After getting almost continuous rain since the middle of December, it finally let up and I suspected Tam would be alive with mushrooms. Starting from Rock Spring, I saw an abundance of them, mostly these rust-colored Candy Cap mushrooms (Lactarius rubidus). They seemed to be everywhere.
To be honest, the variety was a little disappointing, although not completely lacking. I did manage to spot a Gem-studded Puffball, a Bolete, some neat lichen, and trunks full of fresh oyster mushrooms.
This wound up being a very ambitious hike, as I took the Kent Trail all the way down to Alpine Lake, a descent of about 1,600 feet. But in hiking, what goes down must climb up, and these being the short days of winter, I really had to press hard to get back to the start before the sun set. By the time I arrived, the waning light of dusk had started to fade.
As always, it was a beautiful sight looking out over the Pacific Ocean from Mt. Tam. The moon was in its very first fingernail phase, the earthshine impossible to miss.