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Upcoming Events

NOTICE of rescheduled workshop:

In place of the workshop that was cancelled on July 23, SIOSA will sponsor a Monarch Bioblitz this Saturday, Aug. 4 to coincide with the 2nd international Monarch Blitz described in the email below. 

The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon at Slip Bluff County Park, northeast of Lamoni. Veronica Mecko will lead the group in counting milkweeds and Monarch adults, eggs and larvae.

If you are interested in participating, please email and more information will be provided. 

If you can’t attend this event consider monitoring on your property or a native wildflower area near you. Go to, Monarch Larval Monitoring Project, to get all the information you will need.

Next SIOSA board meeting

The next regular SIOSA meeting is Wednesday, April 4 at 1:00 pm.  We will be meeting at the Clarke County Conservation Board headquarters at East Lake Park.  The park is located just east of Osceola on Hwy 34.

Field Journal August 16-31

Monday, September 4, 2017 @ 07:09 PM
posted by veronica

Field Journal:  August 15-31

By Sibylla Brown, Timberhill Oak Savanna

On August 23 we finally had a significant rain event – almost two inches.  It was just enough to stimulate fruiting of two mushroom species in the East Savanna.  There I collected three specimens of a red brittle cap, Russula tenuiceps.  Although this genus of large colorful fungi includes some easily identified species, the red Russulas can be difficult to key to species. A species described as red could be pink, purple, or rose-red depending on the age of the specimen.  In wet weather the cap can be viscid or remain dry and become pruinose or velvety.  The taste is either acrid, slightly acrid or mild but you must have a fresh specimen to accurately determine taste. To confound matters the best key is still found in Kauffman’s Agaricaceae of Michigan published in 1918. Kauffman describes Russula tenuiceps as “deep rosy-red or blood-red, sometimes white, spotted or tinged with orange blotches, sometimes uniform red.”  Spore color is “some shade of ochraceous, yellowish or creamy-yellowish.”  The stalk can be either “white or rosy-tinged”. My specimens were deep rosy-red with yellow blotches, a pinkish stalk and yellow-ochraceous echinulate spores, 6-8 microns.

Russula tenuiceps, a red brittle cap


Xerocomus subtomentosus was fruiting along the trail that winds through the southeast woodland to the Brush Creek bottom.  This reddish brown bolete is easily identified by its angular spores and the reddish brown streaks on the stalk.  The upper part of the stalk is widely ridged.  As it ages the pores elongate and become more defined.  A drop of ammonia turns the cap dark red.

Xerocomus subtomentosus, a reddish brown bolete


Dodder (Cuscuta), a parasitic plant, is feeding on plants along the Brush Creek bottom east of the house.  A host generalist, this member of the morning glory family grows more vigorously in patches of mixed host plants by parasitizing two different hosts.  On the Brush Creek bottom it prefers the combination of Climbing False Buckwheat and Wingstem. Besides transferring carbohydrates, water, and organic nitrogen from the host it has been found that RNA macromolecules in the host phloem can cross the parasite/host divide.  The macromolecules can interfere with parasitic development and reduce parasite damage to the host.  (Trewavas)

Dodder feeding on Climbing False Buckwheat and wingstem


Slender Ladies’ Tresses Orchids are blooming on the border between the old crop field and prairie remnant in our West Creek unit.  Rough Blazing Star is particularly abundant this year in the prairie remnant.  On a sunny day it is a good place to watch for butterflies and day-flying moths such as the Snowberry Clearwing.

Anthony Trewavas.2014.   Plant Behavior and Intelligence. Oxford University Press: Oxford

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