April 9, 2019
Where once there were full moons, high tides and wildflower seasons, there are now “Super Moons,” “King Tides,” and “Super Blooms.”
If you miss this month’s once in a century Super Blue Blood Double Wolf Moon, don’t worry. You may rest assured that the once in a millennium Ultra Eye of Sauron Apocalypse Moon coming next month will more than make up for it.
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August 31, 2018
Prince of the City: Agaricus augustus fruiting, uncharacteristically, on a lawn. They are usually found in more natural settings. Eating mushrooms, or anything else, growing in city parks where there is no telling what gets sprayed, is not recommended.
One of the great things about the Central California coast is that it’s the home of Agaricus augustus (aka The Prince), one of the most delectable mushrooms on the planet.
Unlike most of our other choice edibles, which tend to fruit during the rainy season, A. augustus is most often triggered by wet summer fog. A nice payoff for enduring a cold, clammy August.
And fruiting they most certainly are. Even on lawns!
A. augustus often occurs in places where a layer of dirt has been deposited on top of a thick layer of leaves or other vegetation, either naturally, by flood or landslide, or by human activity, such as road or trail construction.
They go bad quickly, so check your patches right away!
As always: this post is not a guide to mushroom identification. As with any mushroom, unless you are very familiar with the characteristics of A. augustus and with the characteristics of the poisonous mushrooms it most closely resembles, you have no business picking it for the table.
April 19, 2017
All that rain has really gotten the wildflowers going this month. Here are some highlights from the past few weeks:
California goldfields (Lasthinia californica) and Gray’s clover (Trifolium grayi), share a meadow at The Indians in the upper Arroyo Seco watershed.
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February 5, 2016
For years local officials have waived off suggestions that the Monterey Peninsula could do more to save water by falsely claiming that “residents of the Monterey Peninsula use less water per person per day than anywhere else in the state.” They’ve even gone so far as to publish fraudulent figures purporting to support this claim.
The purpose of this grandiose bragging has been to promote approval of as large and growth-inducing a new water project, whether dam or desal, as possible. That effort appears to have succeeded, but at the cost of undercutting efforts to increase water conservation. Read the rest of this entry »
January 16, 2015
As the flow of the Carmel River becomes too weak to resist the power of the sea, waves rebuild the sandbar.
Remember how in we got a lot of rain in the fall of 2012? Monterey logged 9.59 inches for November and December that year. The average for those two months is only 5.41 inches. Read the rest of this entry »
December 19, 2012
Porcini (Boletus edulis) emerging from the rain-sodden forest floor. Read the rest of this entry »
January 28, 2012
A Saturday with no obligations! I head off to the Ventana Wilderness with no particular destination in mind …
The parking lot for the trailhead at Los Padres Dam is gated for some reason these days, so it’s necessary to park down the hill at the Forest Service Station. Read the rest of this entry »
October 12, 2011
Trail under coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia) on Big Sur’s East Molera Ridge. Quercus is derived from the Celtic quer cuez, meaning “fine tree.” Read the rest of this entry »
June 12, 2011
There’s no sign, but the Little Sur Trail begins at this easily recognized gate on the Old Coast Rd. Just take the Old Coast Rd. north, a little under 4 miles, from its south end at Andrew Molera State Park. Read the rest of this entry »
February 25, 2011
On January 1, 1980, Jeff Norman, then 29, moved into the Overstrom homestead, Alta Vista, in Big Sur. Overlooking the ocean from a 2,700-foot-high perch on Michael Ridge, and accessible only by trail, Alta Vista was an ideal location for observing and experiencing the beauty and power of the natural world. Jeff lived at Alta Vista until his death, at age 56, on October 31 2007. All structures associated with Alta Vista were burned to the ground eight months later in the Basin Complex Fire. Read the rest of this entry »