Monday, September 5, 2022

Like Flies On Stink


Fly Feasting on Fungal Fruiting

Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up Klondike Bars. As Duran Duran sang last night at Chase Center, "Darken the city, night is a wire; Steam in the subway, earth is afire." Yes, indeed, the heat wave is on. Although, thankfully there was no steam in the subway, since we took the N-Judah home at about midnight. Which is why I almost didn't feel like riding down to Sunset Boulevard this morning to look for flies on the Latticed Stinkhorn. But I'm glad I did. I could smell the fruiting from ten feet away, and the scent was not coming from juices like wine. If I tell you that the flies, three species by my guess, were hungry like the wolf for that stinkhorn juice, I promise to make no further Duran Duran references.

Just to throw in a little hodgepodge, my wife and I took an educational plant walk on Mt. Davidson on Saturday with biodiversity champions Jake Sigg and Ruth Gravanis. I hadn't been to Mt. D in a very long time despite the fact that it takes less than ten minutes to drive over there. I learned of the hike through Jake's newsletter, a short and interesting read that he cranks out two or three times a week, for free, via email. Jake is my neighbor on the east side, and I often enjoy watching birds working through a large coast live oak in his back yard, which he planted as an acorn in the late 1960s.

As for my neighbor on the north side, ordinarily you wouldn't think there was any space at all between our two duplexes, but there are certain times of the year when the sun shines through the space between the buildings. It creates a really cool side-light on the side of the building, and my wife discovered yesterday an even cooler effect by putting your hand on the wall.

Finally, as I stepped out onto the stairway landing to our back yard this morning, I heard a chewing sound that I feared meant that the gophers had returned. I stealthily descended the stairs and picked up my gopher-poking stick at the bottom, only to see that the culprit was a squirrel. Now I knew who has recently been chewing on an antler in our garden, enjoying its fine mineral nutrition.

Another of the three species of flies partaking of nature's bounty.

The Fruiting This Morning, Sept. 5, 2022
(More fruiting has begun in the wood chips beneath the nearby strawberry madrone.)

Urban Biodiversity Hike on Mt. Davidson,
With San Francisco Skyline & Mt. Diablo in Background

Touching the Light

Antler-Munching Squirrel

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