365 Nature – Day 335

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


It’s autumn and I’ve given up trying to avoid fungi. They’re simply everywhere, and so interesting that I just can’t walk by without stopping to look and take a photo. Over the last 300 plus days of this project, I’ve tried to focus on different things, but over the last month it seems fungi has taken over the days. True, I’ve written about and photographed mosses, slime molds and lichens, but it always seems to come back to fungi. To be honest though, why would I really want to avoid fungi?

Today was no exception. I set off determined to find something different, but within a few minutes I spotted a patch of white coral fungi. Earlier this autumn I found a beautiful patch of orange coral fungi on

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365 Nature – Day 333

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


After a little more than a week away, I was back in the arboretum for my walk. Things have changed little, the trees are a little more bare and the weather is a little cooler. But looking closer there are always signs of change. There are fewer freshly emerged mushrooms now and the fungi I did find were mostly in stages of decomposition. They all looked like they were melting slowly. I did find a few new mushrooms, one patch I spotted from the road as I dropped my daughter off at her forest preschool. I walked back to look at it and from a distance they looked like huge marshmallows. When I got closer, I changed my mind because the texture and cracks in the cap looked more…

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365 Nature – Day 322

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Although cool today it’s sunny and dry, unlike yesterday. After arriving at the arboretum this morning I headed north, towards Foster and Marsh Islands. Every time I walk there it’s different and recently, even more dramatically so. The construction of the new 520 bridge is now focused on the west end, which cuts right over Foster Island. The old bridge did too, but just above surface level with a walking underpass. The new bridge is next to the old, but up much higher and much wider, casting a huge shadow over the old wetland landscape. To build the new bridge, they erected a temporary bridge and the effect now is having to pass under three bridges to get across. It’s quite a noisy route with the traffic and construction…

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365 Nature – Day 319

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Over the last month I’ve been very focused on fungi, and at times it seems inevitable. Because I’ve noticed so many mushrooms, my eyes have become fungi radars and I can’t seem to not notice them. If they’re different, or particularly nice specimens, I have to stop and take a photos. This results in a disproportionate amount of fungi photos each day I go for walks.

Today was no exception. I immediately noticed three clusters of small brown mushrooms, which led me to discovering a rat skeleton next to them. It had been there awhile and many of the bones had been dispersed by mysterious means. But the skull was still there with the tail, which had surprisingly not rotted like the rest of the body. A very short distance…

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365 Nature – Day 313

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s record-breaking warm. Today is the sixth consecutive day of 60+ degree days, the first time in over 120 years that’s happened. Today is another record-breaking warm day. The sun is out and everyone is walking around in short sleeved shirts. As I walked through the arboretum, I looked for songbirds to photograph and I encountered many mixed flocks with chickadees, bushtits, nuthatches, creepers and kinglets. But every time I stopped to try and take photos, my eye would catch an interesting fungus on the ground and my camera would be drawn down instead of up.

The first I noticed was a cluster on the path, of pure white stalks sticking up out of the gravel. They looked like spikes with no caps on…

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365 Nature – Day 312

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re having a bit of a heat wave with temperatures into the 60’s. This is of course, higher than our average November temperatures, and I’ve noticed some things which may or may not be related. This morning I walked past the witch hazels in the winter garden at the arboretum and stopped to look at the flower buds. To my surprise, petals were already starting to emerge. I checked several different witch hazels and found buds, but no petals on a couple, but on others I noticed the buds splitting open and on one, an entire cluster of buds were fully open, thin, yellow petals displayed like fireworks. Later in the day I spotted a pair of tulips, in full bloom, under a tree….

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