Sorry for the radio silence, I guess I have a harder time posting in the winter. I spent Thanksgiving in Marin County and went into some open space. Click on the pic for a larger version.
There are lots of ranches and open vistas (great way to limit development and keep housing costs very high). This is one horse ranch in the Novato area.
The horses were so beautiful and friendly.
Some old oaks
This one was easily 300 years old, a black oak.
And a bay laurel, you can use the leaves as a spice, great for winter soups.
The hills roll on and on
And they are tall and steep
A California buckeye seed, they hang down on the tree after the foliage falls off in the late fall.
And on to the mushrooms, we had good rains before the holiday that brought out some of the usual characters.
Some shelf fungi
A turkey tail polypore, just in time for dinner (don’t eat this).
Some witches’ butter, I like the black kind better.
Oyster mushrooms that were about three weeks old, dried out and no longer edible. About five years ago this patch of forest had dozens of delicious oyster mushrooms, apparently after sudden oak death cleared out the area, as they like downed live oak logs in this area.
The cap of an amanita, not sure what kind, but likely not something you want to eat (many amanitas are deadly).
Can you see the mushrooms here?
This was the size of a dinner plate, poking its head out after the rains.
And the highlight of my trip, a California newt. Newt’s are the cutest of the amphibians, don’t you agree?
I almost walked into this guy, scary stuff, although not poisonous.