Ochrolechia Investigations

Clear skies continued overnight, with chilly temperatures this morning.

By the time I went out for a brief walk this afternoon, it was significantly warmer, but I could still feel a chill in the air where I walked through shaded locations and when the the wind blew.

I only had limited time and had two objectives, see what Ochrolechia I could find, and look for Pseudoplectania nigrella – which I’ve found several times before this time of year on a long stranded drift between the science center and park.

I found three patches which I decided to document on a mountain ash growing along Lincoln Street between Finn Alley and Barlow Street. After walking away, I kind of wished I had taken pictures of the fresh marks where I had cut off the lichen (but not enough to go back). I though it might be interesting to document how the scars change over time.

It was distinctively calm near shore when I walked by Sage Beach and the tide was not fully up.

I did not find any of the fungus I was looking for on the drift log, but it may be worth looking again in a couple of weeks (given how cool it’s been this winter).

I stopped by a large alder on Jeff Davis street, one I had collected from in 2017. I was interested to see the scars from my collections at the time were still visible, with no lichens yet colonizing them.

I found three more patches (including the one documented in the observation linked above), and in the next couple of days hope to do the chemical test (with bleach) and check the apothecia to see if I can come up with a reasonable identification for each.

Juncos were singing this morning, I could also hear them throughout much of my walk.

A small group of 8 crows was behaving somewhat strangely (at least it seemed so to me) when I came by the science center on my way home. I had noticed them when I was closer to the park, I almost had the impression they might be mobbing something (and maybe they were). They had flown out of sight, but seemed to be in a tree when I had walked further along. I watched them occasionally cawing. Then one, flew from its perch to a higher one. Two or three others did the same. Finally one flew off in a way that seemed sudden, with the others appearing to be in hot pursuit, but that only lasted for a few moments and then they seemed to fly off together as a small flock.

Sunset this evening was quite pink based on what I could see of it from the house. (Had it been a couple weeks earlier in the year I would no doubt have been down at the bridge to watch for a green flash. With all the clouds, green flash chasing season was not very active after early January this year.)

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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