This is a moss that looks similar to fern morphology.
This tree has fungi all over it! The fungus looks different from the other specimens I encountered. They're not shelf fungi, but more rounded, smaller, and less colorful.
The weather is overcast with some sun breaks. It's 60 degrees outside. The dominant species are Douglas Fir (old growth), Western Red Cedar (old growth), Madrone, Alder, and possibly Pacific Yew (the trail mentioned it, but I couldn't identify them). There wasn't a lot of undergrowth, but when there was, I discovered Salal, Tall Oregon Grape, Ferns, and Red Alder bushes. I'm not sure what this plant is because it looks like a cross between Salal and Oregon Grape. It was located amidst more Cedar trees than anything else. It was in a pretty homogenous area besides the Cedars and Red Alders.
This is a large glacial erratic named "Waterman Rock" which is a boulder deposited in the middle of these woods by glaciers thousands of years ago. Moss covers almost the entire rock and a pathway has been formed around the entire circumference. A few years ago, I was able to climb the rock to have a picnic with some friends.The rock is surrounded by Western Red Cedars and Western Hemlocks. There is a lot of Salal undergrowth, more than any other place I'd ventured to in Saratoga.
I found many yellow and orange protists along the trail, often attached to logs and wood surfaces, like benches. While the one attached to the end of the log is curly and somewhat horizontally layered, the one on the parallel side of the tree is more orbed and circular. Could they be different species based on the physical and color differences?
I found this banana slug on a tuft of grass along the trail. It's quite the opposite of the other slug I discovered earlier on my journey. It has more faint grooves in its hind-area.
I found this red flying bug along the trail. I was able to get quite close to it, it never flew away. It's bright red and has long rectangle-shaped wings, and it's legs are red as well..
I found many of these mushrooms around the woods, especially on trees as a shelf/bracket fungus. Some were brightly colored, some were quite dark on the top. I found a fungus underneath a shrub that was quite dark. Maybe the amount of light that a fungus experiences makes it more or less colorful.
I had never seen moss like this before. Each individual frond is like a fern-hence, fern moss. A book cites it as Hylocomium splendens. However, it could be something completely different, although a type of moss. I posted two different kinds of fern moss in the two pictures, both found along the trail and on the forest floor.
This fungus was found on a Western Red Cedar tree. It's a bracket or shelf fungus, similar to red-belted polypores which were found in other parts of the forest. The top is bright red, which should make it easily identifiable.
This fungus was growing on a fallen log. It appears in layers along the log. I wonder how far the fungal growth extends within and under the log. The fungus is brightly colored browns, tans, and oranges. It appears wavy at the sides. I saw many of these types of fungi along the trail and no two were alike. However, they would all attach to a wood surface or tree.
This slug was found at the entrance of the trail. It's black and has deep grooves on it's hind area. I haven't been able to identify it specifically based on these deep grooves and how dark it is.
This tree is possibly a Noble Fir, White fir, or a Pacific Silver Fir, but definitely in the Abies family. The pine needles have a blue-ish tint with some needles more dark green than others. The tree was around 20 feet tall and the trunk was a medium circumference. It was found at the entrance of the Saratoga Woods on South Whidbey Island. Since it's at the entrance and I saw no other trees like it, it may have been planted there.
This plant was situated between the forest and grass of our backyard. The leaves are like palm fronds and also look like green daisies.
This 4 inch plant was growing next to where my neighbors were supposed to plant their garden next to the bluff. The soil was disturbed, but is now overgrown by grasses and other unknown plants. This indicates that it is perhaps a weed. The leaves have a texture similar to the texture of mint. It looks like it may be edible-not sure.
I spotted this Robin in my neighbor's field. There are many Robins that live in the area as well as sparrows, eagles, seagulls, crows, and hawks.
St. John's Wort is all over the bluff overlooking Holmes Harbor. I believe the plant is good for sustaining soil to prevent slides and erosion. In the summer, the plant blooms bright yellow flowers. It may have been planted long ago because the most elevated part of the bluff has huge amounts-is it a vine or a bush?
This Western Red Cedar is located on the very edge of a bluff. The bluffs in the area have recently experienced damaging slides. This Cedar has survived and most likely thrived in this location. It shows the Cedar to be well-rooted-a good tree for taking up water on bluffs.
This sea plant looks like a bunch of dark spaghetti noodles. I'm not sure what it is, nor if I can ever recall seeing it in this location before. It's rooted into the sand, so it must be quite deep. The color in daylight was an interesting deep red-brown color.
This is a light green seaweed. It is thin and translucent. It doesn't seem to be growing fro anywhere, but rather a deposit from a larger seaweed plant from sea.
Rockweed is a seaweed that grows in tidal saltwater habitats. The plant must be able to root itself into the sand and therefore seem to be clustered around larger rocks which may serve as a type of anchor for the plant. The tips of the plant are bulbs filled with water. Is the purpose of this to store water? Isn't the tide predictable enough for these creatures to survive with water?
These trees were all along the bluff. I'm pretty sure it's an alder due to the light bark. The bark also seemed to be a blotchy mix of light tan and muted brown.
This is a water bird sitting on a buoy. It could be trying to hunt or just taking a rest. It looks all black, but couldn't be a crow. It looks slightly smaller than a crow but bigger than a blackbird. Since it's neck is longer and curved, it could be a water-fowl. It sat on the buoy for about an hour.
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.
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.
These nettles are all along the beach trail leading down to the beach on Holmes Harbor. The trail is situated on a steep bluff. Water drainage is imperative in order to reduce the risk of slides. Nettle may thrive in areas with more water present in the water table.
These horsetails were found along the trail leading down the beach path. There are also Great Horsetails scattered along the trail as well. Common trees found in the area are Western Red Cedar, Douglas Firs, and Red Alder.
This plant was found beside the trail. It's about 10 inches tall and growing from underneath ground cover and sticks. The leaves start growing halfway up the stem. It seems like a young bush. Yellow-white, bell-shaped flowers grow at the very top.
This Western Hemlock was sparsely found among the forest, clearly dominated by Western Red Cedars and Douglas Firs. It seems young since it's not very tall. The main way I've been able to differentiate between hemlocks and spruces is by looking at the flatness of the needles on the branch; they're typically all on the same plane.
This trillium had three flowers in the middle of the path in the forest. The stem fades from light at the top to dark green at the bottom. The flower itself was bright white with longer, curly petals. Trillium are ephemeral and bloom for a short while before 'hibernating' below ground for the rest of the year.