Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Walk in the Cascades

Here are some photos I took during a short walk in the Cascades a couple of weeks ago. The photos were taken from my phone. I'm a horrible photographer, but hopefully I've done the Cascades some justice.

One of the first plants to pop up in early spring is the skunk cabbage. I always look forward to finding the first skunk cabbage, because it means spring is around the corner!

The beginning foliage of wildflowers is starting to crop up along the trail paths.

This is actually a bleeding heart that seems to be droopy from the rain. Some bleeding hearts are just beginning to form their little heart-shaped flowers.

Edit: Whoops. I went back on this trail this week and realized what I rather started to suspect, that this is not bleeding heart, but another plant of the same family (corydalis), called western corydalis. I should have known better, since bleeding heart doesn't normally grow this tall at the outset. I guess without the flowers fully formed I had a temporary mind fart in identifying it. Western Corydalis grows in the back of my house, as does bleeding heart. They are both currently blooming. A better photo of western corydalis is shown at the end of this post.

One of the things I love about the Cascades is the crazy amount of moss and lichen that grows on everything alive and dead. The moss is a brilliant emerald green right now. One of these days I'm going to take it upon myself to identify different types of moss.

Here the moss is growing on a nurse log. Western red cedar nurse logs and stumps are amazing - everything and anything seems to grow out of them. I don't know why, but it never ceases to fascinate me. This is probably a very boring photo to most people, but I love checking out all the crazy stuff that grows from dead cedar - trees, bushes, ferns, flowers, moss.

Licorice fern growing on a tree...this is very common.

More lovely moss on an old-growth.

And more moss...

A fallen tree showing her roots.

I'm not knowledgeable in mycology, so I have no idea what kind of mushrooms these are...but I thought they were pretty enough to take a picture.

Here's my doggie. She's the best hiking/running companion in the world! That's the Snoqualmie River. The river is so clear one can see the the copper-colored stones on the bottom.

Western Corydalis:

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