This summer is the time for mushrooms in the western mountains. Mushrooms are growing everywhere due to the wet summer that the mountains had. While in Colorado in August, I saw several species (have not yet identified all the pictures that I took). I have never seen so many mushrooms in my life. Mushrooms were alsways relatively rare where I grew up in Arizona. The dry climate did not produce excellent mushroom conditions. Mushrooms were always something cool to see and we would always stop and look at the mushrooms if any grew on our property. In the Rockies this summer mushrooms were everywhere. Literally I could not walk far without seeing several and every place I hiked had numerous species (Amanitas spp., Boletas spp., puffball spp., etc.)
I also have a few pictures of Florida fungi.
I am fascinated by what parrots do to survive in this alien environment. I have noticed 2 tree species that have fruit that they often use as food. Ficus produces large quantities of reddish-orange fruits that many parrots species feed on. I have seen Whitie-winged and yellow-chevroned parakeets and a chestnut-fronted macaw feed on these fruits (but never Aratinga species). Florida black olive (Bucida buceras) produces a black seed pod that mitred, red-masked, and white-eyed parakeets feed on. I have seen these species feed on these pods on several occasions. However, I have only never seen them feeding on these seeds when it is rainy/overcast. I do not know the significance of the rainy weather, but it may be that the seeds are easier to crack when wet from the rain. Maybe the cooler, wet weather increases the parakeets' energy requirements, and seeds may be supplying the higher energy requirement. Florida black olives are common urban landscape trees and would provide a constant food supply. These seeds must be an important food supply because I have never seen these parakeet species stay still in a tree, except when feeding on black olive seeds. They seem to be the food of choice.
I went to the Everglades on Memorial Day to show a friend the 'Glades. She had never been before. Also I wanted to get some photos of a collegue's research sites. I wanted to capture the drastic break between hammock and pineland plant communities. Unfortunately the place I went did not have the drastic break that I was looking for. However, I took some nice pictures of the pinelands.
Fortunately the mosquitoes and hordes of biting insects were not yet out in force and weather was not unbearably humid and hot. With a little DEET and cold water to drink we were okay. I am sure we caught the tail end of the ideal 'Glades hiking season.
Not much to report as far as interesting animals, except that the Florida softshells were out in force. Several females were attempting to lay eggs. They had to cross the sidewalk to reach ideal nest substrate, but the continual passing of tourists on the sidewalk and the heat of the asphalt kept them at bay. Also I saw a spotted tilapia nest with 2 adults (I presume the parents) guarding the nest. About 200 eggs were laid on a piece of wood. I took a few pictures of some pretty little flowers (I do not know their names). Unfortunately it was not the ideal trip to take pictures of animals. First they were not out and about as they sometimes are and second I needed more time to take pictures.
I went to Fairchild for the first time this week. Red-headed agamas are living in the Madagascar succulent exhibit. I saw at least one adult male and few juveniles. They are the Agama agama africana subspecies.
(30 June 2007)
Corinthian finished last in an unexpected lackluster performance in the Suburban Handicap G1 at Belmont. More...
(21 May 2007)
Amazin Blue wins the Alberta Derby! More...
(21 May 2007)
Corinthian won the Met Mile G1. He is now a multiple graded stakes winner and 3 for 4 on the year. More...