Sunday, December 6, 2009


Hiking in the Redwoods is usually an enjoyable experience.  Most of the time when Chaosmanor and I were hiking, I kept thinking about the Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Hobbits like mushrooms and they will do just about anything to get a mushroom.

When we were hiking, there were signs announcing that it was mushroom season and apparently, there were lots of people who harvested them.  I'm not an expert on mushrooms, so I'll partake of ones that I can purchase in my local grocery store.  I can also remember my first college roommate harvesting mushrooms but for an entirely different purpose.  We went to school at Humboldt State University and the area had lots of mushrooms, including several psychedelic "shrooms."  To each his own, but at that time I didn't understand the attraction of mind altering substances, nor do I really understand the need to partake of any today.

I prefer to look at plants for their intrinsic beauty.  Yes, I believe even mushrooms have an aesthetic value to them.  These were just some of the ones we saw along the trail while on our hike north of Santa Cruz.  Interestingly, although there were signs announcing mushroom season, we saw very little evidence that the locals were harvesting the mushrooms.  I was also somewhat surprised at the amount of mushrooms that were growing out of the bark of some of the trees.

Yes, I know they are part of the decomposition needed in the forest and although they usually don't work very well on Redwoods per sé, since redwood trees have so much tannin in them that they decompose at a very slow rate.  The fungi does help improve the soil by helping decompose other plants that have died.  The one picture I really enjoyed was the one that included the banana slug.  I hadn't even noticed the slug until after I got home and downloaded the picture on to my computer.  As a size perspective, I figure that banana slug was about 6 inches in length.

I'm not sure where this one is going.  I actually just wanted to share some of the pics from that hike and figured this would make a decent subject.  Please enjoy.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocaches:
Rising Stump Cache - by Chickasaw of ynots4
Down By The (Fall) Creek - by iwikepie and company

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