Botany Outing Report: Little River, Sept. 11, 2017

Greetings Botanists,

For those who did not attend the September CVN General Meeting, here is Helen’s report on the Botany Group Walk that took place on September 11th.

“ It was a great day for the Botany walk, and those who joined Robbie and me were Isabella, Ruth, Fran, Diane, Karen, Betty, and Sharon.  We walked around the ponds, then crossed the bridge to the meadow along the Little River, took the beach access, and walked the beach to Little River Beach, where we had lunch at a picnic table, courtesy of BC Ferries, then walked back along the Little River behind the Maintenance yard, back over the bridge, and returned to our vehicles.

   

Plants still flowering included Artemisia campestris, northern wormwood;  Madia glomerata, clustered tarweed; Leontodon saxatilis, hairy hawkbit;  Orobanche californica, California broomrape;  Polygonum spergulariiforme,spurry knotweed;  and along the beach,  Cakile edentula, American searocket;  and Abronia latifolia, yellow sand verbena. See attached photos (The populations in front of the first two homes adjacent to the BC Ferries maintenance yard are being damaged and some plants have been destroyed.)”

The group also saw a splendid specimen of  “ Chicken of the Woods” = Laetiporus conifericola  -see attached photo. The soft outer edges are edible when young.

Since our usual gathering day, the  second Monday of the month, falls on Thanksgiving, we will meet instead on October 16th With mycologist Shannon Berch as guest.  She will have been on Quadra at the  Quadra Wild Mushroom Festival Oct 13-15. (for  event information  see http://www.harbourliving.ca/event/quadra-island-mushroom-festival/2017-10-13/  )

The plan is to have lunch (12.30 ish) with Shannon at 6069 Tsolum River Road, followed by an afternoon walk and workshop.  The location for the walk will in part depend on where I can find a representative range of mushrooms. Nymph Falls is usually a good spot, but we may well simply remain on Tsolum River Road.   I will let you know closer to the 16th.

This year has been notable so far for the almost total dearth of good specimens of fungi.  The drought conditions in July, August and early September could not have been worse.  Towards the end of September we have started to see someexamples such as the “Chicken of the Woods”  or the choice Bear’s Head –  Hericium abietis.

On the trail up to Battleship Lake in Strathcona Park there were quite a number of the Chroogomphos tomentosus  that can initially be mistaken for a chanterelle and the so-called vase chanterelle ( Gomphus floccosus)  has also been appearing.

But I have yet to find a true chanterelle, and the usual profusion of Russulas and and troops of Mycenas are simply absent.

So I for one am happy to have rain this weekend!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving,  Alison

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