Thanks to Tracee Geernaert for ID help!
These small pointy caps are found singly or in clusters on well rotted wood. Mycena haematopus is found in the spring and summer, mainly on the shady slopes below the Big-leafed Maple. It is called blood-foot or Bleeding Mycena because a red liquid exudes from the base. I also found "Bleeding Fairy Helmet" as an English name but that seemed a bit macabre.
Thanks to Tracee Geernaert for ID help!
It is hard to imagine Leaning Oaks without Anna's Hummingbirds (Calypte anna), they are nearly ever -present with their songs that sound like radio static, the small squeak notes that the males give during courtship flights and the constant buzz of activity around the feeders and flowers in the garden. When we first moved here however, Anna's Hummingbird had not yet colonized the property and I can still remember seeing the first one in the garden on a sunny October afternoon.
Local researchers and naturalists, many of them associated with Rocky Point Bird Observatory, have located nests, followed successes and banded Anna's Hummingbirds and are slowly learning about the remarkable lives of this species. Anna's Hummingbird probably arrived on southern Vancouver Island in the 1950's. The species breeds nearly year round, with some females building multiple nests a year here. They sometimes will reuse a nest, or even a one of a Rufous Hummingbird and they will often re-use nesting material - sometimes while the chicks are still in the nest! Alison Moran from the RPBO hummingbird project tells of a female that had overlapping nests where the nest material was reused this way for four successive nestings.
The Brown Hive (Euconulus fulvus) is another very tiny snail found in leaf litter at Leaning Oaks. This is a holarctic species found in both the old and new worlds and there are introduced populations in western Australia. The foot of this snail (not shown in these photos) is extremely long and thin, and overall, a Brown Hive on the move is a rather elegant mollusc.
Many snails which have protective shells have anatomical peculiarities caused the twisting of the body up and into the shell. In the case of this snail the anus is located near the right eye of the animal, which, at the risk of seeming overly critical, sounds like a design flaw to me. Like many snails it is a hermaphrodite, that is it has both male and female gonads. The penis of this snail as a finger like projection. Hives are named after old-fashioned bee hives, which are similarly shaped.
Golden-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla) are mainly spring and fall migrants at Leaning Oaks, although elsewhere on southern Vancouver Island they are common throughout the winter months, and have, very rarely, lingered and bred. They are mostly skulkers, hiding in thickets and hedgerows, coming into the open to feed on seeds in the ground or in low weeds. In fall when they arrive they often sing, a mournful clear song that can be remembered as "Oh dear me" or "I'm so weary" which is the source of another common name "Weary Willie".
One of the commoner boletes found on southern Vancouver Island (Xerocomellus chrystenteron, formerly Boletus chrystenteron). Chryst comes from the Greek krysos or gold and enteron refers to the "innards". The photograph does not do the beautiful golden innards justice. This mushroom made me think of crackly cinnamon and brown sugar on toast with butter.....
These tiny cups were found on a piece of cut Douglas-fir wood, waiting for a drop of rain to sploosh out the peridioles (egg) as far as a couple of metres. The sticky mucilage that the eggs sit in within the peridium or nest will help them stick where ever they land. The outer wall of the peridiole will eventually decay to release the spores contained within. This is Nidula candida, nidula meaning "tiny nest" in Latin and candida meaning white.
When they are younger they have a lid that covers the inside of the nest -this had disappeared by the time that we found these ones.
Sadly these spiffy beetles are nonluminescent beetles , so despite their name they do not fly around at night producing delightful bursts of light from their backsides. They are active during the day, another departure from what I always believed about fireflies. This species, Ellychnia hatchi is relatively common in the pacific northwest.
The larvae live in rotting logs and feed on a variety of invertebrates, including earthworms, millipedes, spiders and other larvae. All larvae of the family Lampyridae have light emitting cells--I guess this means digging around rotting stumps at night to see if they glow! Another oddity of this family is that their blood is poisonous and as adults it oozes from the base of their wing covers as a defense mechanism.
(Punctum randolphii) also called Randoph's Dot-shell or Randolph's Dot Snail. The Dots are a family of tiny, air breathing snails. Dot snails are presumably called such because of their tiny size. This species is only 1.25 to 1.4mm across..so tiny indeed. Leah's photo here is of one on a Bigleaf Maple leaf.
The species must be very common here, this one was found by friend Robert Forsyth, and he found it on the 3rd leaf he looked at. He looked like he expected to find it on the first leaf.
Himalayan Cotoneaster, also known as Khasia Berry, is an naturalised introduced shrub here at Leaning Oaks. For the most part, it goes largely unnoticed on a thin soiled, dry slope in part shade. This year however, the cold snap has come at exactly the right time to catch the foliage at the point of turning and the leaves have turned scarlet, making it stand out like a beacon in the woods. ( Cotoneaster simonsii) is native to the Himalayan mountains of India, Bhutan and Nepal and high elevations of Myanmar. It is sometimes used as hedging material and grown for its dense growth and scarlet berries. I have never seen it become an aggressive weed here, but it is considered such in some other places, particularly in Australia.
This looper, a member of the Geometridae turns into a rather dapper brown and white, but fairly un-extraordinary looking moth. These two larvae were found feeding on Douglas-fir. According to the "Conifer Defoliators of British Columbia" by Bob Duncan, this species is a relatively uncommon defoliator that is not found in colonies.
Two biologists on a beautiful property armed with cameras, smart phones and a marginal knowledge of websites took up the challenge of documenting one species a day on that property. Join along! Posts and photographs by Leah Ramsay and David Fraser (unless otherwise stated; started January 1, 2014.