Ant mound found next to bog along Pack Forest trail during a heavily overcast day. These ants had distinctly red heads, and very black smooth bodies. I wish I could add more pictures to this post. The anthill was about two feet tall, and upon examination was completely covered in ants (may be hard to see in picture).
Tree found at Pack Forest near dining hall inbetween two larger trees, but nearly half their height. Heavy overcast day. Other than two trees surrounding, there is little to no other large vegetation. Red tips at the end of branch.
Found along Pack Forest trail during heavily overcast day. In forest with many deciduous trees with while transitioning to conifer trees. Lots of other understory including: downed trees, lichen, and many other plants. Sword ferns coming out of ground in clusters with seeds on the outer leaves. Stalks about two feet long.
A fungus found on a cut, downed log (that had been blocking the trail). The log was very moist and had a variety of different mosses on it. The fungus was dark brown on top and light beige on bottom. This might have actually been two different fungi, but I am not very familiar with fungi so I am not sure. The fungus came out from the log like a shelf and had a smooth 'skin' to it, but was very bulbous. I tried to identify this in my guidebook only to find out that my guidebook does not have a fungi section. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
The weather is partly cloudy, but mostly sunny. Tall coniferous trees block some of the sun, but allow light through their branches. This part of the trail did not have snow, but other parts did. The section of trail that was covered in snow was roughly two feet deep at most.
Green Bog found along trail of Pack Forest. Top covered in what appears to be a jade-green algae. Small bubbles were coming up from the bottom and there is suspicion of frogs residing in this bog. Many aquatic plants nearby, and entire bog was surrounded by deciduous trees with plenty of lichen.
Mushroom found in open field at Pack Forest. Heavy overcast day. Species unknown! Dark brown on top with light brown underneath. Adanate gill attachment underneath. Found along with grass, but no other vegetation.
Found along Trail at Pack Forest during a heavily overcast day. Sharp spiked edges to the leaves. No yellow flowers or dark berries observed. Found in a primarily deciduous forest area on small hillside. My group was informed by our guide that these sour berries were often mixed with sweeter berries to eat by the Indigenous Peoples of the area. The yellow flowers were used as a dye.
Plant found along Pack Forest trail during heavy overcast day. Flowers closed and small leaves. At tallest point about six feet tall. Found along with many conifer trees with some understory, but little mid-succession plants.
A Western redcedar, was found on the western side of the Trail of Shadows walk. The branches swoop and have a somewhat lacey quality to them. There is a flat spray to the branches as seen in the picture. Some said it was an Alaskan cedar, but since the scale-leaves are on two-opposite rows rather than just one side, I believe this is a redcedar. Furthermore, the bark is a deep red color.
A build up of calcium and minerals that has CO2 coming out of the ground. The mound is an assortment of colors including: red, yellow, orange, brown, green and black. The mound has an odor, but it is hard to place. Not as prominent as one might expect.
Found at Pack Forest near dining hall in open field. Heavy overcast day. Approximately 30 feet tall. Some lichen found on trunk.
Cladonia macilenta more commonly known as lipstick Cladonia was found along the Trail of Shadows on Mount Rainier. It was found on a rotting log at the base of a coniferous tree. This species had distinguishable red tips.
Scotch-broom found just on the edge of a field. Unfortunately I did not have my camera on me to take a picture. The weather was a heavy overcast with standing water on the ground, but no rain during the few hours out. Scotch-broom was just budding with yellow flowers.
Found along trail at Pack Forest. Overcast day with visible water on ground from previous heavy rainfall. Plant about six inches high and blooming. Found near other understory in primarily deciduous forest area.
Found along Pack Forest trail. Heavy overcast day. Found near deciduous trees, lots of other understory. Just flowering.
Form of cardamine found along trail at Pack Forest. Heavy overcast day. Plant has small white buds, not yet bloomed. Found along with grass in primarily deciduous tree forest. Heavy understory in the area and visible standing water on the ground from recent rainstorm.
Yarrow viewed along wide trail at Pack Forest during a heavily overcast day. The trail appeared to be wide enough to allow traffic of a vehicle, but downed trees proved that a vehicle had not been on the trail for some time. A small creek was alongside the trail, but due to the heavy non-aquatic plant vegetation it is believed that the creek is temporary and only there due to the heavy rainfall the previous days. Yarrow was small and green with 'fuzzy' fern-like stalks. No flowers or fruits visible.
Herb robert, commonly known as "Stinky bob" found along trail at Pack Forest during a heavily overcast day. Plant had a very distinct, but hard to describe smell. Somewhat herby. Leaves were dentated, but overall an egg shape. The stem was pokey with small hairs on them. No flowers visible. Herb robert found in primarily deciduous tree area with heavy underbrush.
Gold Dust Lichen found on a dead cut branch along a Pack Forest trail during a heavily overcast day. Trail was wide enough for a vehicle, but had many downed trees. Area was primarily deciduous trees with thick understory that included a variety of plants, ferns, lichens and more. Ground very moist, but no rain the few hours present.
Fringe Cups viewed at Pack Forest along trail. Heavy overcast day, spotted in forest mainly consistent of deciduous trees, with thick understory including: many ferns, downed trees, lichen and various other plants. Ground very moist, and visible standing water. Plant about 5 inches high, and spotted frequently along trail.
Seen during a very overcast day alongside a wide trail in the Pack Forest. Found next to a creek that appeared to be new from the recent heavy rainfall. The area mostly consists of deciduous trees, with thick understory. The ground has a thick covering of leaves, twigs and other materials. The mushroom looks very shriveled, reminding me of a brain.
Springs bubbling up along the Trail of the Shadows on Mount Rainier. There was a slight smell to the spring, but not as strong as springs in Yellowstone. I believe these springs have C02 bubbling up, but I am not entirely certain. There appeared to be iron sediment around the springs. The weather is heavily overcast, but no rain while on our hike. It is very cold.
This was a very interesting observation. The iron minerals in the ground precipitate as they cool and make a rust-colored stain coating on the ground (information gathered from the "Iron Mike" sign). Iron is a brownish-red color and will change the color of anything in its path. My second picture is of a small man-made stone masonry. The weather is partly cloudy, but mostly sunny. Tall coniferous trees block some of the sun, but allow light through their branches. Parts of the trail are covered in snow, roughly two feet deep at most.
Red Tree Vole spotted by member of my group along a trail at Pack Forest during a heavily overcast day. Vole was under thick underbrush near trail. Was identified as a Red Tree Vole because of its small beady eyes, short tail (unlike a mouse tail), and fuzzy body. Very fun find! Vole appeared to be scavenging around, and was not bothered by our presence. Upon going up to a group member's knee the Vole then ran into the underbrush. Area was mostly deciduous trees with many downed trees and underbrush of ferns, lichens and various other plants. Ground was very moist. Trail was wide enough for the passage of a vehicle, but due to several downed trees made such passage impossible.
I saw this tree along the Trail of Shadows. When I was lower in elevation my group did not see this tree, and I believe that it only grows in these higher elevations. The tree was coniferous, had splotchy bark, needles with ridges below them. The weather is partly cloudy, but mostly sunny. Tall coniferous trees block some of the sun, but allow light through their branches. Parts of the trail are covered in snow, roughly two feet deep at most.
Small Hippuris vulgaris or "horse tail" plants found near a freshwater bog at Pack Forest. Heavy overcast weather, but no rain for several hours while out. About ten leaves per whorl, stalks about 2-6 inches high. Found in a primarily deciduous forest area with many lichen, mulch, downed trees and sword ferns in area. Ground very moist. Perhaps the water level fluxes. Water was only a few inches outside of camera shot.