for context, see daily account #19- west duwamish greenbelt walking trail on 6/4. i saw this banana slug on my way out, which looked like it was in a gigantic dandelion plant (all of the plants here were enormous). i'm not completely sure of the classification, i knew it wasn't a pacific banana slug which has a very particular pattern, and while slender banana slugs are usually yellow, they can also come in brown- so this seemed like the most plausible identification.
for context, please see daily account for Index, WA on 5/12. this moss was much harder to identify, as it did not have as distinguishing features as the oregon beaked moss and i did not spend a lot of time studying it when i saw it. i ventured to guess that it was wavy-leaved cotton moss, because of the way it was transversely wavy, whitish-green and glossy, with little-branced stems. if anyone has another idea, i'd be happy to know!
for context, see daily account for Index, WA on 5/12. i looked at mosses in pojar and felt like oregon beaked moss came closest to describing this moss i saw growing at the base of a tree in the moist index forest. pojar says it is common in lowland rainforests, which would be appropriate for the wetness of this area, and is a yellow-green to orange-green, which is also confirmed by this picture. most distinct of all though is its branches, which resemble individual fern fronds.
for context, see daily account #15. this was a large black crow that i caught sitting on what i think is a douglas fir tree outside my house. a number of them came out because we put some food (english muffin) outside, which attracted these crows and a few eastern gray squirrels. the crows would fly and sometimes hop over, grab some food- not before looking around suspicously, and then fly it away to consume it.
for context, please see daily account #15. this is an eastern gray squirrel eating some english muffin in my backyard. i saw a few climbing around plum trees and western red cedars in my yard before they came down to eat food. two of them grabbed food and ran away to eat it, and one stayed, undisturbed by me, nibbling away at her grains. they seem to be nearly as friendly in residential areas (at least near my house) as on campus, as i remember feeding them from my hands when i was growing up.
for context, see daily account #15. i have seen this plant in a number of places, and it has taken over the entire back portion of my yard, which we don't really tend to. there is some bamboo and plum trees back there, and one of the only low-growing plants there is this peculiar looking one, which i have definitely seen elsewhere but have no idea where to start identifying it. some inches up from the base there are darker, rhododendron-like leaves that fan out from a central point, and then the stem goes through the middle and shoots out these networks of little green umbrella-like leaves with tiny star-shaped flowers on each.
update: i found it in a book!
for context, see daily account #15. i know that this particular alyssum was planted, but i documented it because i have seen alyssum growing wild near sidewalks and even on sandier substrates near beaches and in other parts of the city. i know because i always pick some to smell it- it has a beautifully sweet fragrance, and i see it most often in white, purple, or some combination of the two. i learned that it is native to the mediterranean region, but has been naturalized everywhere else.
for context, see daily account #15. we have over ten species of rhododendrons in our house, but this one i identified as Rhododendron ponticum for its violet-purple flowers. i saw bumblebees going at them around 10 am this morning, as they were in full bloom and it was warming up to be a sunny day.
for context, see daily account #15. these violets were not currently blooming, but i see them take over patches of my parents' garden every year. the small purple flowers that come out exactly resemble the ones for Viola odorata. the leaves are shaded and heart-shaped, and they tend to take over areas that have shade and that are home to other weeds, such as stinky bob and dandelions.
for context, see daily account #15. i'm fairly certain this is a different species of horsetail from the more common Equisetum arvense (common horsetail) which has much narrow and more dense leafing. this horsetail had rather sparse, long leaves (do they have a different name than leaves?) that came out in opposite branching in groups of ten. the specimens i found growing under a rhododenron tree in my house were probably only 8-10" tall.
for context see daily account #15. we have numerous foxglove plants and just confirmed that we've never planted a single one. but they're so beautiful that you can't get rid of them all! they are usually found in bunches in different parts of the yard, growing anywhere from 2-6' long. they are currently flowering. i didn't see bees or any other pollinators in the flowers this morning, but it may have been too cold.
for context see Daily Account #15. i saw bumblebees pollinating rhododendron trees that were in full bloom. i don't know what kind of bees they are, so i looked up "bumblebees found in north america" and ventured to say it was Bombus rufocinctus based on the region it's found and the distinctive, thick orange band on its lower half. if you have any other suggestions, i'd be happy to know!
for context, see Daily Account #15. the buttercup this most closely resembled to me was the creeping buttercup, Ranunculus repens, although there are roughly 600 species in that genus. i saw these buttercups growing in numerous parts of the yard, usually in close proximity to other plants- either grasses or otherwise. these were packed in with some stinky bob and poppies.
for context, see Daily Account #15. while lemon balm is often planted by people intentionally, i have seen it spread to places where it is not welcome- i don't know if it is officially an invasive species but i think it acts as one. wikipedia actually says that "In North America, Melissa officinalis has escaped cultivation and spread into the wild." these plants were growing in a large cluster in a more unkempt part of a garden bed, and when you break the leaves they have a strong, pleasant lemony scent to them.
for context, see Daily Account #15. today i decided to walk around my parents' backyard to see what wild or native plants i could find, since they have a huge yard with a number of overgrown areas. one of the plants i saw growing near some sword fern and a few other intentionally planted plants was pacific bleeding heart. they were a pale pink and currently flowering.
for context, please see daily account for Carkeek Park on 5/8. i saw several snowberry plants in the riparian area along the trail i was walking on. other common plants in the understory were salmonberry and largeleaf avens. it was not fruiting or flowering at this time.
for context, see daily account for 3/31 at Pack Forest. as was characteristic of the lichen in this forest, they was usually found with other kinds of lichens in the same place. there seem to be at least three different kinds of lichens on this one branch, but i'm fairly certain that the fatter one on top is Parmelia sulcata, and that the one below the stringier one is Evernia prunastri.
for context, see Daily Account on 4/1 for Nisqually Delta Restoration. grazing on the grass on either side of the gravel trail adjacent to the boardwalk were some canadian geese. i recently learned that you commonly find canadian geese in areas with manicured or short grass (like public parks or nice lawns) because it's easy access to food/easily digestable and also helps them keep a greater eye out for predators.
for context, see daily account for 3/31 at Pack Forest. this type of lichen resembles coral and is a whitish blue color. this particular lichen was on a dead branch of a madrone tree, but they cover most of the trees found in this area and are usually paired with one or two other types of lichen.
for context, see daily account for 3/31 at Trail of Shadows, Longmire. on the walk out, i noticed some very distinct fungi growing off the side of a tree trunk. it was about my height up on the trunk, and it was nestled with numerous other mosses and lichens. they basically looked like flaps of thin but tough, wrinkly brown paper hanging off of the tree.
for context, see daily account for 3/31 at Trail of Shadows, Longmire. there was a small board walk leading into the sulfury waters on this trail, and near the shore we found a log that had a number of lichens on it, and this one vibrant orange-red fungus spraying off the side. directly underneath the fungus was bare ground, but very close by there was snow.
for context, please see daily account for Carkeek Park on 5/8. walking along a trail at the park, i came across a tree trunk that had been attacked by what i assumed to be termites. the bark and innards of the tree were ripped apart unevenly mostly at the base but also in patches a few feet up from it, and piles of essentially sawdust and woodchips were piled up at the bottom. some research told me that most pest species of subterranean termites in North America belong to the endemic genus Reticulitermes, so that is the classification i put on this post.
for context, please see daily account for Carkeek Park on 4/8. the largeleaf avens was an extremely common plant in the understory of the areas i was walking around the park. there was also a lot of stinky bob and what i think was bracken fern (and maybe some lady fern) characterizing the understory as well. the largeleaf avens was not flowering at this time.
i saw this incredibly beautiful bird walking on the cobblestone path in pike place market, and then i saw some again near the UW farm on campus earlier this quarter. unfortunately, i spent a while trying to figure out what it might possibly be and wasn't able to come close to identifying it. if anyone knows what kind of bird this is, i would love to know! it has a beautiful, metallic, multicolored body with dark greens and purples and black, and each feather was clipped in gold. its legs were a reddish color.
i saw a number of these plants growing wild in the grass in my sister's lawn. they looked like wild hyacinth to me and have a similarly sweet fragrance, but i was confused when i tried to identify them because the flower i came closest to identifying it with is supposed to only be found in atlantic areas- Hyacinthoides non-scripta, or common bluebells. it appears that bluebells and wild hyacinths are the same thing- is this true? and if anyone has any suggestions/feedback on the identification, that is much appreciated.
i found this dandelion growing in a crack by the sidewalk on 76th ave NE near Linden Ave. i thought it was Taraxacum erythrospermum rather than the common dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, because the flowers of the latter seem to be puffier and have more petals. but i would appreciate input if anyone knows dandelions really well!
i wanted to capture the popular bleeding heart plant to contrast with the wild, pacific bleeding heart that we also see in urban areas in seattle. it makes me curious about horiculture and plant breeding, because they look significantly different in vibrancy, strength of stalks, size, and even the shape of the flowers.
i also saw english ivy walking through my sister's yard, growing in the more unkempt parts of the garden. it was growing through/around some bricks, and looked very healthy and dark green in color.
i was looking in the wilder areas of my sister's yard, and found morning glory (bindweed) wound up around some plants. because it wasn't flowering, i couldn't assume much past the family of morning glories Convolvulaceae, but would venture to say it's in the largest genus of that family, Ipomoea.
on the way back to mary gates hall, we found some split gill mushroom outside at the back of bagley hall. they are very small and downfacing, so there were several of them on a single dead log. it is also a white rot fungus. they grow with their gills to the ground, so they fruit on the bottom of the limb only.