Is this plant marked with an orange tag because it is being devoured by some sort of bug? Why would just this particular plant be targeted by bug(s)? And what type of bug?
Only a few of these grew next to the bank of the stream. They were bright green. New looking. Not old or dying.
These were flowering or had just finished flowering. The closer to the base of the plant (aka the older the leaves got), the more rounded the overall shape of the leaves got. I wonder why that is?
These were the only plants growing in the thick gravel along the bank. I noticed that the leaves of these horsetail slope towards the ground rather than reaching upward.
A Cascara tree grew about 10 yards from the edge of the creek, shadowing it. The Cascara, at first glance, looks like an alder. The trunk and branches are a rusty white and the leaves have a similar overall shape. However, the leaves of cascara are not ridged like that of alders and much less "ripply."
The leaves are a little fuzzy. It was not flowering. Normally I see these flowering later in the summer.
The trunk is green hued and flexible. This vine maple had what I think are flowers. Do the red petal shaped things (as in the photo) actually form the flower? Or is the flower simply encompassed by this structure? Do all Vine maples have flowers? Or are there male and female vine maples?
On the other side of the creek (the side that was higher, less rocky, and more highly vegetated and mossy) grew these bushes. There was one area in particular, a clear area, that was full of these bushes. All the bushes in this area were blooming. Perhaps they like more sun which is why this somewhat cleared area is so full of them?
I did not include this spider in my daily journal account because I forgot about them. These were everywhere in the rocks along the bank. This one was about and inch long (including legs). I tried to identify it based on its coloration and shape using various sites online, but I could find fit.
When I was little, my mom told me that Indians ate these. My best friends and I, when playing "Indians" in our yard, would collect these and make little wraps for "snack food" for our game =)
The leaves are not as ruffled as Curled Dock. It was not flowering.
It was not seeding. It grew about 3 feet tall, sometimes a little more. I have seen this grass here before and recognized it (it makes me sneeze like crazy), so I know what it looks like when it is seeding. The heads of this grass feel soft to the touch. The leaves are rather soft too.
The sitka sedge was one of the closest growing plants along the creek. It grew in clumps a few feet from the edge. It was seeding. Why do the heads bend over so much? Does it bend like this so as to drop seeds in front of itself rather than on top of itself?
This appears to be a small grasshopper. This is the only one I saw. It was on a rock next to the creek. I am guessing, since this is the only grasshopper that I saw, that either grasshoppers do not prefer the plants next to the bank or find too many predators there. And, what is the difference exactly between a cricket and a grasshopper?
I found (or rather my friend who was with me found) this crayfish in the creek. It was dead. We've always called these crawdads, so it seems very strange to me to call them crayfish.
Though this crayfish is young, it has the distinctive white band at the joint at the beginning of the claw of a signal crayfish. However, I am still not sure whether this identification is correct. Most of the "crawdads" in this creek, even as adults, are never (or so I have seen) bigger than 9 or so inches.
These bugs appear to skim across the surface of the water. How do they stay afloat. Why do they need the capacity to walk on water?
These crawled in the creek and also around and under the rocks on the bank of the creek. I saw three total. (They are creepy crawly critters!)
I think these may be baby salmon? Four of these little fish (about 3-4 inches in length) swam (facing against the current) in a little rock alcove. They appeared to stay in the same spot. The area was sunny, perhaps they were warming themselves in the sun. (that area of the water was probably warmer than most of the other areas because the water wasn't moving very fast and had been warmed by the sun).
The fishes sides were a light yellowy-brown except for dark brown/black stripes. They were a slightly darker brown in color on a stripe on the top.
These creatures live IN the creek (There are a LOT of them, I would guess about 5-15 per square foot). They cling to pebbles and shuffle around. Their casings appear to be made out of the sand, dirt, leaves, rocks, etc. around them and is "glued" together.
What are these creatures? How do they make their shell? How do they stay under water for so long? How do they breathe?
The butterfly fluttered alongside the road. I did not see it stop. Can butterflies not fly on rainy days because their wings would be too weighted down? Or do they simply need to be warmer?
Where do butterflies hide out when it rains?
I saw an ant hill in the gravel next to the road. The top was completely covered wit little red and black ants (I know this is vague, but they were medium sixed ants. They were not nearly as big as flying black ants. They were probably about 1 cm long.) I didnt see many, if any, carrying food scraps. I wonder what they were doing. Also, this hill was less of a hill than just a small oval disc, like a pancake, on the ground.
What purpose does the metallic color of this fly serve? The fly was probably about 1 cm long.
I used the leaf shape to help me identify it. They bloomed little white flowers. These too grew along the gravel road.
The Sheep's Sorrel only grew alongside the road in the gravel/clay. It must be less durable (wind resistant) than the plants seen directly on the beach since it does not grow there. Maybe it needs more nitrogen too.
These grew in a gravelly area alongside the road. They were seeding. Do grass have what are called "flowers" per say?
The needles are pointy. The tips of the branches are budding. The trunk is more knobbly and the whole tree is more gnarly than those I see farther inland (like those protected in forests), probably due to the constant beating it gets from the wind.
I'm not sure what type of creature this shell belonged to. One of the shells had a small circular hole in its side. I think maybe a starfish ate the shell's contents.
Normally I see lots of sand dollars at this beach, but perhaps its not the right season to see those?
There were quite a few shells of Dungeness crab on the beach, and sometimes claws. Is there a season that crabs lose their shell? Do they shed their shell when a larger ones grows beneath? Or do they shed their shells when they die? Or both?
How does one tell the difference between the males and the females? What determine the number of spots one of these beetles has? How come the spots on one wing are identical to those on the other wing (making it symmetrical)? Why are they bright red?
I have noticed before that they let out an orange juice stuff that stinks. I assume its a defense mechanism against predators, so that predators wont want to eat them (I think I had a kids book about this when I was little). Are there any other uses for the juice? Do they all have it? Where does the juice come from?
Leaves were sparse. The branches have a slightly purplish tint. What exactly are the white tufts? Have these already flowered?
The young shore pines were about 5-8ft tall. The older ones were 8-17ft tall. One tree was completely dead (the picture showing the pine cone). THe bark on it was completely cleared about 7 feet up. I wonder what cleared the bark.