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.
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.
On the outskirts of a clear space near the river was an Indian Plum plant with berries. I was very happy to see the berries on the Indian Plum because our first field trip showed us the Indian Plum in its flowering stage and now we were seeing the berries growing (which were very green and unripe at this point).
This whole area is full of cottonwoods. One in particular was found near the bank of the river, however, it has been partially uprooted possibly due to flooding. Lines on the tree showed that the soil came up much higher than where it was now and many of the roots were visible. While partially uprooted the tree seemed to be surviving and there were still many leaves growing at the top.
Along this same path I came across an unknown flower. Its stem has small thin spike on it. I did not touch them to see if they were bendable because I am unfamiliar with this plant and I did not know if it had any poisonous properties. The flowers of the plant were coming directly off the stem and downward facing. The petal-structures were bright pink and very small (only about half a centimeter long) and curled back onto the plant. The top of the plant seemed to have many more of these flowers, but they were all green and unopened. It also was drooping down, but this seems like a natural characteristic of the plant rather than a sign of poor health. The leaves have three general pointed sections, but the whole perimeter of the leaf is dentate. I would love to learn what plant this is. I could not find it in my guidebook and nobody I was around seemed to know what it was.
Along the path to the river on the left side was a Snowberry plant. Its leaves are very rounded, but the leaves closer to the base had some denates on them. This plant was not yet producing berries and was four feet high at its highest.
We saw a Big Leaf Maple plant, which was still young, but a good comparison to the vine maple. Like the vine maple the Big Leaf has droopy leaves and parallel branching. I then took a picture of the overall landscape to really drive home how thick the foliage is; lots of understory, mid-growth and upper-growth. I also noted that many of the trees have moss on them.
Directly next to the Hunnysuckle was a Saskatoon plant. This plant had white flowers the seemed to now be in the process of dying (unlike the Hunnysuckle). The petals are white and a little over an inch long. Some of the petals have fallen off. Both of these shrubs were close to each other.
Across the parking lot was a small island of plants. I say island, because the gravel parking lot completely surrounded the plants cutting them off from other vegetation. On this island were three trees and a few shrubs. Of the shrubs I saw a Hunnysuckle plant blooming, but the flowers were not completely open. The flowers themselves changed from yellow at the base to a dark red at the end. The bark was knotty and uneven. I would have loved to see these flowers open!
My class then identified a Hazelnut plant. I would have take more notes, but again we were walking too fast and at this point I had to catch up to the rest of the group.
This tree was ten feet tall and just about to flower. It was next to low level bush and a small evergreen behind it. The leaves have symmetrical veining and the leaves are about two inches broad (at most) and two to four inches long. We were walking very fast so I did not have time to write much more down about this plant.
The first plant we came across was the Vine Maple tree. This is kind of a shrubby little tree with ten lobes. Before this trip I had only identified a Big Leaf Maple, which are larger. I made a note that this plant has opposite branching, which means that on one side of the branch a leaf will grow and on the 180 degrees other side another leave will grow. This continues all along the tree. Maples are interesting to me because of their drooping leaves. It looks like the leaves are possibly dying or not doing well, when in reality the leaves just naturally droop; a very curious oddity. I wonder if the drooping leaves have anything to do with trying to not collect rainwater, but also allowing a lot of sunlight.