Natural cure for slugs plus more mushrooms

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Janet Bostwick, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. SEATTLE - To like the weather over the past month and a half, some might
    say, you’d have to be a toad.

    Not true. You could also be a frog, salamander or other amphibian, judging
    by the way the critters have been breeding, wildlife experts say.

    Northern red-legged frogs and long-toed salamanders especially have been
    have been laying more eggs than usual since the middle of January,
    apparently after chowing down on an abundance of snails, slugs and other
    delicacies washing into their lakes and ponds, said Marc P. Hayes, a
    Washington state fish and wildlife research scientist.

    “This is the kind of weather that’s absolutely terrific for amphibians,”
    Hayes said.

    Seattle had only two dry days in January, the third-wettest on record for
    the city with 11.65 inches of rain. The wettest was 12.92 inches in January
    1953, when the city set a record with 33 consecutive days of measurable

    Seattle fell six days short of that mark, but Olympia, the state capitol,
    beat its old 33-day mark, also from 1953, with 35 days of drip, drizzle and

    “Every time we get close to beating the record, it has been pulled away from
    us,” University of Washington meteorologist Cliff Mass said, “but any way
    you look at it, this was an extraordinarily wet month.”

    February has gotten off to a soggy start as well with .25 inches of rain at
    Boeing Field in Seattle and .38 inches at the Olympia airport through 6 a.m.
    PST Thursday.

    Frogs are not the only beneficiaries. Dragonflies across the state should
    benefit, as well as ducks and other waterfowl, said Dennis Paulson, director
    emeritus of the Slater Museum of Natural History at the University of Puget
    Sound in Tacoma.

    Dragonflies lay their eggs in shallow ponds and lakes, many of which have
    shriveled or dried up entirely before the larvae could mature in recent
    years, especially east of the Cascade Range, Paulson said. Ducks, likewise,
    have suffered from the loss of marshy breeding habitat.

    “I’m hoping a lot of these basins will be filled in by all this rain,” he

    Wild mushroom enthusiasts face a more mixed outlook.

    Too much rain can inhibits the growth of forest fungi, but abundant rain in
    January and a heavy snowpack generally means a bumper crop of boletes,
    matsutakes and morels, said Ron Post, president of the Puget Sound
    Mycological Society.

    So far the Cascade snowpack is about 150 percent of normal, according to the
    Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center.