Fall in Marin

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.P1050659

The horses were so beautiful and friendly.P1050660

Some old oaksP1050664P1050665

This one was easily 300 years old, a black oak.P1050667 

And a bay laurel, you can use the leaves as a spice, great for winter soups.P1050668 

The hills roll on and onP1050663

And they are tall and steepP1050662

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A California buckeye seed, they hang down on the tree after the foliage falls off in the late fall.P1050666

And on to the mushrooms, we had good rains before the holiday that brought out some of the usual characters.P1050669P1050670

Some shelf fungiP1050678

A turkey tail polypore, just in time for dinner (don’t eat this).P1050679

Some witches’ butter, I like the black kind better.P1050684 P1050685

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.

P1050687

The cap of an amanita, not sure what kind, but likely not something you want to eat (many amanitas are deadly).P1050697

Can you see the mushrooms here?P1050698

This was the size of a dinner plate, poking its head out after the rains.P1050702

And the highlight of my trip, a California newt. Newt’s are the cutest of the amphibians, don’t you agree?P1050712 P1050713

I almost walked into this guy, scary stuff, although not poisonous. P1050715

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