Agaricus Augustus Alert!

August 31, 2018

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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.

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April Wildflowers

April 19, 2017

All that rain has really gotten the wildflowers going this month. Here are some highlights from the past few weeks:

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California goldfields (Lasthinia californica) and Gray’s clover (Trifolium grayi), share a meadow at The Indians in the upper Arroyo Seco watershed.
Read the rest of this entry »


The Sorry State of Water Conservation on the Monterey Peninsula

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 »


Will 2015 be Another 2013, or is January Just Not Part of the Rainy Season Anymore?

January 16, 2015

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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 »


Mushroom Season on the Monterey Peninsula

December 19, 2012

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Porcini (Boletus edulis) emerging from the rain-sodden forest floor. Read the rest of this entry »


A Saturday on Rattlesnake Creek

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 »


The Fate of the Oaks

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 »