Sunday, April 8, 2012

More Shades of Brown

No red flowers blooming yet, but today's hike seemed plenty colorful to me.  We hiked the length of the Keddie Cascades Trail from the Highway 70 trail head all the way through to Oakland Camp.  There's a big talus slope area in the middle that didn't seem safe to traverse.  Seemed like we climbed 1000' above the river to go around it, then descended to river level again to complete the hike.  The Milkmaids were still blooming, but no new flowers.  Lots of buds though, and that stirred our sense of anticipation.  Also saw a number of Bluebellies and Centipedes.   A wonderful, sunny day, and the forest is definitely waking up.  Oh, saw the helgrammites under the rock where we found them a month ago on this trail.
We did a lot of walking, and not much lingering, but here are a few notes on the photos.
The moss-covered Douglas-fir stump as beautiful, like a green castle in some sort of fairy land.  There must have a half dozen or more species of mosses, plus some lichens, but we didn't stop for closeups.  The second photos if of a bright orange fungus called Witch's Butter, Tremella mesenterica. As one who did a lot of dissecting mammals while studying zoology, I can tell you the mesenterica appellation is appropriate.  Next is a closeup of a Sticky Currant bush, Ribes viscosissimum, another great descriptive. The bright red flowers on this one should burst forth in a few more days, but there was already enough color to make this an attractive photo.  Next is a patch of Star Moss with a prominent crop of sporophytes.  When I get close to these, I always imagine being an ant wandering through a forest of tall, branchless trees. Then, the Silk Tassel Bush, Garrya fremontii, was in full bloom.  Before blooming, these are easily mistaken for manzanita, but they are in an entirely different family.  The last three photos of are fungi.  Using my smaller field guide I thought I had them all identified, but when I tried to confirm with my larger field guide, I realized I don't know much about identifying mushrooms, so no names here.  My motivation for these photos was primarily aesthetic anyway. 

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