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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Forest Floor Ramble

Today was one of those days that I really needed to stick close to home and get fiddly bits done. I stopped by Redmond Watershed Park again. It is handy on my way back from the barn and early in the morning you can feel like you almost have the whole place to yourself. I am not a fan of graffiti but the note on newly placed bench, deep in the woods seems a bit more tolerable than most. The nice bench, made from logs, was welcoming, but I had places to be.

Usually I am looking up and out, but today there were so many things to notice on the forest floor. Right now mushrooms are everywhere. I have almost zero clue as to what mushrooms are what , but I certainly enjoy seeing and noticing their many colors, shapes and how they fit in the habitat. So many were pushing up through leaf and ferns. The edges on many trails were lined with them.

This one almost looks like Chanterelle, I believe it is Woody Chanterelle, but I am not confident enough and consider the cost in the store a reasonable price to pay for safety, at least for now.

These reminded me of marzipan mushrooms, but I guarantee you, that is NOT chocolate filling. It was soft and wet...but not chocolate

It is easy to see where some illustrators and animators get their ideas, when it comes to mushrooms

Fungi play an important role in forest ecology. Their hyphae (underground structures) break down deadwood, recycling the nutrients. They also serve a helper role in forest metabolism and many conifer trees cannot exist without mycorrhizae interface in their root systems. Of course many animals, from the smallest bugs to large hikers eat the mushroom. It is a pretty big industry and wild mushroom turf wars are known in Oregon.

Not everything worth noting now is on the ground. Year round it is fern paradise. I particularly like Licorice Fern. They often grow from moss on tree trunks and their rhizomes, when chewed, do taste like anise / licorice. They were used for cough and sore throat.

This wasp nest caught my eye, I almost waved it off as another mushroom

The sun finally broke an hour into my walk and it adds great dimension to our woods. This was a lucky find. I would not have been able to make the capture without the help of sunlight.

Elegant mosses and Sword fern

This Big Leaf Maple leaf looks like it fell right out of 1969. Pretty groovy, isn't it?

And this mushroom...I suspect some might think it pretty groovy too...

I'm not going to try it. You try it!

Lets get Mikey.

I spotted this bug and had fun sneaking in on it while it had a snack. It was not until I got home and got it in to the computer that he had a bug buddy on the upper deck. So many bugs and little critters nosh on these mushrooms that it will not be long before many of them and chewed to bits. The Douglas Squirrels are hanging theirs to dry and all over, pasta and omelette's are on the dinner menu of knowledgeable foragers.
My little ramble turned into 3 1/2 hours and 5+ miles.
Still got everything done


  1. I enjoyed your wander almost as much as you did. You have a knack for description.

    I took a walk in the woods myself yesterday, with a friend who has owned her land for 20 years. It was a delightful trip, with stories of how the land has changed over the years, deer scrapes and bear scat. And, I forgot my camera.

  2. Thank you Louise. I think you need to take up the New York branch of rambling blogs and start yours. You seem to have a lot of resource for access to natural areas and an appreciation for the gentle tide of life.

    I almost never forget my camera. Yesterday I forgot my binoculars. I think that says a lot. My challenge is having plenty of charged batteries.

    I can hardly wait for the start of the next years flower season.

  3. Great photos both of the mushrooms and the spider web. An interesting and beautiful post.