Thornewood Preserve: Redwoods, Moss, Mushrooms and Dennis Martin
On Sunday D. and I returned to Thornewood Open Space Preserve to take pictures of the fungi along Dennis Martin Creek. Here's my pics.
Not Martin Creek. Dennis Martin Creek.
The entrance to the Bridle Trail, popular with equestrians.
"Puncheon"?? Are they serving punch at a luncheon or something?
(A puncheon is a plank road, but I didn't know that until after I got home and looked it up.)
A stump encrusted with bracket fungi.
A peek at Dennis Martin Creek.
A bridge used to be here. The reason they can't just build another one there is that one bank of the creek forms the toe of a deep-seated, 60-acre active landslide (the preserve is sandwiched between the San Andreas and Pilarcitos Earthquake Faults). This slide is expected to continue moving in the near future and would jeopardize the structural integrity of a bridge. They engineers consulted for the project felt that a ford crossing was the best alternative.
A little falls on the creek.
The site of Dennis Martin's first sawmill, that got wiped out in a flood around 1849.
Dennis Martin built a second sawmill farther up the canyon in 1853 but had to close it three years later because he was in serious financial trouble. The sawmill was sold, dismantled and moved to another section of old-growth redwoods a few miles away on the other side of the ridge.
The redwood canopy (second-growth) overhead.
The Bridle Trail, wending gently through the forest.
More falls, near the sawmill site. The creek bed here is artificially created, probably to form a mill pond for the sawmill.
A log features the redwood forest trinity: lichen, fungus and moss.
The early afternoon sun gently filters through the woods.
These century-and-a-half-old trees are mere children in the world of redwoods yet are already over 100' tall.
A mossy redwood stump glows in the diffuse forest light.
A mushroom peeks out from the duff of redwood needles on the forest floor.
The many complex textures of redwood trunks.
We did not notice this plaque when we were in this same spot last week.
Dennis Martin Road begins to look less like a former logging road and hiking trail and more like path in the woods.
Someone lost a barrette, an odd thing to find in the middle of the woods.
Fungi on a branch look like mutant potato chips.
These mushrooms are a little past their prime.
A jumble of fallen trees blocks the trail.
And those fallen trees are sprouting some fine specimens of fungi.
More fallen trees on the trail.
More past-its-prime fungus.
These falls splash onto a fallen redwood trunk jammed into the gulch.
Looking downstream Dennis Martin Creek.
The redwood forest is a profoundly peaceful place.
Lush moss covers this fallen redwood trunk.
Another mushroom sprouting up out of a mossy log.
This log fell over recently -- the bracket fungi coming out of it are still mostly oriented 90º to how they usually grow, parallel to the ground.
Hoo boy. Rough going.
These itty-bitty little mushrooms have misshapen caps.
More fallen trees.
The color of this mushroom is made all the more startling by its juxtaposition against the deep green moss.
Just what everyone expects to find sticking up out of the ground in the middle of a redwood forest! (No, not the stump.)
A branch full of bracket fungi.
We have reached the back of the dam at Schilling Lake. In the foreground and middleground is a stand of frost-browned St. John's wort. The pink ribbon flags a tanoak killed by sudden oak death.
Schilling Lake was originally constructed to power Dennis Martin's sawmills downstream on Dennis Martin Creek, alongside Dennis Martin Road. Later on the lake was used as an irrigation source for the extensive gardens surrounding the former Julian Thorne estate, from whom Thornewood Preserve derives its name.
Some tribal-wanna-be loser schmuck vandalized this ancient fire-scarred redwood, thinking that made him all cool and stuff.
A bigleaf maple leaf on the forest floor. Bigleaf maples like to grow along creek banks. Their leaves can get really huge.
On our way back, we pass a trio of small leafless bigleaf maples, leaning out into the trail to catch as much sun as possible under the dark redwood canopy.