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Author Topic: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald  (Read 12806 times)

Leena

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #330 on: December 31, 2017, 12:35:58 PM »
I have looked your picture of marsh harrier in the mist many times. It is a wonderful photograph and captures the weather and feeling very well. :)
Leena from south of Finland

Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #331 on: December 31, 2017, 02:09:04 PM »
Ian,

I think I saw the Cladonia species in the photograph, squamules only. I did not see any podetia although in a few species they can be very small, at least with California species.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #332 on: December 31, 2017, 02:57:38 PM »
Leena, we don,t get thick mists very often in this area. On the day I photographed the marsh harrier mist was rising from the many pools on site. This was keeping the birds near the ground level.
Robert, I see many species of wildlife and quite often take photos. but I rarely bother to try and identify what I have seen. Mainly plants, birds and butterflies. The site has at least 5,000 species of invertebrates recorded and is internationally recognised for its insect assemblage. Due to the mosaic of habitats on the site there is also a wide range of other wildlife species. In the last eight years I have only covered about a quarter of the site.

Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #333 on: December 31, 2017, 03:59:20 PM »
Ian,

Thank you for all of the information. I am sure I have asked you in the past, but what is the name for "your patch"? I would like to see if I can find it on Google Map.

Interesting that you have covered only 1/4 of the site in eight years!  8)  I have spent my whole life-time exploring El Dorado County. There is still plenty that I have missed. I will never be bored that is for sure!
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #334 on: January 03, 2018, 08:03:48 PM »
Today was very windy. I met three naturalists on site and we decided to look at a carr woodland. They started sifting through leaf litter and found a number of pseudo-scorpions, just a few millimetres long. I had a look at mosses etc.









Picture 100030010 shows a brown fungi on dead willow. Picture 1030018 is a fungi? also on dead willow.

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #335 on: January 03, 2018, 08:21:03 PM »
It was mild in the wood, you have to be careful not to step into a flooded ditch.







Picture 1 shows candle snuff fungus. Picture 2 is a very small Cladonia species.

Chris Johnson

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #336 on: January 04, 2018, 07:46:22 AM »
Picture 1030018 is a fungi? also on dead willow.

Yes, a fungus. We group this type as resupinates which usually grow on the underside of dead wood where there is more moisture. Difficult even with a microscope.
South Uist, Outer Hebrides

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #337 on: January 11, 2018, 07:35:36 PM »
Today was grey and overcast. I set out to look at an area not often visited but came upon contractors removing trees along a dike on adjacent land. It was interesting to see the machine in action. At the end of a long arm was a rotating head with a clamp and a pair of large "jaws." The operator grabbed a tree with the clamp and then cut through it with the jaws. He then rotated the machine and dumped the felled tree in the field he was working from. A long way from sawing down trees. Birds seen today were, mallard, teal, crow, grey lag geese, cettis warbler, robin, long tailed tit, blue tit, great tit, chaffinch, reed bunting, redpoll, pheasant, kestrel, blackbird and jay. When leaving the site I saw a roe deer buck watching me.




Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #338 on: January 12, 2018, 01:58:44 PM »
Ian,

What sort of temperatures are you encountering when you are out this time of year?

Is the weather overcast and grey with pending rain or is it stratus, more like a fog that has lifted above the ground during the day - with clear weather above the stratus layer? We get this sort of stratus in the Central Valley of California. It can linger all day during the winter. It will be sunny and warm in the Sierra Nevada foothills above the stratus layer, very cold in or below the stratus layer.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #339 on: January 12, 2018, 04:31:51 PM »
Robert, the temperatures here at the moment are at or just above freezing. The grey skies we are having are like a heavy mist. As we are just above sea level it is not possible to go to a higher elevation to see if the weather is clear higher up. Lack of wind is keeping the mist almost down to ground level and means that the washing does not dry very much on the line. I assume that the sky will be clear higher up. If the sky is clear at this time of year then the temperatures will be lower. When the sky is clear at night, car roofs are covered with frost. We used to have clearly defined weather seasons up till say, the 1970s. Now the seasons seem to blend into each other, with longer dull but milder weather in winter and wetter cooler springs which seem to last well into summer. Snow is hardly ever seen in this area at all these days. Other parts of the UK get more rain than us, with serious flooding. We often get several dull, misty days at a time with an occasional cold, sunny day in between. It is sometimes warmer at the end of February than in June (the start of our summer). The British weather is famous for being un-predictable.

Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #340 on: January 13, 2018, 05:48:26 AM »
Hi Ian,

Today an inversion layer set in, a common weather event during the winter here in Northern California. There was dense fog and stratus most of the day in the Central Valley of California, while the foothills were clear with sun and warm temperatures during the day. Today the inversion layer was about 750 feet (229 meters) deep. Above this level the weather was clear and warm, while the valley was cold and shrouded in fog and stratus. This weather pattern is forecast to last for the next 3-4 days. This is quite typical. If a typical pattern develops, the inversion layer will most likely deepen, perhaps reaching 1,500 feet (457 meters). If this is the case the farm will be at the edge of the fog/stratus belt.

The weather has warmed considerably here in California since the early 1970’s. There has been a very noticeable shift in the snow levels. Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s there was occasional snowfall in Sacramento, 23 feet (7 meters), during the winter. The last time it snowed in Sacramento was 1975 or 1976. I remember walking to classes while it was snowing. Since then there has been no snow in Sacramento. The situation in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada is about the same. Up until 1990 there was snow every year at the Placerville farm 1,460 feet (445 meters), sometimes up to 8.5 inches (22 cm). Since then there has been only one year with 22 cm of snow, the winter of 2009-2010. Now most years have no snow at all or at best only a trace.

Temperatures have increased considerably too. From 1987 to 2016 the average annual temperature at the Placerville farm has risen from 59.0 F (15 C) to 60.5 F (15.8 C), a change of 1.5 F or 0.8 C. This might not seem significant, but it is considering the short time span. Up to 2000 or so the rise in temperature was gradual, with a dramatic spike from 2000 to the present. My brother (a climate scientist) told me that this is in line with the data gathered by Jim Hansen, the noteworthy NASA climate scientist. If anyone is interested in confirming this data they can attend the American Geophysical Union meeting held in San Francisco every December.

I recently ask two scientists about how the current spike in atmospheric CO2 levels might interact with the 1,470-year Bond cycles, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the El Nino/La Nina Oscillation. Current atmospheric CO2 levels are comparable to those last seen during the early Eocene, 50 million years ago. Global temperatures were much warmer than they are today. There was no Antarctic ice sheet or Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. As atmospheric CO2 was sequestered, partly as oil and coal deposits, the planet cooled. The Antarctic ice sheet first appeared about 35 to 40 million years ago near the end of the Eocene. The Northern Hemisphere ice sheets did not appear until the late Miocene or early Pliocene 4 to 8 million years ago. The consensus of my two friends was that atmospheric CO2 levels would be the over riding factor in determining future temperature trends. Currently we are witnessing first hand the erosion of polar sea ice and a gradual shrinking to the Antarctic ice sheet. In geologic time this is occurring extremely rapidly.

My simple weather records seem to be dovetailing with the data being compiled by the scientific community.

A rise in average annual temperatures will affect us as gardeners. Many plant species require adequate winter chilling hours for optimal performance. The most obvious is the chilling requirements needed by many fruit trees, such as apples. Apples that do not receive adequate chilling hours die. This is seen in Southern California. This same principle applies to many ornamental species too. Most likely many “alpine” species are adversely affected by a lack of winter chilling. Something to think about if the current global warming trend continues.
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

ian mcdonald

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #341 on: January 13, 2018, 11:55:37 AM »
Hello Robert, today is another grey day. The temperature in the greenhouse is 40F. It feels colder in the garden due to a breeze.  I remember cycling to school in the 1950s in winter. When I got to school I would be covered in white frost at the front, due to freezing fog. We hardly ever get fog here these days. I think this is due to drainage of areas that used to have ponds etc. Field ditches have been filled in, destroying a useful habitat for wildlife. This in turn causes flooding in areas that have been built on, no surprise there. This also means that there is less area to grow our food. The race for profit has destroyed thousands of years of mans evolution with his environment in the UK and probably everywhere on the planet. This in turn is affecting our climate. I wonder if we will ever get "leaders" who can see the bigger picture?

Robert

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Re: my local patch and wildlife - Ian McDonald
« Reply #342 on: January 13, 2018, 02:04:17 PM »
Hi Ian,

I woke up this morning, 5:00 a.m., to fog and drizzle here at the Placerville farm. The inversion layer deepened and arrived much sooner than I expected. I'll see how persistent the fog is today. Right now the temperature is 44 F (6.7 C).

There are many birds at the feeders here at the farm. Mainly White-crowned Sparrows, Gold-crowned Sparrows and Oregon (Dark-eyed) Juncos. There are others at times such as Doves.

Before the current regime took over here in the U.S.A. my brother and other climate scientist wondered why the government payed so much for them to do their climate science research. Nobody in government seemed to be acting on their warnings and the need for immediate change. With the current regime they wonder if they will even have a job. The abuse and disregard for others by the current regime is disgusting. I keep praying that this regime does not out do what happened on 30 January 1933. The similarities are scary and other U.S. governmental leaders are foolish enough to believe that it will never happen here. Here in the U.S.A., if we do not act, we will be imposing tyranny on ourselves and perhaps the rest of the world. There is a constitutional solution. G_d help us and the rest of the planet!
Robert Barnard
Sacramento & Placerville, Northern California, U.S.A.
All text and photos © Robert Barnard

 

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