Saturday, December 21, 2013

Oak Gall

The leaves have fallen long ago from the local Oak trees but the brown leaves and galls remain on the ground.  Caused by insects injecting chemicals into the foliage, galls are abnormal plant growth and don't generally damage the health of the host tree

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hair Ice

With the recent sub-freezing weather I was hoping for more Hair Ice on our property.  I only found one example of this delicate and relatively rare ice formation.

Same twig 6 days later:

Closeup of same twig

Found another Alder branch a few feet away with similar ice formation

Found some more this morning, 1-4-2014

Closeup of the above picture; the pores in the wood are incredibly small- I got as close as I could with my 180mm macro lens.  This picture only covers an area of about 1" x 1"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

False Bugbane, Trautvetteria caroliniensis

A native perennial member of the Buttercup family, False Bugbane contains chemicals that are irritating to the skin.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Spreading stonecrop, Sedum divergens

These flowers were found growing out of a dry, rocky outcropping at Lucia Falls County Park in SW Washington.

Trail Plant or Pathfinder, Adenocaulon bicolor

Growing along a path at Moulton Falls County Park in SW Washington, these native flowers are easy to miss since they are quite small.  The "bicolor" in the botanical name for this plant is due to the green front side and silvery back side of the leaves.

I folded a leaf up so you can see the green front-side and silvery back-side of the leaves

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lewis's mock-range, Philadelphus lewisii

With the sun going down, I had to take a relatively long exposure which didn't help with the sharpness of this photo as there was also a small breeze that kept everything in motion.  Anyway, I have walked all over Moulton Falls Park and can only find this one mock-orange plant in the area and it is an absolute tangle of small branches growing in a steep canyon.  It is a native perennial.

Western Boykinia, Boykinia occidetntalis

Here is another native, perennial resident of a year-round seep upstream of Moulton Falls on the East Fork of the Lewis River in SW Washington. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Inside-Out Flower, Vancouveria hexandra

Growing in the shady areas of Lucia Falls Park in SW Washington, these low-growing, native plants present their delicate flowers on long stalks.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Umbrella Mushroom, Lichenomphalia umbellifera

While walking through the forest today, I found this small (about 1/2" across), non-poisonous mushroom growing on an old Doug Fir stump.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Red-Breasted Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus ruber

This sucker (pun intended) is drilling holes all over my Weeping Sequoia and in the photo, below, my Asian Pear.  Oh well, the trees don't seem to be suffering any ill effects.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Smooth Cladonia, Cladonia gracilis

Growing near the falls on Yacolt Creek in SW Washington, these lichen are thriving amongst moss and miscellaneous forest litter.  This picture is a composite of 6 different exposures that were stacked with Zerene Stacker software.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Coastal Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens

I have waited a LONG time to take these pictures.  Let me explain.  In 1997 I purchased 1 ounce of Coastal Redwood seeds from F.W. Schumacher Co. (  This meant I had about 6,000 seeds to play with which sounds like a huge amount, but since the germination rate is only in the 5-10% range, I didn't think it was outrageous.  A stratification process then followed by soaking the seeds in water for 48 hours and then putting them into the refrigerator for 30 days.  Then, many seeds went into indoor, artificially lit starting trays which ultimately resulted in about 100 seedlings.  After a few weeks they were gradually moved outdoors, and transplanted to 1 gallon pots using the excellent 5F potting soil mix from Pro Gro (  Some of the small plants succumbed to fungal problems, but about 50 survived. I selected the most vigorous seedling and planted it about 75 feet from the house.  Fast forward to 2013, the tree is 38 feet high and finally producing cones!  I believe male pollen cones are shown in the two pictures, below.  Hopefully, seed cones will be showing up soon.  I hope to add additional cone development pictures during the next year.

I have learned the hard way that it is much easier (and cheaper) to propagate this species by rooted cuttings rather than starting from seed.  I now have the beginnings of a Redwood forest with 38 trees scattered around our property.  Hopefully, the full grandeur of these trees will be enjoyed by future generations. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Birds-Foot Trefoil, Lotus corniculatus

This introduced Pea species, has flowers that look similar to Scotch Broom (5/26/12 blog entry).

Immature flowers

Full bloom

Seeds starting to form

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Common Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus

This common deciduous plant is used in restoration projects to help stabilize hill sides.  White berries persist through Winter.