Raven Radio Show #85 – Kate Mohatt

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The 26 July show featured a conversation with Kate Mohatt. Kate is works with the USFS on the Chugagch National forest and was in town last fall to give a talk on mushrooms as part of the Natural History Seminar Series. She also led a mushroom walk on Saturday morning. I recorded the conversation with her at that time, and now that the fall season has rolled around again and mushrooms have started coming out in bigger numbers, thought it would be a good time to play this conversation on the air.

If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the page I’ve set up for that purpose.

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Leaf Mine in Foamflower Leaf

Over the 2+ weeks since I last wrote, I’ve been keeping busy with some new work (part time, work from home) that I’m getting up to speed with. Fortunately the weather has been a little less compelling, with quite a bit of rain, so I’ve not felt too bad about my time inside. I did make it up Mt. Edgecumbe, up around Blue Lake (including a trip to see the upper end of the flooded forest), and multiple trips to the park (where shorebirds have been showing up on their southbound journey).

Earlier this week I picked about a quart of cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus), but my container was full and I was getting tired, so I didn’t pick all that I found. With my kids returning and my dad arriving with them a couple of days ago and some sunshine today, I suggested we go pick more of the berries this afternoon. We tried a couple of different places. The first was a place I had previously found berries and thought there might be some, but it seemed like this year might have not been a good one there, as we did not find many. The second place was where I had picked previously. Between the two places we ended up with a second quart. That’s a a pretty good bunch for around Sitka, but one time I talked to someone who had gone home (to western Alaska) for berry camp, and they picked 80 gallons over a week or two. In hindsight I wish I had taken some pictures of the berries (both in place, and perhaps as I picked them), but that seems to be the way it goes with things that are relatively accessible. It’s easy to just assume I have good photos, but all too often it turns out that I’m neglecting a species.

The weather yesterday was quite wet, but this morning the skies were only partly cloudy. Throughout the day, it was probably mostly cloudy, but we didn’t see any rain until later this afternoon. Unfortunately that was around the time we went out to pick berries, so we got a little bit wet (although we missed the worst of it). It was a pretty good extended shower, but within an hour or so, the clouds were breaking up and the rest of the evening was nicely sunny.

Today’s photos are of foamflower (Tiarella trifoliata) leaves that I collected a couple of days ago along Indian River trail. They’re the first I’ve noticed in that species with leaf mines, and fortunately I seem to have captured the pupa, so I have some hope of seeing an adult and learning (at least partially) what made the mines.

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Raven Radio Show #84 – Marge Ward

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The 19 July show was a fill in for the regularly scheduled program on KCAW. I pulled a conversation from the archive and this show features a fuller version of my conversation with Marge Ward that I originally played clips from for on show #13 back in October 2012.

If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the page I’ve set up for that purpose.

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Raven Radio Show #83 – Richard Nelson

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The 12 July show featured a conversation with Richard Nelson. He shared several recordings and stories from his many trips Australia.

If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the page I’ve set up for that purpose.

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A Quick Note

I wanted to write at least a quick note since it’s already been the better part of a week since I last posted. I enjoy having a record to look back on, but I’ve found if I don’t mark it as it happens, much is lost, even if I leave myself a couple of reminder notes. I will have some posts to back date (which reminds me, if you’re interested in seeing those, it’s probably worth signing up for the e-mail notifications which you can do in the sidebar – then, no matter how far back I’ve backdated the post, you’ll get a notification of it) as I took advantage of some nice weather and was able to get up Indian River, part way up Verstovia, out to Middle Island, and then up Starrigavan Ridge. The only day I didn’t do too much was the Fourth of July (though I was recovering from the late night on Verstovia trail in that case). From each of those days I have from several to a couple of hundred photos to process, but I’m not sure when I will manage to get through them (perhaps if we get a stretch of less compelling weather).

Today it started out mostly cloudy, then got to be mostly sunny before the clouds moved in and this evening it is overcast. I was a little bummed that I didn’t get to take a picture of some pretty classic lenticular clouds behind Bear and Cross Mountains. I thought I would be able to see them better from Silver Bay so drove out the road to get pictures, but had not realized how far behind the mountains the clouds actually were, so the mountains blocked the view of the clouds. By the time I got back into town in a place where I would have the right perspective, a layer of stratus had moved in enough to obscure them.

Yesterday I picked about a quart of strawberries – the warm weather combined with my busy schedule had finally left enough ripe that I wasn’t quite so tempted to just eat them as I found them. Fortunately the slugs haven’t gotten into too many of them, though I did find a couple that were partially eaten. The slugs I found I gave to the chickens, who seem happy to eat them. I hope I’m not being set up for future unment expectations with respect to slugs and strawberries. It’s been a pretty warm and dry year, and I imagine that has helped keep the slug population in check. I sort of think it might help that I don’t have a lot of nearby vegetation that slugs like to eat as well, so it’s kind of a long trek for them to get to the berries from where their more regular food is.

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Empty Nest

We had some pretty good rain today, and a bit of wind as well. I spent most of my day on calls and working on getting up to speed on some new work I am doing, but with the wet weather, I wasn’t too disappointed to be dry. Temperatures were in the 50s, and what time I did spend outside it seemed reasonably pleasant.

The taller fireweed growing near one corner of the house fell over, presumably the added weight of wet leaves combined with wind (and maybe softening of the stem due to water?) contributed. The tallest reached up to the gutters, so I’m thinking it was at least 8 feet tall.

The Tree Swallows finished leaving the nest sometime this morning. I saw one flying up to the nestbox between 9 and 10am, but didn’t have time to step out and look. By the time I was done with a call around noon, they were all gone. I don’t remember when the female started laying eggs, but they were definitely working on the nest consistently in mid-May, so I think sometime after that.

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