Heritage Grove redwoods, Sam McDonald park

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I got a new camera. I had been contemplating the idea for a while, and the trip to the beach a week or three ago triggered the event. The sand was blowing so hard that it scratched the lens, not much, but enough, and the zoom motor started making sandy noises… Time for a new one: a Lumix FZ200.

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One of the first things to do was to look for an interesting small animal… This big guy cooperated by perching on the window screen long enough for me to take pictures, with the new camera (above) and the old. New is just fine, thank you.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

It was to be a hot day, so Jacky and I started fairly early, drove to Heritage Grove redwoods, near the bottom of West Alpine road, and hiked from there to Sam McDonald park, around the forest loop and then back, about 7.7 miles. (By the way, Sam McDonald’s story, at the link above, is worth reading.)

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Pretty country, and until the last half hour or so, we met no one on the trail. Too bad for them; they missed a nice day in beautiful country.

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Some of this country is second-growth redwood forest, which means that the original trees were logged, and what we have now is, in many cases, a ring of daughter trees that sprouted from the roots of the original, which remains visible as a stump.

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I was of course watching for small animals. Mostly, we saw banana slugs, but there were a few others around, to reward the sharp eye. It’s rare to see millipedes on leaves; usually they remain in the duff on the forest floor.

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Not sure whether this beetle is eating fungus; it could well be a banana slug.

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I usually don’t like to take pictures of dead animals, but this one was interesting enough to make an exception. For whatever reason, it died during the molt process, whether because it got stuck in its old shell or for some other reason.

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There was only about one opportunity to pull a loose large chunk of bark from a fallen tree, but I was well rewarded by the one I found.

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I have always wondered what larval centipedes look like, and I think I finally found one. It has too many projections to be an insect larva.

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