Monday, June 6, 2011

A Walk in the Forest on Whidbey Island

IMG_3599 Woodpecker Tree

Back in April I visited my college friend David and his wife Victoria. They live on Whidbey Island, a quick ferry ride north of Seattle. One afternoon during our magical weekend, we took a brief hike in the forest...

IMG_3574 Whidbey forest

...where the air is moist and the moss grows lush.

IMG_3591 moss

The undergrowth is a study in organic design.

IMG_3579 Whidbey forest undergrowth

We had to watch that we didn't step on anyone...

IMG_3578 banana slug
Banana slug (Genus Ariolimax)

...and that no one might step on us.

IMG_3600 woodpecker tree

I had never seen so many varieties of fungi in less than an hour. 

IMG_3594 tree fungus

IMG_3585 black fungus
Update: possibly Bulgaria inquinans
I could not identify one of them...

IMG_3613 fallen tree fungus

... beyond the kingdom of Fungi.

IMG_3618 fungus on felled tree

IMG_3644 tree fungus

Then I saw a mushroom similar to one that my buddy Ken-ichi identified for me last January. Hopefully Ken-ichi, impressive naturalist and co-founder/developer of, will confirm that this is of the genus Agaricus.

IMG_3607 fungus

I recognized the morel mushroom from back in the days when I could eat mushrooms without getting a migraine headache.

Morel mushroom (Genus Morchella)

I have never eaten a salmonberry, but I bet it's delicious.

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis

Maybe I have to return in the autumn so that I could taste them.
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Dave said...

Nice post Diana - that black jelly fungus does look interesting. It's amazing what one can find in the woods when you start looking. Love that tree face!

You'll have to try salmonberry - it's a treat!


Jeannette StG said...

What an interesting walk. I am struck with the first fungus you posted - what a beauty!

Marilyn Miller said...

Love your walk. How special to see so many fascinating things throughout your walk. I have tasted salmonberries and didn't find them to have all that much flavor, but a morel - did you pick it and eat it? They are delicious!

Sherri said...

I'm glad you made it! Great pics!!

Lisa Gordon said...

This looks like a wonderful place for a hike! Great photos!

Relyn Lawson said...

Hey, you. Your third and last pictures are award winners. I mean it! Your post reminded me of our happy anniversary trips to Seattle and around. Your pictures capture the feel of rainforest we visited so well. I have been thinking of you, my friend. And missing you.

Unknown said...

As a lover of fungi, I salute you in finding such unique types! They are gorgeous, even the ugly black one. My favorite photo, though, is the one of the slug. Lucky you, to go to such a fascinating forest.

Kala said...

Fantastic images of the moss and the fungi! The details are terrific.

Vagabonde said...

This certainly looks like an enchanting walk. Your pictures bring me there, thanks.

EG CameraGirl said...

Thank you for taking us on that lovely walk! I love the flower of the salmonberry, which to me looks quite similar (although much darker in colour) to our purple-flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus).

Victoria said...

I feel as though I was with you on this walk... what lovely images! Fungi fascinate me... I have no clue how to identify most of them but would also have recognized the morel... people tend to not share where they find them around here!

The forests in Washington and Oregon are so lush compared to most of the East Coast forests I've visited... all the colors of greens and browns you've captured are marvelous!

Ginnie said...

Ruth will love your fungi, DB, especially once she gets to the morel. I can just hear her now. Don't you love how our images remind us of each other! :) This is so lush...all of it. I love the forest. I love the gifts of Mother Nature!

Ruth said...

My sister was right, I love the fungi, especially the morel. I didn't know they give you (or anyone) migraines. So sad. We had a fairly good crop this year. I don't know about salmonberry. Nice for salads? I love the tree ent, he looks so surprised to see you. (Or maybe it was that you took his picture.)

What a lush forest that is, booming with life. I don't think there is much in nature I love more than woods and forests.

(I don't know how I missed this post.)

Yoli said...

Your photography is so exquisite and you share with us so much beauty. I have to thank you.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for the beautiful hike! There are mushrooms I have never seen in my life. This slug is not familiar either in my country, though we have plenty of slugs around here, and also snales.Your photos are excellent!

London Caller said...

Salmonberry flowers look so beautiful!
I don't think I have had salmonberries before.
Do they taste like salmon? :^)

rochambeau said...

Hi Dutchbaby!
It's interesting to see what the woods look like in that part of the world. It rains so much there and I suppose that's why I've never seen so much fungi and moss in my life. Very interesting. I'd be afraid to walk in these woods at night, wouldn't you?

Great photographs. Thanks for sharing~


California Girl said...

wonderful captures. you're like my husband. he loves fungi fotos.

Whidbey Island...I visited there in 1969 when it was primarily a Navy base. My GF & husband had just been stationed there and her brother, my BF & I flew up to Seattle & spent Easter week on the island with them. It was gorgeous.

Did you know the movie "Five Easy Pieces" was filmed there the year after? Rent it & you'll recognize the location shots.

Dutchbaby said...

Hi Dave,
Thanks for popping by. I did a little more research and I think the shiny black fungus might be Bulgaria inquinans.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear jeannette,
I was amazed to see that first fungus also. I'm very curious to know what it is.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Marilyn,
Hmm, maybe the salmonberry would make a nice marmalade. When we were in Italy in 2005 we were served a beautiful light orange marmalade with a gentle flavor. After ten minutes of talking with our hands and feet, it turned out to be from the strawberry bush. I have three growing in my back yard. I never thought the fruit had much flavor, but it makes a wonderful not-too-sweet marmalade.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Sherri,
Me too! I hope you get a chance to visit Whidbey on one of your layovers.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear lisa,
Yes, it was, even if it was only for a brief time.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,
Aw shucks, you are too kind. I hope you are able to adjust to your summer school schedule soon!

Margaret said...

...who knew fungi and shrums could be so beautiful! Very nicely done!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Susan,
Believe or not, the students of UC Santa Cruz voted the banana slug to be their school mascot.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Kala,
Thank you so much. I love the bleeding hearts on your blog today!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Vagabonde,
Yes, it was enchanting. I wish I could impart the woodsy fragrance through the screen for you.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear EG Wow,
Yes, they do look very similar. They are of the same genus but different species. I wonder if their taste is similar.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Victoria,
I'm glad you walked alongside us. There were only two brand-new morels here. I have a hunch that maybe others have already been harvested.

You should be seeing many lush woods up in Sweden this week! I hope you have good weather.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ginnie,
Yes, I do love how certain things immediately evoke an association with someone. For example, I always think of you whenever I see a water tower or weather vane. I love that!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ruth,
I developed my allergy to mushrooms as an adult. I miss eating chanterelles the most.

LOL at your comment about the tree ent. Perhaps he was surprised because a woodpecker was scratching his throat.

I love forests too; it is easy to see how it gave birth to so many fairy tales for the Brothers Grimm.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear 有力,
You are too kind, Yoli! You're welcome.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Reader Wil,
Hartelijk bedankt! Ik vind die slak ook zo mooi. Hij was ongeveer een decimeter lang, veel groter dan the slakken die ik in Holland zag.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear London Caller,
I've not tasted salmon berries yet, but I'm sure they were so named because of their color.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Constance at rochambeau,
Ooh, I hadn't thought about how scary this place would be at night. It would be like that horrifying forest scene in Disney's "Snow White" that terrified my kids for the longest time. I bet it would feel as scary as gliding through the swamps of New Orleans at night - with Spanish moss grazing your cheeks... eek!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear California Girl,
Whidbey Island has become quite the chic weekend island. I wonder how much of it you would still recognize.

Thanks for the movie recommendation; I just added it to my Netflix queue. Should be good - I love Jack Nicholson.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Margaret,
Thank you so much for your visit.

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