses as well. Found a few species today.

Atrichum sp.

Sword Moss (Callicladium haldanianum)

Delicate Fern Moss (Thuidium delicatulum)
I am a person who is easily distracted, and today was no exception. I, of course, had to stop and look at some fungi and lichens!

Exidia recisa

Phomopsis sp.

Stump Puffball (Lycoperdon pyriforme)

Candelariella sp. (likely C. aurella)

Ceramic Parchment (Xylobolus frustulatus)

Splitgill Mushroom (Schizophyllum commune)

A few miscellaneous finds...

American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens)

Red Bartsia (Odontites vernus)

Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum)

Unidentified tree disease (?)
A fun afternoon out, and got a good hike. Seems like a good place to visit in the future!

Oh, and just for fun, I'll make my prediction that the first Red-winged Blackbird of the season for the pond down my street will show up either tomorrow or Saturday. If I average out my spring arrival dates for that location, I get February 22, which, low and behold, is tomorrow. It is supposed to be warm the next few days, so maybe that'll give them a little extra push.