We led those five brave hikers into the park in the rain, past the fungi, insect, bird and botany teams, and into a forest. Many of the Monterey pines had foam streaming down their trunks in the rain which formed frothy piles at the base of each tree. I've seen this phenomenon before but never with so many trees.
"Sometimes trees foam in the rain," I blandly explained between raindrops. "People often assume that means there is pollution, but maybe not. Chemicals are made in nature as well as in a lab. Since we've been in a drought for so long, maybe this big rain is washing all kinds of particles off the bark and that is making the rainwater bubbly."
|Flowers of the a nightshade will develop into berries, some of which are toxic to humans but still may be edible to wildlife which then spread the seed through their scat.|
"There's probably deer hunkered down in that patch right now," I pointed with a dripping finger.
|The backside of the heart-shaped petals of the Hickman's cinquefoil on the sunny Friday.|
|Overlapping leaflets on the Hickman's cinquefoil help distinguish this rare plant from several other small common plants in the coastal prairie when flowers are not present.|
|Suncups, another cheerful yellow low flower of the coastal hills but the petals are not heart-shaped as with the Hickman's cinquefoil.|
One thing I learned from comments on iNaturalist is to get photos also of the underside of mushrooms to help in identification.
|Although not totally unexpected, we were all excited on Saturday morning when Susie Bennett, National Park Service Natural Resource Management Specialist, showed us this photo she got on a wildlife camera at Rancho Corral de Tierra for the bioblitz inventory. (Photo by Susie Bennett and used under Creative Commons permission for noncommercial use. More info on original sighting at iNaturalist here.)|
- 9950 observations
- 1427 species
- over 80 new species added to the parks' species list including a primitive freshwater sponge
- 15 rare species including a new location for the Kings Mountain manzanita
- Young mountain lion captured on a wildlife camera
- approx. 9000 people participated including 2,700 school kids and 320 scientists
The ninth annual National Park Service bioblitz will be at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on May 15 and 16, 2015. I plan on going even though I don't know very much about Hawaii's plants and animals, especially since I've never been to Hawaii. So I will be the kid with the notebook and the questions because curiosity and fascination with the natural world knows no age, and I will bring my rain gear and an extra waterproof notebook to give away.
|I'm still drying out my rain gear and plant books but it was worth it.|
Monterey pine, Pinus radiata
Red elderberry, Sambucus racemosa
California coffeeberry, Rhamnus californica
Oso berry, Oemleria cerasiformis
Poison oak, Toxicodendron diversilobum
Snowberry, Symphoricarpos sp.
Toyon, Heteromeles arbutifolia
Beach strawberry, Fragaria chiloensis
Flowering currant, Ribes sp.
Nightshade, Solanum sp.
Coyote brush, Baccharis pilularis
Suncup, Taraxia ovata
Jubata grass, Cortaderia jubata
Purple needlegrass, Stipa pulchra
Hickman's cinquefoil, Potentilla hickmanii
Kings Mountain manzanita, Arctostaphylos regismontana
Ensatina, Ensatina eschscholtzii
California slender salamander, Batrachoseps attenuatus
Climbing salamander, Aneides sp.
Robert C. Stebbins and Samuel M.McGinnis. 2012. Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of California. Revised Edition.
Vermont State Park explains foam on trees