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Sleeping Sharp-tailed Snake (and other wonders of Alum Rock Park)

Have you ever seen a sharp-tailed snake? Well, a select few did on our January BioBlitz at Alum Rock Park.

Thanks to our over 50 attendees, including 15 naturalists, for joining the Alum Rock winter BioBlitz (even though it was so cold!). We got pretty good coverage of the eastern part of the park, with some groups exploring the creek area, documenting many insect larvae and the woodland fauna and flora, and another group exploring the Rim Trail, getting a bit more sun, and also some awesome slime molds and a scorpion!

We documented lots of great winter critters (212 of them) - the most observed species was the CA slender salamander, and we also saw a few young arboreal salamanders, slugs, slime molds, and mushrooms, and many plants, such as mosses, liverworts, and ferns.

We also documented a few species of bacteria, some living in the sulfur-rich springs, and some were found between the mosses (nostoc). Some of you might have noticed the green-algae like thing on the ground near the creek. I thought it was some kind of algae, and someone identified it as Vaucheria sp., belonging to the Chromista Kingdom, along with Kelp and Diatoms!

We also documented 70 (!) species of arthropods, including the aquatic insects, leaf-miners, and a few gall-inducers. To see our observations, visit the iNaturalist web page at

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