Sandia Mountains, 17 APRIL 2010

On Saturday morning, 17 April, ten of us met for a field trip (hike in the woods) at Doc Long picnic area on the east side of the Sandias.  Although it was rainy in early morning Albuquerque, the weather was only overcast at the picnic area parking lot.

            Dave Wallis, the Sandia Mountain trailmaster, led ten of us up the Bill Spring trail.  He was capably assisted by Terri (she of the myxomycetes) Wallis, Rich (king of the spring mushrooms) Therrien, and Linda (wood ear spotter extraordinaire) Zobrist.  We were happy to welcome returning NMMS members Jesús  Galván and the Bauer family – Mike, Trinie Dalton, and Eli (a high energy 3½ year old, as well as guests Matt Greene and Meg Rogers.  And three dogs.

             Here’s what we found:

  • Witch’s Butter- Tremella mesenterica, strikingly orange coloration on dead hardwood branches,
  • Wood Ears – Auricularia auricularia, a bunch of them on downed, decaying spruce logs,
  • Polypores – both large and small, some tender and actively growing, and some older and of hardened surface,
  • Slime mold – pretty little myxos on fallen and dried leaves of Gambel oak, really neat when viewed through a 10 power hand lens,
  • a couple of cup fungi – Peziza maybe?, and
  • a few LBMs.

  Several different wildflowers, including lupine, were emergent.  Like Rich says, “Spring in the Sandias is beautiful.”

 Respectfully submitted,  Mark Kalin