Saturday brought another beautiful springlike day, so D. and I returned to Thornewood Open Space Preserve to see if we could find the real Dennis Martin Road. According to information D. uncovered, the trail we were on the last time we were there that we thought was Dennis Martin Road wasn't the real Dennis Martin Road, so we went back to see if we could find the real Dennis Martin Road and see where it went.
Not that finding and identifying the real Dennis Martin Road was so all-important in our lives; it was just an excuse to go back to Thornewood to be in the redwoods again and take some pictures. And here's mine.
Sometimes the redwood forest is like a cathedral.
A mossy bay laurel trunk.
The forest is sprouting scarlet waxy caps at nearly every turn.
The Bridle Trail, popular with equestrians, runs along Dennis Martin Creek.
A little waterfall on the creek.
Majestic redwood canopy.
Early afternoon light washes over redwood boughs edging the trail.
These trees are just mere youngsters in the realm of long-lived redwoods, but already they are enormously tall.
We reach the site of Dennis Martin's second sawmill on Dennis Martin Creek, not far from where we must diverge from the Bridle Trail to find the real Dennis Martin Rd.
A shallow circular pit next to the footings.
Some bricks and litter near the sawmill site.
More mushrooms on a mossy log.
Dennis Martin Creek.
It still cracks me up that it isn't called simply Martin Creek, but the full, formal Dennis Martin Creek.
Turkey tail fungi festoon this rotting log.
This member of the lily family is called Fetid Adder's Tongues. The flowers have a foul odor, hence its name. It likes the deep shade of redwood forests and is one of our earliest wildflowers, blooming January through March.
This huge log spanning a small gulch is worn away in the middle. Due to its height off the ground, its proximity to the creek and the kinds of marks on its wood, we suspect it is being used as a scratching post by a mountain lion. (Mountain lions need to scratch on something same as a pet cat does, to exercise its feet, shed worn out claw sheaths and leave visual and scent territorial marks.)
Strange things (probably slime mold?) on the scratching post log.
These tendrils of English ivy look pretty on the trees, but if this aggressive, invasive non-native vine gets a foothold here, this beautiful redwood forest ecosystem is in grave danger.
A busted piece of sewer pipe, in the middle of the woods.
This trail, which has led us south of the creek and into a different part of the Preserve and which GPS is telling us is Dennis Martin Rd., is full of dead tanoaks, victims of Sudden Oak Death. I don't know why they have been strewn across the path, though.
Moss tendrils creep across this log.
I'm all in favor of stopping private property ahead. Public access for all!
Turkey tails are probably the most photogenic fungi, IMHO.
A junco looks for bugs on a downed log. Few birds are visible at ground level in redwood forests, they are all 100' above, or higher, in the canopy.
Forests are messy, disordered places. And yet the chaos seems to be the medium through which all the various species and natural phenomena work together as a whole. There is a greater order in effect here, one which plays out over centuries and millennia, not mere years or decades.
This tanoak is getting ready to blossom.
Mmm, I don't think so.
Another kind of bracket fungus, oligoporus.
As we follow the trail along, we see a massive toppled tree sprouting several ganoderma fungi as big as my head.
The trail turns away from the creek and passes through a mixed woodland of tanoak, Douglas fir and redwoods.
And where do we end up? In back of the dam at the Preserve's Schilling Lake, same place the other trial we thought was Dennis Martin Rd. led to.
The Bridle Trail and the Schilling Lake Trail lead here as well. In Thornewood Preserve, all trails lead to Schilling Lake, apparently.
On our way back, we see more mushrooms.
Official redwood forest mascot pic.