Some common winter fungi

This report by Alison M., Some common bright winter / early spring fungi to be found in our forests, was distributed to the Botany Group on January 19.

I picked a few chanterelles and hedgehogs (Hydnum umbilicatum) in our woods on January 1st – unheard of!!!!  Photo #1 shows the latter ready to be cooked. In any of our parks in the Valley, you should be able to find some other bright orange and yellow fungi that are appropriate to the season. 

The jelly type commonly called “witches’ butter” is exemplified by a Dacrymyces species (probably D. palmatus) on conifer (#2), as well as what used to be called Tremella aurantia, now Naematelia aurantia on hardwood (#3). The latter is similar to Gary’s enormous Tremella (sp. = mesenterica?)  circulated at the beginning of the month. Photo #3 shows the Naematelia aurantia with to its right the colourful orange, reddish brown and beige polypore that it parasitizes, namely Stereum hirsutum, which in growth habit is similar to the Turkey Tail or Trametes genus.  Photo #3 of both together was taken in Horne Lake Provincial Park.

Another frequently seen jelly fungus is the one commonly called gumdrops – Guepiniopsis alpina (formerly Heterotextus alpinus) with its little translucent yellow “cups”  attached by a short stalk to dead conifer branches (#4).

Pithya vulgaris is also common at this time of year – it has a small opaque brilliant orange saucer-like body. It is specific to dead branch ends of the Abies grandis (#5 and #6) and is usually very prominent amid the dark browns of dead leaves and fallen branches on the forest floor.

And another January surprise – amid the dark brown seedbearing stalks (# 7) of last year’s Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe or ghost plant) was a nice little clump of this year’s new shoots (# 8).  And we won’t mention the English daisies and dandelions already in bloom.

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Recording available for shoreline restoration talk

CVN’s guest speaker on January 17 via webinar was Dr. Jason Toft whose topic was Restoration Effectiveness of Living Shorelines in the Salish Sea. The talk was well-attended and stimulated a variety of questions from the audience.

If you missed this event or would like to see it again, the recording is now available here. To access it you will need to provide your name and email address.

For more information about this talk, see the announcement in our earlier post.

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The 2020 Bird Photo Challenge

From an email by Bruce Moffat distributed to the Birders Group on January 2.

The CVN Photography Group took up the challenge started by Terry Thormin last year to photograph (web worthy vs. just ID shots) as many bird species as we could in the Valley (including much of the Island). This was done as a challenge where we supported one another rather than a competition. This was further picked up by the Comox Valley Photo Club’s nature group. 

With the year at a close I thought you might enjoy seeing the fruits of this labour, particularly with our wet and dull weather for the next while!

Here are a couple (click a photo to enlarge it):

Below is a link to the full collection of my results, which has individual species galleries. Most species have 4-9 shots each covering males, females, juvi’s, flight, etc…or in some cases just one lonely shot. Click on the species name or photo to enter. When in each gallery click on the photo and it will go full screen. Click on the CVN title to go back to the main collection page. View full screen if you can and go BIG as you can to see the detail.

I ended up passing my goal of 150, then 165, and finally hit my last target of 170 not including the Mandarin Duck and the Myrtle variant of the Yellow-rumped Warbler (was hoping the species would split during the year but it did not).  I also had some Pea Hen shots I did not include, considering them much like other domesticated birds. 

Thanks to those of you who helped locate many interesting birds that came into our area. 

Stay safe, get only a little wet, and hopefully I’ll see you out there at a safe distance until we can get back to high fiving!

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Nominate a tree for the 2021 CVN Tree of the Year

This year, CVN’s Tree of the Year contest is being held in honour of Cathy Storey, the member whose initiative founded this activity. Cathy passed away in December 2020.

In this fourth year of the contest, we have made several improvements:

  • Any resident of the Comox Valley can nominate a tree, not just CVN members.
  • We have an online nomination form to make nominating easier.
  • The winner will be decided by public vote. All residents of the Comox Valley can vote for their choice among the nominated trees using online voting.

You can nominate a tree any time between now and April 1. Visit our Tree of the Year page to learn more about the contest and to access the nomination form.

After nominations close, we will prepare cycling and walking guides to suggest routes by which you can visit these trees, and make the guides available on this website.

Voting will open April 16 and run until June 1. Watch for additional details at that time.

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