Salmonberry or Thimbleberry
One of the benefits of living in the Pacific Northwest is the abundance of native berries. Two shrubs in the Rose family: Salmonberry and Thimbleberry, are perennial favorites of forest foragers. We will look their similarities and their differences, have a little fun with salmonberry leaves, and outline a very practical use for the exquisitely soft thimbleberry leaves.
Popular posts from this blog
November is the month when two species of Pacific Salmon return to the streams of their birth. After spending years out in the Pacific Ocean they find their way home to the precise tributary of their natal creek. This amazing homing instinct is the the final chapter in the lives of these fish...after they spawn, their bodies deteriorating in zombie-like fashion, they will die and their carcasses will be utilized by numerous other animals for food. The species pictured here are Chum Salmon; the location is Piper's Creek in Carkeek Park in north Seattle. You can view them now through most of December! Behaviors you can observe are: mate selection and pair bonding, excavation of their nests known as Redds, and perhaps if you are lucky, egg laying and milt fertilization. As you watch this annual ritual, ponder the fact that these salmon have been repeating this life cycle for tens of thousands of years! After hatching as alevin, growing into fry, then developing the characterist
Autumn is when mushroom enthusiasts in the Pacific Northwest are bent low to the ground sleuthing for fruiting bodies of fungi that are popping up everywhere. Fortunately for foragers and harvesters there are few (three) mushrooms that are deadly poisonous. Let's get acquainted with the enticing but toxic Death Cap (Amanita phalloides). The Death Cap is found low to the ground and has elegant proportions with a bell shaped cap that is pale olive green with a luster that often looks metallic. The gills are white as are the spores (observe the white spore print that I have included); spore color is an important feature in determining mushroom types. Notice the sac-like volva at the base of this mushroom: not all mushrooms have this feature but all Death Caps have volvas! The toxin in this Amanita is a potent cyclopeptide called amanitin. Amanitin disrupts the function of protein enzymes that leads to liver and kidney failure. The onset of symptoms (abdominal pain, vomiting
Hello Seattle Birders! The weather looks fairly wet for much of this week but I will schedule the following outings and hope for decent conditions. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up! Wednesday, January 27 Owl Prowl 7:00 PM at Seward Park Thursday, January 28 Owl Prowl 7:00 PM at Seward Park The Owls have been reliable in Seward Park, especially barn owls! Also a nightly chorus of multiple coyotes has serenaded our prowl participants! Saturday, January 30th Birding Outing at Cormorant Cove Mini-Park in West Seattle 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Harlequin ducks, western grebes, and perhaps red-breasted mergansers are likely birds for us to see! This photo shows a harlequin pair taken through my spotting scope (thank you Ryan for the pic!) at Cormorant Cove. IMHO, one of the most beautiful of duck species!! click to enlarge the photo to really appreciate their magnificence! The day are getting longer...goodbye January! Ed