Thursday, May 30, 2013

(F)unschool Bluffs and Low Tide Beach Outings

Last week we hiked up the bluffs on Mt. Collins and explored the forest behind them, too. There were various wildflowers in bloom, many different types of lichen and moss, and also patches of brilliantly green mosses from the recent rainfall. Photos follow...

meadow death camas on the bluff

looking up the bluff at arbutus trees

the view out over our island (that is deep bay, near the bottom)

the kids found this joyfully sunlit rock in the darkness of the forest

sea blush near the top of the bluffs

blue eyed marys delicately lining our path up

Then we had an extra (F)unschool outing the following Monday, in order to take advantage of the very low tide. While we didn't find some of the things we expected, like many many various seastars, and green anemones, we did find many different sizes and types of blenny, including red, green, grey, black, and various patterns, and one that was about 10 or 11 inches long! We also found urchins, many tiny seastars, various shore crabs and a dungeoness crab, many entertaining hermit crabs, stubby isopods, some sponges, various shellfish, small sea lemons (nudibranchs), and a northern clingfish, whose portrait I have included, here, for your entertainment! It's the only photo I took, that day! We also had some fun with some seemingly very personable rockweed isopods.

...and from the low-tide beach exploration: a northern clingfish!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sundew eating a mosquito...

So many people ask how a sundew consumes its food, and I didn't really know, exactly. So I found this short video on Youtube -- enjoy!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Collins Ridge Hike

Alan Whitehead kindly escorted a group of us up to the summit of Mt. Collins, around and over to Mud lake and Honeymoon lake, and back to Hood Point West, where we began. We also gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Sally Freeman, whose land we traversed.

The day was quite lovely and mild. It barely rained at all, and we found many treasures, along the way. Here are a few of them:
Rough-skinned newts like this one carry a toxin; be sure to wash hands thoroughly after handling briefly.


coral root orchid
summit cairn - Photo by Alan Whitehead

Everybody at the summit

my children call this bubblegum mushroom... possibly purple jelly-drop cup?

Mud Lake

unidentified eggs - slug or snail?

first view of Honeymoon Lake

Honeymoon Lake!

Look closely at those logs further out there on the lake...

What do you see?

Sundew! Carnivorous plants thriving by the thousands in Honeymoon Lake.
A dragonfly sitting very still, soaking up the warmth. Possibly it recently left its larval skin.
Amphibian eggs of some sort, deposited on a log?
An owl pellet!
... and some of our beautiful indigenous columbine.
photo by Alan Whitehead

the group by one of the big firs we passed - photo by Alan Whitehead

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dawn Chorus Walk

Pam Dicer with a flock of early birds listening to the dawn chorus