May 06, 2018

Spring has Sprung! This project reaches 1000+ observations

Had a wonderful time today exploring the Star Hill Road section intensively. Everywhere there were new insects, breeding birds, and luscious flowers.

The project today passed 1,000 observations; it is approaching 200+ species as well.


Posted on May 06, 2018 05:13 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 28, 2017

Fungal Paradise!

Yesterday (November 27) I walked the loop in the late afternoon. There had been rain over the weekend, so I was on the alert for fungi. There were large outcroppings of them in various places, and a number of new species for me, including Redwood Rooter and Sulphur Tuft. But the Oyster Mushroom crop was among the prettiest:

Varied Thrush were everywhere, being furtive, of course, when the camera was out. But I am learning the full range of their sounds. This has been one of the best side benefits of the adoptive trail plan (ATP): it has taught me bird vocalizations at a finer level than I would have learned them otherwise.

Posted on November 28, 2017 16:35 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 15, 2017

Fungi popping up!

As I suspected when I adopted this trail, it is becoming a fungi workshop. Lucky for me, I took @leslie_flint along last Sunday on the hike, and we found all sorts of goodies. Interested to see what else emerges as a wetter-than-usual fall and winter will hopefully grace the Bay Area with much needed rain.

Posted on November 15, 2017 05:39 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 1 comment | Leave a comment

August 06, 2017


Hi and welcome! I am Jennifer Rycenga, a.k.a. gyrrlfalcon here on iNaturalist. Ever since 2006, I have cultivated a habit of adopting a trail and walking it regularly. This proved beneficial to my birding skills when I first did it in 2006. It also led to my adoption of iNaturalist in 2012, when I photographed a rattlesnake at Edgewood - . When I adopt a trail, I try to think about a few factors, including exercise potential, what I could learn about along that trail, and the volume of visitors to that trail (I am no misanthrope, though - I just like to cover areas that I think are underexplored). I’ve decided to adopt this western loop in El Corte de Madera because I am trying to learn my lichens, and because I want to follow the change of seasons in this elevated terrain in the county.

El Corte de Madera is also a place that provokes deep thought for me. This is partially because it is the site of the worst aviation disaster in San Mateo County History – the crash of the “Resolution,” an Australian airliner, in 1953 ( ). Nineteen people perished, including American concert pianist William Kapell, one of the finest interpreters of contemporary music and Chopin of his generation. Mortality, music, and the materials of life itself put me in a philosophic frame of mind.

Critters and beings to watch for here include Varied Thrush in fall and winter, Northern Pygmy-Owl in the crepuscular hours (and other owls at night), Hermit Thrush breeding, introduced vegetation (especially at Gate 7 and along Star Hill Road), lichen diversity, mushrooms in winter and spring, and each individual Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) to document for the RedwoodWatch project (

Have fun out there! - Jennifer

Posted on August 06, 2017 16:35 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 0 comments | Leave a comment


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