I took a drive "over the mountain" as the locals say around here, to do some tree hunting. Storm after storm continues to arrive here in Northern California. Seems we've had a lot of rain this month. I couldn't stay inside any longer and had to get back out into the forest. There was snow in the higher elevations this morning and even a little in the redwood forest.
I spent most of the day bushwhacking around, looking for big trees, new trees, and albinos. The albino ghosts have kept hidden for now, perhaps I just got lucky last month.
Found some more California nutmeg trees (above). This time, I could see the tiny nutmegs beginning to grow on the branches.
Once again, there was plenty of lichen lying on the forest floor, blown from the upper branches of the redwoods. I think I read somewhere that these serve as fertilizer for the forest once they blow off, although I'm not 100% certain.
There is nothing like coming across an unexpected giant. This ancient redwood was the largest tree I found all day. Once I stood inside the cave and looked up, there was a gaping hole at the top. This tree's main trunk seemed to be completely missing 100 feet up or so, but enormous reiterated trunks had grown along the sides. It was a magnificent specimen.
I found this pine cone with a mushroom growing out the top. There were trees here that looked different from any I've noticed before. I can not tell if the above cone is from a Douglas fir or not, although it looks similar. I also could not tell if the trees were Douglas firs or something else.
This massive wall of wood was an exciting find. Four redwood trees mashed together. It was amazingly skinny when I walked to the side to take a look.
I also found this massive Douglas fir growing on the top hill I was on. There was debris from the tree all over the place, massive chunks of bark and branches that had fallen from above. The tree looked like it might be in its final days. Before the day was over, I was retracing my steps and heard a loud crash and snarling noises. It scared the heck out of me, as I saw a large beast running through the forest with what appeared to be mountain lion colors, however I saw no tail on it. After freezing for a minute, I began walking again, and about 30 feet in front of me, I saw what looked like a giant black pig sprint along an old logging road right in front of me. Supposedly they are fairly common, but its the first I've seen during my hikes.