After the rains, redwood forests always glisten especially brightly. Butano State Park is no exception. Nature Rhythms’ recent trip was like walking into a fungi factory — mushrooms popping out of bark and wood at every turn — in every shape and texture. Their bright colors tempted us, but of course we dared not taste anything for fear of the deadly ones. We encountered tantalizing fungi every few steps: rusty-looking mushrooms with cream-colored edges; mushrooms coming out of horizontal trees; bright white fungi emerging from cracks like bean sprouts. At every bend, redwoods shone like freshly painted statues. Slime molds ran down some of the cut trees where their inner rings show.
But fungi were not the only organisms multiplying out of the forest humus. A new crop of banana slugs, about 2-4 inches in length, were out in force. We saw at least 15 on the Little Butano Creek Trail and fire road. A banana slug’s foot moves it along at a snail’s pace, 3.25 feet per hour according to Bay Nature. Well, they are slugs after all…
All of this is happening within the sparkling forest of shiny green leaves of many shades, the off-season flowering of hydrangea and the peace of a place that takes you to a new world–as long as you let it….
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