Yellow-staining, remnant cortina-like structure. Don't recall if it had an odor. Probably growing under oak, but not sure.
Maybe quillwort, maybe pillwort, but it doesn't seem to have that thickened base I'm seeing in other pictures. Growing at the edge of a cow pond, roots loose in the water.
Update: thanks to Tiggrx for the ID.
Not the greatest pic, but it demonstrates one of the traits used to distinguish these similar species: the degree to which their eyes protrude. In Taricha granulosa (lower left), they do not protrude beyond the jaw line, but in th T. torosa (upper right), they do.
I actually think this is Armillaria, despite its weird appearance, because growing right next to it was a more conventional-looking Armillaria-like cluster that Scott pointed out. I'm assuming there was some buried wood, but didn't check. Open to alternate suggestions.
Scott pointed out this aster to me. Will have to keep an eye out for flowers later.
I think the ID is right...
After spending the morning discussing things like the motivation of having a mission while naturalizing, we set out to find some Red-bellied Newts, which neither of us had seen before. And lo, there they were. Mission accomplished.
Encountering all three species of newt within a meter of each other was a piece of luck! This shot shows another way to tell apart Taricha torosa and T. granulosa: in the former, the yellow coloration extends right up to the eye, and in the latter the dark coloration tends to extend below the eye. Stebbins actually says you should check the color of the lower eyelid, which seems somewhat absurd, unless it has its eye closed, like this T. granulosa does.
This weird fungus was growing in the middle of the trail, and I probably would have walked right by it if I was by myself. Someone else was clearly checking it out before us, because we found it cut like this.