On Sunday we got a break in the rainy weather, so D. and I returned to Thornewood Open Space Preserve to walk the trail and take some pics. Here's mine.
Someone has thoughtfully left evergreen swags on the signage by the trailhead.
Next to the parking lot we see a banana slug in the damp grass.
We set out on the Schilling Lake Trail.
We see the first of many mushrooms
This is a tree lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria), a large type of lichen which grows loosely attached to trees or rocks in moist, pollution-free environments.
The red dots are called apothecia and are the fungal fruiting bodies of the lichen. They are relatively uncommon.
Moss and lichen crowd together on the tree trunks.
There are many mushrooms along the trail.
These pale green fingers coming up through the moss are the reproductive structures of a fruticose lichen.
Toyon berries in the wet forest.
There is grass growing out of this moss.
Manzanita blooms during the winter, and the upside-down urn-shaped flowers prevent the rain from washing away all the pollen but still provide access to bees and hummingbirds that sip nectar and perform pollination.
Here is another banana slug having a snack on a mushroom
The trail goes through a stretch of oak woodland.
These tiny mushrooms are dwarfed by the tendrils of moss around them on the tree trunk.
A chanterelle. They are said to be edible and tasty. I have my doubts about this particular one, though.
Crustose lichen on a branch. Some lichens can live to be 1000 years old.
The trail takes us through a small clearing where we can see the misty mountains on one side and a view across the foothills and the Bay on the other.
There are many bracket fungi on logs and twigs.
We turn onto the Bridle Trail and into the redwoods. Under the gloom of overcast skies, these huge trees block much of the dim light, creating a perpetually sepulchral air in the woods.
One of the few mushrooms to be found under the redwoods.
A magnificently mossy stump near a rivulet.
This amazing fungus is sprouting right out of a tree trunk at eye level.
The trail reaches Dennis Martin Creek, where we find a little waterfall created artificially long before the area was turned into a nature preserve.
My, my, such a formal creek. It's not Martin Creek, but Dennis Martin Creek. (And it's Mr. Dennis Martin Creek if you're nasty.)
The creek as it flows through the redwoods.
About 150 years ago, Dennis Martin had a couple of sawmills along the creek that now bears his name, sawing up the magnificent redwoods growing in the canyon (these trees today are all second-growth).
We decide to follow an old logging road (called Dennis Martin Road) that parallels the creek back up to Schilling Lake, and we find a number of other waterfalls along the way.
The logging trail has been obstructed by landslides in several places, choked with downed tree trunks and other vegetation. In many places there is no clear path forward. It is obvious that the Open Space District no longer maintains this as a trail. So we are startled to see evidence of casual visitors prior to us.
Tremella foliacea jelly fungus.
Just as we emerge onto the main trail at Schilling Lake, we are startled again to see slices of fruit adorning the vegetation. Is someone feeding the animals in this manner?
Schilling Lake. It is brown and silty from the recent rains.
The spillway, dry when we were last here 3 months ago, has water flowing down it into Dennis Martin Creek.
Another kind of fungus, fairy fingers.
As we leave the spillway area I lose my footing and fall onto the camera. This test shot taken to make sure the camera still works okay comes out pretty good in spite of not trying to aim the camera at anything in particular.