On Sunday D. and I went to Wunderlich County Park, which at one time was part of the Folger (of Folger's coffee) estate, and I took some pics of lots of moss, ferns and fungus.
A moss-covered stone wall near the trailhead sprouts a lush growth of ferns.
Bracket fungi sprout from a fallen log.
A fence along the Bear Gulch Trail hosts lots of lichen.
Moss and bracket fungus share a dead log.
Even little twigs sprout fungus.
These bracket fungi make this trunk look like it's wearing petticoats.
These fungi are known as false turkey tails (Stereum).
Another bracket fungus, Ganoderma, shows its underside pore surface from which it will disperse its spores.
A cup fungus, Peziza.
A little orange mushroom
A gnarly bracket fungus and moss on a trunk.
More false turkey tails festoon this log.
The vine is growing through this bracket fungus.
Another log full of bracket fungi and moss.
These blobs are the black jelly fungus Exidia glandulosa.
There is much evidence of at least one fire that swept through the park. Here are just a few of the many charred logs visible along the trail.
A small log full of lichen nestles a little fern.
Many of the fire-damaged Douglas fir trees sprout little mushrooms growing up out of their cracked bark.
Here is more jelly fungus (Tremella aurantia), growing on these false turkey tails.
Yes, some kinds of fungi parasitize other fungi. It's like fungi squared.
This black blob is a kind of crust fungus, Annulohypoxylon thouarsianum.
More mossy logs festooned with bracket fungi.
Turkey tail fungi on logs.
Looking up at a log overhanging the trail, we see the underside of bracket fungi.
Eventually the Madrone Trail takes us up to Salamander Flat, and Salamander Pond.
This spring-fed pool was originally a reservoir for the Folger estate. Now it is home to rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa), which breed here from late winter to early summer.
Here's a rough-legged newt crawling past Ds' boot.
Don't touch -- their skin is poisonous.
On our way down the Alambique Trail we pass by a memorial bench, recently graced with roses.
This enormous 20-foot-tall charred stump looming above the trail is all that is left of an ancient giant redwood. I cannot imagine the inferno that must have destroyed the magnificent tree that once flourished there.
Redwoods actually need fire to survive. Their bark contains tannins, which resist burning. As fires sweep periodically through redwood forests, they burn other plants and debris, enriching the soil. The redwood seeds then have a good supply of nutrients to encourage growth once they sprout.
But if their protective bark is damaged, either by insects or animals, fire can get inside and burn the flammable part of the redwood. If a fire is hot enough, the fluids inside the tree explode, letting the fire in. It may take 50 or 100 such fires to kill a redwood completely, though.