Small abandoned snail shell found at the base of Wild ginger plant.
In the last stop we saw Stinging Nettle, but here we saw Devil’s Club, another dangerous plant. Do not touch this plant because it will cause lots of irritation. The plant has broad wide leaves that are great for capturing any light on the forest floor. The plants vary from one to three feet talk. The thorns on the stalks are visible even from a distance.
We saw a few Forget-me-nots that have long slender leaves evenly split down the middle, long fuzzy stems and small blue flowers with yellow centers at the top. There were many in the area we went by, probably 30 at least.
One of the exciting finds on our trip was Wild ginger! This plant has a heart-shaped leaves, fuzzy stems and a small flower at the base of the plant. The fuzz on the stems is very soft to the touch. The leaves have a net shape veining technique, which I drew in my journal. The Wild ginger had a very distinct ginger smell to it if you broke a leaf, which I liked. It was intermixed with other small plants that had yellow flowers. We saw about 10-15 of these plants in one area. The flower at the base is a dark purple color and hollow in the middle. The three petals peel back towards the stem.
On some of these trees we found exoskeletons of Stone flies. These were a little bit creepy because they were so large (at least an inch). At times there were as many as three per every square foot on the tree.
Came across a large Douglas fir at least six feet in diameter. We identified it by the cones on the ground and the bark of the tree. I have never seen a Douglas fir this large before. I want to make a note that while the first tree we saw here was a Douglas fir, they were not very common in the area.
Here is a general map of Golden Gardens. I primarily stayed in the Central, South and Upper Hillside regions. To view this map please visit: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/horticulture/vmp/GoldenGardens/VMP.pdf
Unknown juniper found at Golden Gardens.
I think I was taking a picture of something else, but this picture does an excellent job showing how sandy the soil was on the upper hill portion of Golden Gardens.
This picture give a general idea of some of the canopy at Golden Gardens.
Beautiful plant (not in bloom) at Golden Gardens.
Found in the upper hill section of Golden Gardens.
This picture gives an idea of how steep the hill was at Golden Gardens, although this was not the steepest part that I climbed.
I found several sword ferns along the trails at Golden Gardens. More of them at the higher elevations.
Western Red cedar at the base of the stairs to Golden Gardens. Surrounded by Sword ferns.
Found interspersed with English Ivy along the South slope of Golden Gardens.
Lots of English Ivy growing along the steep hill.
Our last mushroom examined, which we have seen on campus, was an Artist Conc. These have to be my favorite mushrooms because of their unique artistic canvas. On the underside of Artist Concs are thousands of small pores. However, if one draws on these pores the image will stay forever. I learned that these mushrooms grow a new layer each year. The one picked up at the site was about seven or eight inches across. We found four on a log by our parking site.
Before we left Index Road we looked at two different mushrooms. One mushroom is called Polyporous badius. This mushroom has an odd non-symmetric shape and pores underneath it without gills. These pores are visible without a hand-lens, but the lens brings more clarity. Underneath the mushroom, where the pores are, is completely white. However, on top the mushroom is varying shades of brown. The very edges tend to be a lighter brown than the middle. I learned that the spores for this mushroom are held inside the long pores.
I have to say I find these plants absolutely beautiful. The leaves have a lacey quality about them, and are very light and nimble. The purple flower is downward facing and looks somewhat like the shape of a heart. We saw about three of these plants, but I have seen them on campus before and did not know what they were. While the light purple flowers are beautiful I think I like the leaves the best. They seem very unique to me. I took a leaf and traced it in my journal (please see picture).
Along our way we came across a slimy black slug on top of a dead leaf. I do not know the species of the black slug or what kind of distinguishable features I should look for trying to identify the slug. I know it was about an inch long. The picture can provide more information.
Stinging nettles can cause an extreme amount of discomfort if touched. The leaves are deeply toothed and it has a couple holes in the leaves, mostly likely from an insect. The leaves are very wide. Most noticeable are the large spikes on the stalk. We did not see very many of these plants, fortunately; only about two or three on our entire trip. At the base of the Stinging Nettle were more False Lily of the Valleys.
The leaves seem to grow in parallel with the ground and the small white flower is underneath the leaf. I think the flower is under the leaf to protect itself from the rain. The flower is white in color and about an inch long. I included a rough sketch of the plant that I drew. The leaves have indented strips, about four or five per leave going outward. The stem has small little hairs on it.
Farther into the forest are a few Wood Ferns. These were not nearly as abundant as the False Lilies, but there are at least five in our general area. They have thin stalks and dainty leaves. There are little brown hairs grown on the side of the stalk.
Directly on the side of the road are more than 50 False Lily of the Valley plants. Some of these had small white buds shooting from the top of them, but not all. The leaves are incredibly smooth and heart shaped. As the name suggests these plants have a certain quality to them that could mistake them for Common lilies. The parallel veining in the leaves could suggest this. The plants are only about five inches tall. Underneath the plants is a thick layer of dead tree leaves, twigs and decaying matter. I could also hear a river in the background. I think this is the same river as the one at the Goldbar stop.
This plant is deciduous, but drops its leaves in the summer so when winter comes around there is plenty of light shining through the trees for the plant. Found growing in coniferous trees along Index Road. A few students in my group ventured to try and eat these plants, but many found the taste dissatisfying.
It is about two and a half feet talk, but the interesting characteristic about this fern is that it is curled up very very tight and as it grows it unravels. The stem is sturdy and thick. I am also not sure I heard the name of this plant correctly.
Past the parking lot closer to the road we found a Dogwood tree. The leaves felt somewhat like paper and I learned a unique way of being able to identify a Dogwood using its leaves. By gently pulling the leaves in opposite directions (from stem to tip) the leaf will break apart, but small strings will remain attached to either side. I drew a small illustration of this in my journal. I never knew this about Dogwoods, but it is a very cool fact. The flowers on the dogwood were bright white and had four petals. The middle was a bunch of small rough yellow structures that formed together to make a half sphere shape.
As we were walking back to the parking lot along the trail (that seemed to loop) we heard a bird. There were many birds in the area, but this one in particular caught our guide and professor’s attention. Using the iBird application on the iPhone our professor put out calls of the Hermit Warbler, which is what they thought it was. The bird moved a little bit closer, but upon examination we discovered that the bird was not a Hermit Warbler, but rather a Black Threader. After trying to find the bird online, I think I might have heard the name wrong, especially the ‘threader’ part. Since the bird was very far away and high up in the trees I was unable to take a picture, but I did take a picture of the area in which we found it.
Directly next to the Indian Plum was a Pacific Crab Apple. I have seen this tree on campus (during a fungi tour), but it was wonderful to see the tree in its natural habitat. The tree was blooming with whitish-pink blossoms near the river. It hung over the trail.