Liking the Lichen

I went to Sunol Regional Wilderness one recent Sunday to see the wildflowers, and ended up being most fascinated by the lichen that grows on rocks and trees. To be sure, there were a good number of wildflowers (lupine, shooting stars, popcorn flowers, fiddleneck), and also some other exciting nature experiences (an unidentified newt on […]

Continue Reading

Mycology lessons at the SF Food Bank

[Updated below] When I volunteered at the San Francisco Food Bank with other food bloggers on Saturday (an outing organized by Amy and Sam), one of our tasks was to transfer oranges from huge crates to smaller boxes. As we moved the oranges, we ran across quite a few that had patches of white, green […]

Continue Reading

The End of the Bees

The kitchen window beehive is no more. The bees moved in to my kitchen wall space about 6 weeks ago, and built a significant piece of comb onto the wall of the house. They even started depositing some honey into the cells on the upper end of the structure (and perhaps in lower cells too, […]

Continue Reading

Oak Tree Galls

(Updated 10/2/16: fixed broken links, added ink drawing image. Updated 7/21/17: added link to KQED Deep Look video) The nodule on this valley oak tree (quercus lobata) is not an oversized acorn or fruit, but is an interesting case of parasitism. A wasp larvae induces the tree to make the nodule — called a gall […]

Continue Reading