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GeneralThe Nature Thread part 3

27th Feb 2020 14:16 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

I am following what Jolyon had talked about, when threads get too long with photos, better to start a new version.  The older threads are still there but this one will be easier to view all the photos.  Love this thread.
In our yard in SE Arizona we have violets blooming a lot so Spring is here for us.  

28th Feb 2020 13:05 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

in the 1970's and 80's I traveled in Mexico on the Baja a lot and south of Mulege was a wonderful sand dune and a beetle had crossed it during the night.

28th Feb 2020 13:08 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Another track on the same beach and following it I was able to find the patch-nosed snake that made the track.

28th Feb 2020 13:35 GMTPaul Brandes Manager

Was it after the beetle?? ;-)

4th Mar 2020 13:25 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

Hi Paul,
Been offline on my computer so finally got back on today.
No, don't think it was after the beetle, different part of the dunes but I did follow the snake track since it was easy to see it was crawling away from where I took the photo and found it under a small bush, about to crawl into a rodent hole.

28th Feb 2020 13:10 GMTRolf Luetcke Expert

This is a hairstreak butterfly feeding on flowers.  
I was looking for a particular photo and hence the photos from my old Baja trips.

2nd Mar 2020 05:14 GMTMatt Ciranni


Trinity Ridge/Dismal Swamp area, Idaho.

Some kind of weird death sponge mushroom thing.  Strangest looking mushroom I've ever seen.  I met this guy who claimed these things were actually edible?!?  Uhh, Im not sure I'd want to test that, but anyway... This area is better known for smoky quartz crystals.  Lets just say that, if I'd actually found any on this trip, I'd have posted a picture of one of those instead. 

2nd Mar 2020 06:41 GMTBernadette G

It's a black morel.  And oh yes it is edible.  More than just edible actually, it's a delicacy! 
It likes cold, wet winters and loves to grow in areas that have experienced recent burns. 

2nd Mar 2020 11:34 GMTEddy Vervloet Expert

Bernadette is right, a delicacy indeed!
Unlike mine, Clathrus archeri.
A species thought to have come to Europe with Australian soldiers during WW1.
In my garden, I would prefer the morel! :-)

2nd Mar 2020 13:16 GMTPaul Brandes Manager

IF that truly is a black morel, they are a delicacy. However, there is also a "false morel" that while they look the same from the top, are different around the base and are deadly. Also, if a morel, look around for more as they tend to form in groups and return to nearly the same spot year after year.

2nd Mar 2020 14:54 GMTBernadette G

Yes, there are the Gyromitras, or false morels. 
With just a bit of experience though, they're easily spotted as such. Real morel caps alike re covered in pitted honeycomb shapes, while Gyromitra caps have folds.

But when in doubt, luckily, they're easily identified before cooking. Just slice them open. 
Real morels will be hollow, from the very top of the mushroom through the stem, while Gyromitras are filled with messy fibrous growth, leaving only small cavities here and there.

5th Mar 2020 15:06 GMTKyle Bayliff

This may not be news to some of you, but I recently discovered a website called inaturalist.org that is a joint venture of the National Geographic Society and the California Academy of Sciences. For the nature lovers on this thread it's worth checking out. It's kind of like a mindat-style database, but for living things. There's options to contribute photos and observations under different creative commons licenses, too depending how strict you want to be with your sharing. Many of the photos here would be welcome additions, I think.

1st Apr 2020 14:59 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

Doing a lot of walking in our area, since it is open with no neighbors and looking at wildflowers.  This Smooth Threadleaf Ragwort was in full bloom on our place in SE Arizona.

1st Apr 2020 15:00 BSTRolf Luetcke Expert

This one is the Texas Toadflax that is in full bloom on our place in SE Arizona.
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