I got absolutely excited seeing this woodpecker on my walk to the Union Bay Natural Area, off of UW's campus. Mostly, because I've never seen one a couple feet from me, but for other reasons because I've never seen them at work. The red stripe on this woodpecker's head immediately made me think that it is a pileated woodpecker. It was about the size of a crow, pecking at a trunk of a deciduous tree submerged in pond water. I believe it was scouring for insects, not sure if it was a male or female, but I air on it being a female. There didn't seem to have a red line from the bill to the throat like males have. The surrounding vegetations were cattails, deciduous trees with small birds and many ducks. The woodpecker was out probably because it was a sunny day, high in the 60s; the weather for insects.
Abundant ground cover along path.
See Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park (April 19, 2012) journal entry.
This 2 foot tall plant was in huge numbers and growing next to invasive blackberry bushes as well as the path. Many Alder and Madrones nearby. It may thrive in disturbed soil like many invasives and weeds. The leaves are quite large and fan-like-possibly to collect more water. A flower cluster grows near or in the center of the plant. The flowers look to be light pink and small.
This plant is 3 feet tall and has several long narrow and bendable branches that are a reddish-brown "mahogany" color. It is growing out of a sawed-off tree. The buds are growing out of the stems and the tips of the branches. The buds have a "scale-like" petal that builds into the flower. The scales are coral-yellow-red. The budding leaves are light green. Possibly, it's the original tree growing, or it's an epiphyte since it's growing out of a multi-tree stump. I also found another tree located along the bluff-it's shown the the other two pictures.
for context, see daily account for 3/31 at Pack Forest. i don't know specifically what kind of alder this is, but from the reddish male catkins, i know it's an alder tree. we were near a stream of water at this time.