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Hail and Fungi at 9300’
Aug 5 2005

A good way to begin a hike. This looks like Floccularia straminea. Lots of yellow fungi out right now—an adaptation or coincidence?
It looks like rain enjoys hiking this trail too.

This Mugwort (Artemisia ludoviciana) is a pleasant find. I collected some to dry and grind into an incense.
This large boulder is a characteristically layered and swirly example of gneiss—metamorphosed granite.
What a great time of year for wildflowers, thanks in part to the rain we’ve gotten so far. It has rained (and hailed) for seven days in a row! Hopefully today will be different—at least while I’m on trail.
Notice how the sky matched the color of this “paper.” I love these squat, gnarled Sierra Junipers. They only get better as I ascend.
Up here at 9300 feet, the bedrock fractures in neat patterns, partially due to freeze/thaw dynamics.
I’m hiking on a 4x4 trail. I’m amazed that vehicles can traverse the obstacles I had to climb over on this trail. I like how red the soil becomes.
Dog Vomit Slime Mold (Fuligo septica). A younger specimen than I usually encounter, it hasn’t hardened into a dry, powdery spore mass yet. As it spreads, notice how it engulfs the items around it.
Monolithic. Yet not made of stone. A monument to a past fire.
A species of Agaricus, I think. I feel naked without my fungus books...stop looking!
I’m very glad I decided to pack my raincoat. Thunder and lightning rapidly overtook the summit that I was perched upon. Judging by the ¼ to ½ a second that elapsed between Boom! and Zap!, I estimate that the lightning was between 180 and 360 feet away at times. Right on top of me! Luckily, I wasn’t the tallest thing around. The tree I was taking refuge under was. Yay! I did meet a nice couple that was fjording the stream...i mean their Jeep. Nice hail.
Yep—it was nice of the US Forest Service to cut a trail to ease the rain’s journey to the arroyos below...
Me wet (but happy)...

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