Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just sharing

Just some random photos ...

Very cute pink and green striped hat spotted on 8-24-08 Sac Audubon trip.
Unfortunately, the green doesn't show up in the photo.

Yummy-looking grapes from the same trip
Action shot of Goldfinch on 8-2-08 walk by the river.
These action shots allow you to really appreciate how amazing birds' bodies are.

Acorn Woodpecker spearing something with its bill, Folsom Lake, 7-26-08
Ta ta for now,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Continued Blessings of the Basidiomycetes

Geez! My friend's husband found a FOURTH stinkhorn (my other posts are here and here) in the mulch in their front yard. The mulch in question gets some water from their neighbor's yard, and I assume that this moisture helps. This morning's stinkhorn was very "fresh" -- bright pink and it had white stuff on top (how phallic is that!?). They seem to be fairly ephemeral -- their turgidness and smell don't last long.

According to, "
Traditionally, two families of stinkhorns were recognized. The Phallaceae held stinkhorns with unbranched stems, including species of Mutinus, Phallus, and Dictyophora (now synonymized with Phallus), among others. The Clathraceae included stinkhorns with branched stems and those with funky, latticed structures--including Clathrus, Lysurus, Colus, Laterna, and others." The Mushroom Expert also says, "In some parts of the world--not my part, mind you--stinkhorn eggs are considered delicacies, and are eaten with relish (the emotional kind). To my knowledge, no stinkhorn is known to be poisonous--and I have heard from several morel hunters who actually cooked and enjoyed mature stinkhorns, thinking they were July morels. But I do not recommend you eat them--mostly because the idea seems too disgusting, but also because, given the spore-dispersal strategy outlined above, a mature, slime-covered stinkhorn may be unsanitary. A further consideration may be the various chemicals often associated with urban soil and woodchips."

On a side note, doe-c-doe provided this nice embroidery pattern (scroll down to the end of her post) that includes mushrooms, a snail, insects, and plants.

Ta ta for now,

Monday, August 25, 2008

Albino Raven and Noctilucent Clouds

Some neat photos:

  • Albino Raven (thanks to my husband for sharing the link). Note that the site says, "It appears this Raven family has two Albino fledglings and three black ones."
  • Noctilucent or "night-shining" clouds on NASA's Web site. "Noctilucent" is a very cool-sounding word, isn't it? The actual clouds are awesome, as well. I read the article, and their exact cause appears to be a mystery.
Coming soon: Sylvie's kitchen disaster.

Good night,

Stinkhorn, Part Deux

My friend found more stinkhorns in her front yard yesterday!! WOW!! Here are a couple of versions of her photo:

She said that they smell a bit like dirty socks.

According to
Stinkhorns occur "naturally" in North America, especially in subtropical and tropical regions--but some stinkhorn fruitings in temperate and north-temperate climates may be caused by human endeavors, resulting from the transportation of soil, sod, wood chips, trees, and so on.


The method the stinkhorns use to disperse spores is quite ingenious, though a little disgusting to human sensibilities. The foul-smelling slime is calculated to attract flies and other insects, who land on the slime and gobble it up. Little do the insects know that they have been duped into covering their little insect feet with stinkhorn spores, and have ingested spores into their digestive tracts! Later, these spores are dispersed by the unwitting insects, and the stinkhorn life-cycle continues elsewhere.

I think that's how she first found the stinkhorn -- she saw a gathering of flies.

All hail the mighty stinkhorn!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Knitted cuff bracelet

I made this bracelet last night and wore it today with a ring that I got from Target. I really like it. I used size 6 needles and Patons Grace 100% mercerized cotton yarn in Spearmint. I cast on six stitches, knit until it was the right length, and added a button. I did not make a buttonhole -- the yarn stretched around the button well -- but perhaps I will next time

Good night,

Thursday, August 14, 2008


My friend found a stinkhorn mushroom in her front yard the other day! Here is her photo:
She was digging in the mulch, and there it was all phallic and smelly and covered with flies. She didn't know what it was at first, but she did a some research and found out. She did not get a photo until a few days later when the stinkhorn was, as she described it, "unfortunately, dried and shriveled and a non-stinky shadow of its former self, as we all shall be someday."

This is truly a great fungus sighting. It seems so exotic! It makes me want to dig in the leaf debris in my backyard. Check out The Stinkhorn Hall of Fame.

By the way, I think that this is my 100th post. I'm glad that I had something cool to share for it.

Good night,

Thursday, August 7, 2008

David Sedaris

Today, my friend and I bought tickets to see David Sedaris speak. We're taking our husbands, and a fun time should be had by all. My husband and I are currently reading (meaning it's the book that I read to him in bed each night) When You Are Engulfed in Flames.

Not Martha provided a link to The Stranger's entire interview with David Sedaris.

Ta ta for now,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Because you wanted to know

Remember my photos of the Clodius Parnassian from our trip to Loney Meadow? Well, it looks like it was a mated female . According to the Web site of the Idaho Museum of Natural History, "Females, if they have mated, have a white pouch (called a sphragis) at the tip of the abdomen. Placed there by the male, it contains the sperm and important nutrients and prevents the female from mating again." Hers was pink, not white, but what else could it have been? According to what I've gathered from the internet, which would never lie :-) "sphragis" is Greek for "seal" or "seal-stone" -- something that you would use to stamp your wax seal on something.

Ta ta for now,