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Redcaps and Redthroats: ‘shrooms and loons…

…on the northwest Oregon coast.

redcapIt’s not very much like the Sonoran Desert here. Everything’s either wet or damp, and when it rains it’s not a pounding monsoonal deluge that ends quickly, but a steady long-term soaking, which might last hours, days, or the rest of the year.  Things that live here are water-loving organisms, like Loons and Mushrooms.

E got great photos of some of the numerous – and poisonous – Fly agaric mushrooms (Amanita muscaria) pushing up through the evergreen needles on Clatsop Spit. There were other varieties of fungus in abundance too, little brown guys with caps so transluscent their gills showed through, and big slick yellow ones with a slime sheen on top. As well as fungi, the moist forests had sprouted mushroom hunters galore: some with five gallon plastic buckets topped with edible varieties, perhaps chanterelles.

RedthroatLess colorful but still nice to see were an assortment of loons: Common, still sporting a bit of their black-and white summer plumage; a juvenile Pacific loon with its silvery neck; and a pair of Red-throated loons close to shore (left), with their distinctive pale tip-tilted bills, and backs whose pattern looks like the texture on a manhole cover.

Fortunately, sea birds and waders are out in all weather, so even on the wind-whipped estuaries and rain-lashed beaches, there are things to see, like this distant dotted line of Brown pelicans speeding s_jetty-peldown-wind on a gale at the South Jetty at Fort Stevens State Park.

(Top photo: Fly agaric mushroom, E.Shock; middle: Red-throated loon, only adequately digiscoped by A.Shock; stormy Pacific coast with brown pelicans, A.Shock)

Posted by Allison on Oct 24th 2009 08:07 am | No Comments yet
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