Monday, November 8, 2021

First Porcini

Giacomini Wetlands Overlook

Sometimes I wonder why I bring my bulky and heavy Nikon at all since it's often enjoyable to just whip out my smartphone and fire off a few frames. I did bring the Nikon on this trip, but I was a lot more picky about my subjects. It's actually great to have the smartphone for quick snaps, plus the Nikon for when I want to be more contemplative in my photographic work.

The Giacomini Wetlands Overlook was nice, but it's gotten a little overgrown for scenic purposes since I photographed it in 2015. I don't think the shot I made then would be possible now.

Giacomini Marsh in 2015

First Porcini of the Season

I found this porcini in the first two minutes of my mushroom-hunt on Mt. Vision, and it was in great shape. My wife and I ate it that night. I poked around under the bishop pines for another hour-and-a-half or so without finding any others. All I found instead were a few holes in the pine duff where it appeared that someone had beaten me to the goods.

Raggedy Amanita

While I was in the woods I also found this apparently rain-soaked amanita with its raggedy veil remnants hanging off the cap margin. I suspect the top of the cap wouldn't have been quite so white if it hadn't been rained on.

Curlews on the Beach

Along with Mt. Vision being open again, it was great to see that Drake's Beach was too. The parking lot and marsh restoration look nice and new.

Estero Bird Overlook

The Estero Bird Overlook at the edge of Schooner Bay beckoned with its mirror-like reflections. As I made this phone snap I caught some movement in my peripheral vision and was surprised to see a river otter preening nearby.

Resting River Otter

I hung out while it carried on without paying me much mind. The otter really seemed to like using the rolled straw wattle at the base of the riprap as a comfy platform to preen from. A car drove by as I was hanging out, then stopped to turn around and park. I had tried not to bring attention to the otter, but apparently a sharp-eyed photographer had spotted me watching it, and I felt a little bit like I'd betrayed the otter. I walked back toward my car and said hello to the photographer, who said, "We must have seen the same thing, eh?" I must have given him a slightly quizzical look because he added, "The reflections." Oh yeah, I said. He had some kind of Brit or Aussie accent and I liked his demeanor enough to tell him about the otter. Thankfully he just went over to pay his respects from a distance without the otter being bothered in the least.

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