Forest life

I love forest life.

Which is probably why I live in a forest. Don’t get me wrong, I love cacti and I have been in love with the desert since a very young age. The beauty and diversity of xeric life is something that draws me back repeatedly. A desert environment is too harsh for me to want to spend a lot of time as my body apparently requires more moisture.

Time to leave Austin.

My last year in Austin.

Accordingly, after spending the preceeding 27 years living in central Texas, a decade or so ago it was the right time to move and, after landing in the East Bay, I finally found home in a secondary regrowth redwood forest that is part of a Pacific NW coastal temperate rainforest.

At home

At home

This land is an overgrown mixture of douglas-fir, tanoak, redwood, madrone, chinkapin, california nutmeg, maple, assorted oak species, several ceanothus, dog-wood, hazelnuts, wild blueberries, western huckleberries and pink-flowered currants on rough and sloping terrain discouraging development and encouraging the build up of tree litter and assorted plant decay. In short, this part of Mendocino County is a fungus lover’s dream. There are some challenges for living in a rural location in a rugged forest but it is very well worth any effort.

To balance my love of cacti and the desert it seemed like a nice idea to add a page about something moist and sometimes soft and green. Forest life often fits that description. It is also quite dynamic and fascinating.

I started this out with a view of some of what has fruited since it began raining this winter (2014-2015). I’ll keep making edits to this page and creating new posts whenever enough new things worth adding are in-hand.
Image-only posts are all being backdated to 2010. My intention is to eventually capture as many of the different forms of life here as becomes possible throughout the seasons.

Fungi

This zeller’s bolete was perhaps the best dressed mushroom of the season.

forest life; Boletus-zellerii-1

 

Although, sometimes earthtones, like this Prince Agaricus, have their own appeal. 

forest life; Agaricus-subrufescens-2014nov14

 

Matsutakes have been fruiting!

forest life; matsutake-2015nov24

 

Amanita calyptroderma is having an OK year, not as good as many but they were still out in abundance. 

forest life; cocorra-2014nov1-b2

Amanita calyptroderma

 

These next ones on the other hand are easy and foolproof.

This magnificent lion’s mane somehow was overlooked for much longer than would be normal.
forest life; lionsmane-2014nov8-1

Hericium erinaceus

 

forest life; lionsmane-2014nov8-2

Hericium erinaceus

Coralloides always reminds me of something from the ocean. It might be my favorite mushroom, bar none, but if I’m not careful during harvesting and foraging they sure are a lot of work to clean.
forest life; coralloides-2014nov8-

Hericium coralloides

 

forest life; coralloides-2014nov6

Hericium coralloides (cultivated)

 

forest life; coralloides-2014nov15

Hericium coralloides

More:

some sort of blue mushroom

some sort of blue mushroom

 

Craterellus sp.

A cup fungus

A cup fungus

 

an earth-star:

an earth-star (Geastrum saccatum)

an earth-star (Geastrum saccatum)

 

an earth-star (Geastrum saccatum)

an earth-star (Geastrum saccatum)

 

A dyer's conk (Phaeolus schweinitzii)

A dyer’s conk (Phaeolus schweinitzii)

 

elfin-saddle

an elfin-saddle

 

puffball

A puffball

 

puffball

a puffball

 

oysters

oysters on a dead tan-oak

 

Oysters on a dead tan-oak

Oysters on a dead tan-oak

 

witch's butter (Tremella mesenterica)

witch’s butter (Tremella mesenterica)

 

Daldinia concentrica
Carbon balls

Daldinia concentrica

Daldinia concentrica

 

 

Slime molds

Many slime molds live here.

Fuligo septica

Fuligo septica

Not sure

One stage of a slime mold‘s life

 

Protista

Babesia duncani
formerly Babesia WA-1

Babesia in human blood

A Babesia, probably B. duncanni, in human blood

 

Plants

(organized alphabetically by binomial)

 

Anagallis arvensis
Scarlet pimpernell

Anagallis arvensis

Anagallis arvensis

 

Anisocarpus madioides
Woodland maddia

Anisocarpus madioides

Anisocarpus madioides

 

 

Asarum hartwegii
Hartweg’s wild ginger or Wild ginger
This species occurs only farther north and east of here but it flowers this time of year.

Asarum hartwegii

Asarum hartwegii

 

Cardamine californica var. integrifolia
Coast milkmaids

Coast milkmaids

Cardamine californica var. integrifolia

 

Calochortus species
The Mariposa lillies
There are many different species of these in California and a couple of them live near here.

Calochortus amabilis

Calochortus amabilis

 

 

Calypso bulbosa
Calypso orchids

calypso-orchid_IMG_0354

Calypso bulbosa

 

 

 

Claytonia perfoliata subsp. perfoliata
Miner’s lettuce

Claytonia perfoliata subsp. perfoliata; Miner's lettuce

Claytonia perfoliata subsp. perfoliata

 

 

Corallorhiza maculata
Spotted coralroot orchid

Corallorhiza maculata; spotted coral-root

Corallorhiza maculata

 

Cynoglossum grande
Hound’s-tongue

Cynoglossum grande

Cynoglossum grande

 

 

Dudleya cymosa
Canyon live-forever

Dudleya cymosa

Dudleya cymosa

 

 

Eriophyllum ambiguum
Beautiful Woollysunflower

Eriophyllum ambiguum

Eriophyllum ambiguum

 

 

Erythronium californicum
Trout lilly or California fawn-illy

Erythronium californicum

Erythronium californicum

 

Eschscholzia californica
California poppy

Eschscholzia californica

Eschscholzia californica

 

Fragaria vesca
Wild strawberry
These will be flowering soon!

Wild strawberry; Fragaria vesca

Fragaria vesca

 

Genista monspessulana
French broom

Genista monspessulana 12 May 2015

Genista monspessulana

 

 

Hypericum perforatum
Common St. Johnswort or Klamath Weed

Hypericum perforatum; St. John's Wort

Hypericum perforatum

 

 

 

Iris douglasiana
Coast Iris or Douglas’ Iris

Iris douglasiana

Iris douglasiana

Coast iris (Iris douglasiana)

Coast iris (Iris douglasiana)
possible hybrid with I. purdyi?

Iris fernaldii
another local wild iris

Fernald's iris AKA Iris fernaldii

Fernald’s iris (Iris fernaldii)

Iris purdyi
another local wild iris

Purdy's iris (Iris purdyi)

Purdy’s iris (Iris purdyi)

Purdy's iris (Iris purdyi)

Purdy’s iris (Iris purdyi)

 

natural Wild Iris Hybrids are very common.

wild iris hybrid

A hybrid Iris

 

This bearded Iris is not a native Iris species

a bearded iris

a bearded Iris

 

 

Lathyrus vestitus var. vestitus
Woodland pea

Lathyrus vestitus var. vestitus

Lathyrus vestitus var. vestitus

 

Lupinus bicolor
Miniature Lupine

Miniature Lupine (Lupinus bicolor) 26 May 2015

Lupinus bicolor

 

 

Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum
False Solomon Seal

Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum 15May2015

Maianthemum racemosum ssp. racemosum 15May2015

 

 

Mimulus aurantiacus
Sticky Monkey Flower

Mimulus aurantiacus

Mimulus aurantiacus

 

 

Monardella purpurea
Siskiyou monardella, serpentine monardella & Serpentine Coyote Mint

Monardella purpurea

Monardella purpurea

 

Pelargonium sp.
some sort of wild Geranium

a wild geranium species

a wild geranium species

 

 

 Piperia unalascendis
Alaska rein orchid

Piperia unalascendis 23may2015

Piperia unalascendis on 23 may 2015

Piperia unalascendis

An older image of Piperia unalascendis

 

 

 

Pleuricospora fimbriolata
“fringed pine-saps”
I’ve only seen this mycoparasitic species one time (deer ate this one within a few minutes of being photographed).

pinesap_IMG_0881

Pleuricospora fimbriolata

pinesap_IMG_0910

Pleuricospora fimbriolata

pinesap_IMG_0906

Pleuricospora fimbriolata

pinesap_IMG_0895

Pleuricospora fimbriolata

pinesap_IMG_0889

Pleuricospora fimbriolata

 

 

 

Polygonum californica
California milkwort

Polygala californica

Polygala californica

 

 

Pseudotsuga menziesii
Douglas-fir

We only rarely get snow here unless counting this annual pollen fall from this plant.

Douglas-fir-pollen

Doug-fir pollen

Doug-fir pollen fall

Doug-fir pollen fall

 

Pyrola asarifolia subsp. bracteata
Pink wintergreen
Is just beginning to flower.

Pyrola asarifolia ssp. bracteata on 23 May 2015

Pyrola asarifolia ssp. bracteata on 23 May 2015

Pyrola asarifolia ssp. bracteata; Pink wintergreen

An older picture of Pyrola asarifolia ssp. bracteata

 

Pyrola picta
White-veined wintergreen
Is also just beginning at the end of May and will be flowering as we move into June.

Pyrola picta; white-veined wintergreen

Pyrola picta

Pyrola picta; white-veined wintergreen

Pyrola picta

 

Rhus diversiloba
Poison oak
It is still too early for flowers on this underappreciated beauty.
The north has maples for Fall color; we have poison oak.

Rhus diversiloba

Rhus diversiloba

another image from earlier

Rhus diversiloba

Rhus diversiloba

 

Ribes sangineum var. glutinosa
Pink-Flowered Currant

Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum 21march2015

Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum 21 March 2015

 

 

Silene laciniata ssp. californica‬
California Indian Pinks

‪Silene laciniata ssp. californica‬

Silene laciniata ssp. californica‬

 

 

Spartium junceum
Spanish broom

Spartium junceum 14may2015

Spartium junceum

 
Tolpis barbata
European Umbrella Milkwort

Tolpis barbata

Tolpis barbata

 

 

Trientalis latifolia
Pacific Starflower

Trientalis latifolia 12may2015

Trientalis latifolia May 2015

 

Trifolium hirtum
Rose clover
Along the nearest road.

Trifolium hirtum

Trifolium hirtum

 

Trifolium incarnatum
Crimson clover
Along the nearest road.

Trifolium incarnatum

Trifolium incarnatum

 

Trillium ovatum
Pacific Trillium

Trillium ovatum

Trillium ovatum

 

 

Triteleia laxa
Ithuriel’s spear

Triteleia laxa

Triteleia laxa

 

 

 

Veronica persica
Birdseye Speedwell

Veronica persica

Veronica persica

 

 

Whipplea modesta
Yerba del Selva

Whipplea modesta April 2015

Whipplea modesta April 2015

 

 

Animals

A lot of cool animals live here. This is a tiny fraction.
Getting photographs for most of them is a real challenge.

 

Ariolimax columbianus
Pacific Banana Slug

Pacific Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus)

Ariolimax columbianus

 

 

Monadenia fidelis
Pacific Sideband

Monadenia fidelis

Monadenia fidelis

 

Archaeognatha
Jumping bristletail

bristletail

A Jumping bristletail

 

Buprestis aurulenta
Golden Buprestid Beetle

Buprestis aurulenta the Golden Buprestid Beetle

Buprestis aurulenta

 

 

Dacne californica
Fungus beetle

Dacne californica

Dacne californica

 

Archaeognatha
Jumping bristletails

jumping bristletail

A Jumping bristletail

 

Peltis sp.
A bark beetle

conk-eater

Peltis sp.

 

Platyceroides agassii
One of the many Scarab beetles

Platyceroides agassii

Platyceroides agassii

Platyceroides agassii

Platyceroides agassii

 

 

Prionus californicus
California root borer

Prionus californicus

Prionus californicus

 

Zarhipis integripennis
Western Banded Glowworm

Zarhipis integripennis

Zarhipis integripennis

 

 

Unidentified bug with a Piptoporus betulinus

Some sort of bug with a Piptoporus betulinus

Some sort of bug with a Piptoporus betulinus

Some sort of bug

A true bug with great camoflage

 

 

Camponotus sp.
Carpenter ants

 

Camponotus sp.

Camponotus sp.

Camponotus modoc
Western black carpenter ants

Camponotus modoc

Camponotus modoc

 

 

Pseudoscorpion

a pseudoscorpion

a Pseudoscorpion; common but rarely noticed

a pseudoscorpion

a Pseudoscorpion

 

 

MAYBE Lithobius forficatus
A Stone Centipede

A stone centipede MAYBE Lithobius forficatus

MAYBE Lithobius forficatus

A stone centipede MAYBE Lithobius forficatus

MAYBE Lithobius forficatus

 

 

Harpaphe sp.
Almond-scented millipede

millipede

A millipede (Harpaphe sp.)

Harpaphe sp. 2015

Harpaphe sp. 2015

 

 

Paeromopus angusticeps buttensis

Paeromopus angusticeps buttensis

Paeromopus angusticeps buttensis

 

 

 Xystocheir dissecta
Redwood Xystocherini

Xystocheir dissecta

Another millipede Xystocheir dissecta

 

 

Titiotus sp.
An endemic genus of spiders

‪Titiotus‬ sp.

‪Titiotus‬ sp.

 

 

Uroctonus mordax
Forest scorpion

Uroctonus mordax April 2015

Uroctonus mordax April 2015

 

 

Ticks
It is almost impossible to go out during mild weather and not pick up a tick in the forest or meadows around here.

Ixodes pacificus
Black-legged tick

This is the business end of one thing about the forest that really sucks, ticks.

Ixodes pacificus

Feeding implements of an Ixodes pacificus tick (dead)

These were abundant and especially active during May-June 2015. It has been almost impossible to go out during mild weather and not pick up a tick in the forest or meadows around here right now.

Ixodes pacificus: nymph, male & female

Ixodes pacificus adult female

Adult female Ixodes pacificus

 

 

 

Vaejovis puritanus
One of several scorpions that live here; species ID may or may not be right. This is an older picture of something that we only very rarely encounter.

Vaejovis sp.

Vaejovis sp.

 

 

 

Batrachoseps  attenuatus
 California Slender Salamander

Batrachoseps attenuatus on 3 March 2016

Batrachoseps attenuatus

 

Dicamptodon ensatus
 California Giant Salamander

Dicamptodon ensatus

Dicamptodon ensatus

Dicamptodon ensatus

Dicamptodon ensatus

 

 

Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus
Speckled-black salamander
Some of these are solid black and some are speckled with yellow.

Speckled black salamander; Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus

Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus

Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus

Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus

 

Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus on 3 March 2016

Aneides flavipunctatus flavipunctatus on 3 March 2016

 

Taricha granulosa granulosa
Rough-skinned newt

Taricha-granulosa-granulosa-oct2015

Taricha granulosa granulosa

 

Acris crepitans
Pacific chorus frog

Pacific chorus frog

Acris crepitans

 

 

Bufo boreas
Forest toad

Bufo boreas

Bufo boreas – one of the few toads lacking any alkaloids

Bufo boreas

Bufo boreas

 

 

Diadophis punctatus occidentalis
Northwestern Ring-necked Snake

Diadophis punctatus occidentalis

Diadophis punctatus occidentalis in defensive mode

 

 

Lampropeltis getula californiae
California king-snake

california-kingsnake-IMG_1327

California king-snake (Lampropeltis getula californiae)

california-kingsnake-IMG_1331

Lampropeltis getula californiae

 

 

Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis
California Red-sided Gartersnake

California garter snake

Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis

California Red-sided Gartersnake

Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis

 

Pituophis catenifer catenifer
Pacific gopher snake
This is not found here at home but was encountered recently while visiting the Shulgin farm.

Pituophis catenifer catenifer

Pituophis catenifer catenifer

Pituophis catenifer catenifer

Pituophis catenifer catenifer

Pituophis catenifer catenifer

Pituophis catenifer catenifer

Pituophis catenifer catenifer

Pituophis catenifer catenifer

 

Plestiodon skiltonianus skiltonianus

Plestiodon skiltonianus skiltonianus

a young Plestiodon skiltonianus skiltonianus

 

 

Elgaria spp.
Alligator lizard

Elgaria sp.

Elgaria sp.

 

Sceloporus occidentalis
Western fence lizard

Sceloporus occidentalis; Western fence lizard

 

 

Meleagris gallopavo
Wild turkeys
This is a conservationist success story. This bird species nearly went extinct due to overhunting. Reintroduction activity (largely through redistribution of existing birds)  lead to a huge rebound of the population including in many areas where it did not formerly exist. It is so common now that most people have no idea that it almost disappeared from the planet.

Meleagris gallopavo

Meleagris gallopavo

Meleagris gallopavo

Meleagris gallopavo

 

 

Melanerpes formicivorus
Acorn woodpeckers

Acorn woodpeckers' larder

A community larder of the Acorn woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus)

 

 

Myotis sp.
Bats

Myotis

Bat (I don’t know if this is Myotis californicus or Myotis yumanensis)

 

 

Urocyon cinereoargentus
Grey fox

Urocyon cinereoargentus

Urocyon cinereoargentus

Urocyon cinereoargentus

Urocyon cinereoargentus

 

 

Mephitis mephitis
striped skunk

Mephitis-mephitis_11may2014

Mephitis mephitis

 

 

Mephitis mephitis (striped skunk) &  Didelphis virginiana (Virginia Opossum)

Mephitis mephitis & Didelphis virginiana

Mephitis mephitis & Didelphis virginiana

 

 

Spilogale gracilis
Western Spotted skunk

spotted-skunk

Spilogale gracilis

Spilogale gracilis

Spilogale gracilis

 

 

Neotoma fuscipes
Dusky-footed woodrat AKA Pack-rat

Neotoma fuscipes

Neotoma fuscipes

Neotoma fuscipes

Neotoma fuscipes

 

 

Sciurus griseus
Western grey squirrel

Grey squirrel eating a Suillus

Sciurus griseus eating a Suillus mushroom in a Douglas-fir

 

 

Odocoileus virginianus
Whitetail deer

deer

Odocoileus virginianus