Big Basin walk

Have I mentioned it’s mushroom season? So, when it’s that time of year, you have to do all your walking and looking before things dry up. Recently, we walked around Big Basin State Park, home of GIGANTIC redwoods (sempervirens, which means “forever living”) to see what the fungi looked like. keep in mind, we are total amateurs at this, and so far, not the type to go tromping out into the poison oak to find that perfect specimen.

As it turned out, the mushrooms we saw in Big Basin were mostly tiny things, dwarfed by the giant redwoods. To be honest, we only walked the shorter redwood loop, so there may be more shrooms out on the longer trails. But, given the damp weather, we were hopeful to find a lot of mushrooms even on the short trails.

On the redwood loop, you just spend a lot of time looking up — and better be careful not to trip over a root.

Some of these trees were seedlings or young trees when the Mayan civilization was at its height. The bark on the trees is very thick, with interesting ripples and twists.

I’m really curious to know what accounts for this kind of growth in redwood bark.

Ubiquitous little brown mushrooms. As we walked around, I realized that looking for mushrooms in redwood forest is different from looking for them in oak forest. You really have to adjust your eyes to the different colors and shapes, because fungi are often hard to find unless you know what to look for.

The ubiquitous little white mushroom.

We didn’t find much fungi on this walk. The most striking specimens we found were polypores; these are likely “Turkey Tails,” which commonly grow on broken wood stumps.

Lots of lichen everywhere in the forest.