Sunday, June 10, 2012

Montgomery Woods with Kate and Cathy

I took a hike in Montgomery Woods today with my friend Kate and her friend Cathy. Kate and Cathy are both skilled naturalists, so it was exciting to be around a wealth of cheerful knowledge, a refreshing change from my usual contemplative, sometimes morose daydreams.
Redwood fairy ring (above)
We took a hike away from the main grove, in a section recently acquired, where old redwoods are quickly replaced by a second generation redwood forest. Redwood fairy rings were abundant, as well as several trees with scars and unfinished cuts.

View looking up under the sawed half of redwood tree (above)
Firecracker flowers 
Cathy specializes in wildflowers and was on the hunt for a rare species of firecracker flower. We eventually found what we were looking for, a pink form of the flower with a white middle. There were about three separate specimens growing near a creek.
Polyphemus moth?
Kate found this Polyphemus moth lying on a road. I learned today that moths do not eat. Instead, they live a few days, mate, and pass on.

Columbine (above)

Yellow legged frog? (above)
We also found a few yellow legged frogs. We thought they might be the endangered red legged frog. Perhaps it is. Comparing a few pictures online, I think it's more likely the yellow legged frog. A fun find anyhow.

Oregon ash (above)
Cathy pointed out this beautiful Oregon ash tree. It was covered with all sorts of lichens, growing next to the creek.
Kate and Cathy inspecting lichens growing on an old redwood (above)
The heat has returned today. It's one of the first days of the summer where it really felt hot inland. Overall, a fun and informative day...

On a side note, I found another deer tick embedded on my side. I tried to remove it, but it's body disintegrated and I'm pretty sure it's head is still under my skin. The damn thing was so tiny, I could barely see it. It sucks to feel like I'm playing Russian roulette with my health every time I go hiking these days. I've even been having nightmares of finding deer ticks embedded all over my arms. Back on the lyme alert.

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