Black Point Historic Gardens (1/12/2023)

Today I volunteered at Black Point. And, like every time, it is so different than the last time I was there.

Granted, the last time I was there was in OCTOBER. Holidays and whatnots got in the way of my last two attempts. So nice to come back.

Green is EVERYWHERE. Unfortunately, it’s a lot of invasive weeds, but it might as well look lush until it’s pulled!

Unsurprisingly, there were many fungi! And, I was delighted to be able to show and tell about the ones I knew to Natalie and another volunteer that were both actually interested! Scurfy Twiglets won the day. They both delighted in the common name, like you do. Also showed them Chip Cherries, which were scattered here and there at the top.

Saw a super large mushroom growing from under a California Sagebrush. It was Agaricus-looking, but my best guess so far is Slimy-Girdled Cort? I would put no money on that bet. It’s a wild guess from the iNat list I was given.

And, get this. Natalie asked me to take a look at some fungi to see if I knew what it might be. I did! There were a couple of small Mica Cap exlosions near a tree stump, like they love to be near. The older ones looked so different from the young or adult ones, but the young or adult ones so looked like Mica Caps! In some folks’ worlds, I am a Fungi Expert, folks.

Speaking of Fungi Experts, I JUST RECEIVED confirmation by Alan in iNat that I spotted some Cabbage Parachute mushrooms, too! My first confirmed observation of them. EXCITING!!

In non-fungi news, my California Flannelbush plant is doing alright. Not any larger or taller, so I’m not sure if that’s a concern. But still has tons of leaves and hasn’t budged with all the rain. So proud of him.

While there wasn’t a ton blooming, some blooms were indeed out! Coyote Mint and Wild Daffodils and Monkeyflower (Pink and Orange Bush).

Spotted a couple black insects, which I thought might be a Stink Bug. But iNat is leaning toward Squash Bug. Yep, I’ll never be a Bug Expert to ANYONE.

Some California Slender Salamanders were in the soil, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to see one. A couple Bumblebees were thankful for the few California Poppies in bloom. The Coyote Brush is doing just dandy. And a Black Phoebe and Anna’s Hummingbird kept their eyes on us at work.

But the special treat was a single bloom of a most gorgeous Garden Dahlia. Natalie said that a bunch had been planted two years ago, using seeds/plantlings from the Alcatraz sister garden. She had given up on them, but a single luscious flower is OUT. And our job today was to clear all the other Dahlia plants in the area from weeds near them.

Forgot to take a before-photo, as always. But if you look at the after-photo, I assure you that you’d never know there was more than one Dahlia plant in the before-photo! Even spotted a baby bud about to emerge soon. Gah, it’s going to be amazing if they can all survive and bloom.

While we were wrapping up, I heard a Northern Flicker! Don’t believe I’ve heard one there before! It was perched high up and far away and was in silhouette. I could see the faint bits of familiar colors on it through my digital camera, but they ended up all coming out black and white, essentially. Ah, well. I know it’s a Northern Flicker.

Great to have spent some time there today. Catching up with Natalie and chatting with the other two volunteers there. We did good work this afternoon. Always satisfying to leave there knowing I made a small difference for that little-known-place.

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