Saturday, September 3, 2022

Drake's Birds & Stinkhorn Check


Drake's Beach, Sept. 3, 2018

The shot above shows the bird life I encountered on this date back in 2018. When I was there a couple of days ago there was none of that green seaweed on the beach, no pelicans resting on the sand, and far fewer gulls. Four years ago, stepping onto Drake's Beach was like walking into a cacophonous party. I wonder if the ocean and wind conditions that brought all that seaweed onto the beach also created an upwelling that led to a boon for sea life.

Also around this time of year, but farther back in time, I encountered numerous young elegant terns resting at Drake's Beach while their parents did most of the foraging for them.

I was thinking about biking up to Mt. Tam yesterday to check the camera trap, but the enthusiasm wasn't there for such an endeavor. Instead I did my usual morning walk followed by my usual local bike ride. My home camera trap, meanwhile, has become "all Coco, all the time." It has become rare to capture the raccoons, skunks, squirrels, rats, other neighborhood cats, and various birds, that used to appear so often. Back when I used to leave the cat food outside, that is.... Even the mating pair of dark-eyed juncos, the ones who bathed daily in a bowl of water I set out back and who recently fledged their baby, have gone.

My morning walk either takes me out-and-back to the beach, or in a loop that takes me along Sunset Boulevard. I chose the latter route so I could check up on the latticed stinkhorn. At first glance it appeared to have been stepped on, but noticing that the grass had been cut made me wonder if the wheels of a mower hadn't crushed part of the fruiting. Most of it was intact and still developing. I'd brought along my Nikon and 105/Micro rig because I realized I hadn't thought to photograph a close-up of a fly on the stinkhorn on my last visit. Unfortunately, it was so cold and foggy that there were no flies. There also wasn't any brown liquid goop exuded by the stinkhorns to attract them. I wondered if the fungus required a higher temperature to begin exuding its lure to exothermic flies that wouldn't be active in the cold anyway.

Although most of my walk looks like typical Sunset District, I took a few phone-snap "nature photos" in the heavy fog, starting with some of the interesting architecture a block or so away from the nondescript duplex I live in. Tomorrow I'll enter the wilds once again, as my wife has roped me into the Duran Duran concert on Sunday....

Drake's Beach, Sept. 7, 2014

Young Elegant Terns & Ring-Billed Gull Resting at Drake's Beach

Coco Caught Two Hours Apart (Shade & Sun)

Latticed Stinkhorn Progress as of Sept. 2, 2022


Chert Cliffs

Cypress Woodland

* * *