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California Redwoods and Waterfalls:
Big Basin Berry Creek Falls in October

October on the Berry Creek Falls Loop (BCFL) Trail in the Forest of Big Basin State Park.
Route was clockwise except where stated otherwise. Report is by J. Zimmerman except where stated otherwise.

Flower are our stars 2008 (counter-clockwise) by Scott Peden.
Flower are our stars 2007 (counter-clockwise).
Flower are our stars 2006 (counter-clockwise).
Flower are our stars 2005 (counter-clockwise).
Flower are our stars 2004
Flower are our stars 2003
Flower are our stars 2002 by Scott Peden.

Flower are our stars 7-year summary of flower-slug-newt data.
Flower are our stars Flower-slug-newt count graph.
Flower are our stars Wildflower species calendar on BCFL Trail.
Flower are our stars Walk With Scott Peden in Big Basin State Park.
NEW AUGUST 2005 Paces calibration (Berry Creek Falls Loop Trail).
Redwoods are our stars Life History and Ecological Guide to the Coast Redwood by Daniel J. Miller.
Burning bush fruit; closeup by Scott Peden
Western burning bush (Euonymus occidentalis)
fruit close-up
(© 2007 by Scott Peden);
blooms June to November;
fruits September to November.

Designation of "unique": In these reports, "unique" refers to any species that was seen in a single location on the reported day.

Designation of New flower added to our spotting: In these reports, New flower added to our spotting ("New") refers to a flower that was not spotted by us in previous years.


Saturday, October 11, 2008 - counter-clockwise.

Report by Scott Peden.

14 Banana Slugs on Sunset Trail (10 before L.R. joined us)
2  Nanners on BC Falls Trail
30 Nanners on Skyline to the Sea Trail
46 Nanners Total to break the 38 counted in 2002!
2 of these Nanners were 1.25 inches long and another one was 1.75 inches.
3 of them were slightly transparent, greenish in the body though the head was yellow.


5 Flowers in bloom: not too bad considering last winters rains stopped 7 months ago:
   Boykinia aka Brook Foam
   California Hedge Nettle (Unique area)
   Douglas's Nightshade (Unique)
   Hawkweed (Unique)
   Sugar Scoop


Wednesday, October 3, 2007 - counter-clockwise.

Report by J. Zimmerman.


No flowers at HQ.

Taking Dool Trail toward Sunset Trail - beginning our counter-clockwise exploration.

By Middle Ridge Fire Road: 0 new slugs (0 total).

  1. Hawkweed (white; similar growth pattern to madia).

    By Sky-Line-to-the-Sea Trail Connector on Sunset Trail: 0 new slugs (0 total).

    Remains of abandoned Bald-faced Hornet's nest on the ground; beautiful thin paper layers of various pale browns. This Hornet is our friend: it eats flies and does not attack humans unless they agitate it.

    By West Waddell Creek Bridge on Sunset Trail: 4 new slugs (4 total).

    By Timms Creek Trail on Sunset Trail: 1 new slugs (5 total).

  2. ["unique"] Redwood sorrel (whitish); a single bud with fresh petals poking out.

    By East Berry Creek Bridge: 2 new slugs (7 total). 6 new adult newts (or similar) in the East Berry Creek (total 6).

  3. Sugar scoop (saxifrage, sometimes called False Mitrewort), Tiatella unifoliata (white).
  4. ["unique"] Golden Chinquapin. Both male flowers and fruit.
  5. ["unique"] Bush poppy (yellow).

    By Sunset camp connector trail: 2 new slugs (9 total). 0 new newts (6 total).

  6. Alum root (a.k.a. small-flowered Heuchera) (white).
  7. Coast Boykinia (a.k.a. Brook Foam), Boykinia Elata (5 open white petals).

    By Silver Falls: 0 new slugs (9 total). 2 new adult aquatic newts (includes 2 at Golden Falls, 0 at Silver Falls) (8 total). 10 new efts (4 at Golden Falls, 6 at Silver Falls) (10 total).

    By Berry Creek Falls view from Seat: 0 new slugs (9 total). 6? new adult aquatic newts (14 total). 0? new efts (10 total).

    By West Waddell Creek Bridge: 0 new slugs (9 total).

  8. California hedge nettle (Stachys bulleta) Not a true nettle, so you may touch it painlessly. Rose/blue/purplish flowers.

    By Timms Creek Trail: 2 new slugs (11 total).

    By West (Lower) End of connector trail: 3 new slugs (14 total).

    By East (Upper) End of the connector trail: 1 new slug (15 total).

    By Kelly Creek Bridge: 0 new slugs (15 total).

    By Sunset connector: 1 new slug (16 total).

    By Middle Ridge Fire Road: 0 new slugs (16 total).

    Arriving back via Sky-Line-to-the-Sea Trail at Park Head Quarters: 3 new slugs (19 total).

Wednesday, October 4, 2006 - counter-clockwise.

Report by J. Zimmerman.


No flowers at Ranger Station HQ.

Taking Dool Trail toward Sunset Trail - beginning our counter-clockwise exploration.

By Middle Ridge Fire Road (on Sunset Trail): 0 slugs.

  1. Hawkweed (white; similar growth pattern to madia).

    By Sky-Line-to-the-Sea Trail Connector (5.2 miles from Park H.Q. on Sunset Trail): 0 slugs.

    * Red berries on honeysuckle.

    By West Waddell Creek Bridge (on Sunset Trail): 0 slugs.

    * Red berries on branched Solomon's seal.

    By Timms Creek Trail (on Sunset Trail): 2 slugs spotted; 2 total.

    By East Berry Creek Bridge (on Sunset Trail): 0 new slugs, 2 total.

  2. Cudweed.

    * Manzanita berries.

    By Sunset Camp Connector Trail: 1 new slug, 3 total.

  3. ["unique"] Toothwort (Dentaria californica, var. integrifolia). [!!! As last month, this is completely out-of-season, but was growing in a cliff by Golden Cascades and being misted by light spray from the falls.]

    * Rose hips by the path at top of Silver Falls.

  4. Alum root (white), Heuchera micrantha; a.k.a. crevice heuchera or small-flowered heuchera. The petals of this flower curl back.
  5. Coast Boykinia (white, 5 small open petals), Boykinia Elata; a.k.a. Brook Foam.

    By Silver Falls. 0 new slugs, 3 total.

  6. Trail Plant (Adenocaulon bicolor) (cluster of very tiny 5-petaled white flowers. Bring your magnifying glass!!).
  7. Sugar scoop (white), Tiatella unifoliata; a.k.a. saxifrage, sometimes called False Mitrewort.

    By BC Falls Bench: 5 new slug, 8 total.

    By Waddell Creek Bridge: 0 new slugs, 8 total.

    * Best EVER viewing of seed pods ("pawn-broker balls") on burning bush by Waddell Creek Bridge.

  8. California Hedge nettle (pink), Stachys bulleta.

    By Timms Creek Trail: 6 new slug, 14 total.

    By West (lower) End of the connector trail: 2 new slugs, 16 total.

    By East (upper) End of the connector trail: 0 new slugs, 16 total.

    By Kelly Creek Bridge: 2 new slugs, 18 total.

    By Sunset connector: 1 new slug, 19 total.

    By Middle Ridge Fire Road: 0 new slugs, 19 total.

    Arriving back via Sky-Line-to-the-Sea Trail: 1 new slug, 20 total.

Friday, October 7, 2005 - counter-clockwise.

Report by J. Zimmerman.


Starting with the flowers at Ranger Station HQ:
  1. Hawkweed (white; similar growth pattern to madia).

    Taking Dool Trail toward Sunset Trail - beginning our counter-clockwise exploration.

    By Middle Ridge Fire Road: 0 slugs.

    By Sky-Line-to-the-Sea Trail Connector/on Sunset Trail: 0 slugs.

    By Sunset trail at West Waddell Creek Bridge: 0 slugs.

    The bridge has lost some railings and is fragile.

    Counted about 250 rings in a downed Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii); it had blocked the trail.
    Thanks to Hooray for spray bows our heroes, the trail-clearing crews, who sawed a path through.

    By Sunset trail at Timms Creek Trail: 1 slug spotted; 1 total.

    By East Berry Creek Bridge: 0 new slugs, 1 total.

    By Sunset Camp Connector Trail: 0 new slugs, 1 total.

    Rose hips by the path at top of Silver Falls.

  2. Alum root (white), Heuchera micrantha; a.k.a. crevice heuchera or small-flowered heuchera. The petals of this flower curl back.
  3. Coast Boykinia (white, 5 small open petals), Boykinia Elata; a.k.a. Brook Foam.

    By Silver Falls. 0 new slugs, 1 total.

  4. Trail Plant (Adenocaulon bicolor) (cluster of very tiny 5-petaled white flowers. Bring your magnifying glass!!).
  5. ["unique"] Redwood violet (yellow), Viola sempervirens.
  6. California Hedge nettle (pink), Stachys bulleta.
  7. Sugar scoop (white), Tiatella unifoliata; a.k.a. saxifrage, sometimes called False Mitrewort.

    By BC Falls Bench: 1 new slug, 2 total.

    Relatively little water, but a strong spraybow up a third from the bottom of the Falls.

    By Waddell Creek Bridge: 1 new slug, 3 total.

    By Timms Creek Trail: 1 new slug, 4 total.

    By West (lower) End of the connector trail: 1 new slugs, 5 total.

    By East (upper) End of the connector trail: 1 new slugs, 6 total.

    By Kelly Creek Bridge: 1 new slug, 7 total.

    By Sunset connector: 0 new slugs, 7 total.

    By Middle Ridge Fire Road: 0 new slugs, 7 total.

    Arriving back via Sky-Line-to-the-Sea Trail: 0 new slugs, 7 total.

Thursday, October 7, 2004.

Report by J. Zimmerman

Designation of "unique": In this report, the designation of "unique" is given to those species that were seen in a single location.


For the first time this year, no flowers visible by the Ranger Station HQ:
    Take Sky-Line-to-the-Sea Trail toward Middle Ridge Fire Road.
  1. California Harebell, Asyneuma prenanthoides (blue).

    By Middle Ridge Fire Road crossing: slug count so far is 0.

    By Sunset Connector Trail junction: slug count so far is 0.

    By Kelly Creek Bridge: first slug, 1 total.

    By East (upper) End of the side trail: 5 new slugs, 6 total.

    By West (lower) End of the side trail: 0 new slugs, 6 total.

  2. Sugar scoop (saxifrage, sometimes called False Mitrewort), Tiatella unifoliata (white).

    By Timms Creek Trail: 7 new slugs, 13 total. And one terrestrial newt.

  3. ["unique"] Burning Bush near stream (brownish red flowers hide under the outermost leaves).
  4. California Hedge nettle (pink). [On left of steps going down to West Waddell Creek Bridge.]
  5. Coast Boykinia, Boykinia Elata (white). A.k.a. Brook Foam. (5 open white petals). [Beside West Waddell Creek Bridge.]

    By West Waddell Creek Bridge: 9 new slugs, 22 total.

  6. Hawkweed (white; similar growth pattern to madia).

    By Berry Creek Falls first view at Seat: 0 new slugs, 22 total.

  7. Alum root, Huechera micrantha (white). [Aka small-flowered Heuchera or Crevice Heuchera].

    By Silver Falls. 2 new slugs, 24 total; 5 aquatic newts (at Silver Falls).

    Also a very friendly Winter Wren playing near the bottom of Silver Falls.

    Later we saw a brown creeper running up the tree trunk.

    By Sunset Camp Connector Trail junction with Sunset Trail: 0 new slugs, 24 total.

    By East Berry Creek Bridge: 0 new slugs, 24 total.

    By Timms Creek Trail junction with Sunset Trail: 0 new slugs, 24 total.

    Counted approximately 191 rings on a downed Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), sawn through by Hooray for spray bows our heroes, the trail-clearing crews Hooray for spray bows. We appreciate the huge amount of unseen work that they do to make this part of the park accessible to us.

    By West Waddell Creek Bridge: 0 new slugs, 24 total.

    By Sky-Line-to-the-Sea Trail Connector junction with Sunset Trail: 0 new slugs, 24 total.

    By Middle Ridge Fire Road: 0 new slugs, 24 total.

    By Dool Trail: 0 new slugs, 24 total.

Thursday October 16, 2003.

6 banana slugs and 6 flower species blooming.
(Look at slug and flower count graph in a new window.)
 

A very plump newt in Berry Creek. Still a few thumps of falling tan oak cones. Very dry from lack of rain and night-time fog. Dead California sisters (butterflies), perhaps from the dryness. Species seen in blossom (alphabetically): Alum Root (white) Boykinia (white) California Hedge Nettle (pink) Sugar Scoop (white) Trail Plant (white) White Hawkweed (white)

Thursday October 10th 2002

Check out the introduction to this glorious hike on the Berry Creek Falls Loop Trail. See also our archives and our recent monthly reports.

What we saw.

 
In the Meadow next to the parking Lot Kiosk entering the Park:
   *  It has been windy in the last few days, and even the roads are covered with an even layer 
      of discarded dead Redwood leaves, and other leaf duff.
 
Ranger Station/HQ to Middle Ridge Fire Road, taking the Skyline to the Sea Trail toward Berry Creek Falls:
   *  One very interesting Fungus, Black with a white Fuzz on it, and it is apparently eating 
      a Tan Oak leaf.
 
Middle Ridge Fire Road to Sunset connector trail:
Banana Slugs 2
 
Sunset Connector trail to Kelly Creek Bridge:
   *  A very unusual Mushroom growing out of a downed Tan Oak tree.
   *  The dried flower heads on the Ocean Spray, are still reminisant of the flowers a little while ago.
   *  Bright red berries of the Branched Solomon's Seal
Banana Slugs 8, total 10
 
Kelly Creek Bridge to the east end of Loop Trail:
   *  The green seed heads of the Elks Clover/Spikenard, have turned into the shiny black seeds;
      I find that quite attractive.
1. Harebell, one lonely flower so far to greet me!
Banana Slugs 3, total 13
 
East end of Loop Trail to West end of Loop Trail:
   *  Red Berries of the Branched Solomon's Seal
   *  Red Shelf Fungus
   *  Bright red berries of the Hooker's Fairy Bells
Banana Slugs 5, total 18
 
West end of Loop Trail to Timms Creek Trail:
   *  Bright yellow Slime Mold
   *  Large white Shelf Fungus
   *  Bluing Balls/Bead Lily
   *  Seed heads of the Giant Helleborine, Epipactis gigantea, seem every where now. 
      I understand now how they are propagating so fast, and number more than all of 
	  the other Orchids put together
   *  Fox or Coyote Scat, marking their boundaries
Banana Slugs 11, total 24, we are already over last months total!
 
Timms Creek Trail to the Berry Creek Falls viewing bench:
2. Mountain Boykinia, Boykinia major,  ssp. intermedia
3. Sugar-scoop. I was getting worried that all of the flower were gone! Several of these and 
      the Boykinia.
   *  White Shelf Fungus on the end of a downed Redwood tree.
4. Hedge Nettle, California
   *  Yellow Slime Mold
   *  The large tree that obscured the viewing bench, and made it impossible to get to last month, 
      is not only gone, but the trail crew was so thorough, you wouldn't have known there was 
	  a problem before. Thanks Guys!
Banana Slugs 5, total 29
 
Berry Creek Falls viewing bench to Silver Falls
   *  I notice that the reduced water level is really beginning to show, but if I had 
      never been here, I'd never know that this fall could have even more magnificence!
5. Alum Root/Crevice Heuchera, Huechera micrantha [Aka small-flowered Heuchera] (white).

6. Trail Plant (Adenocaulon bicolor): two little flowers turning into seed pods
   *  Bead Lily/Bluing Balls
Sugar-scoop
7. Coast Boykinia, Boykinia elata
Mountain Boykinia, ssp intermedia
8. Burning Bush, flowers and  red berries
   *  Newt or immature Pacific Giant Salamander swimming around in a pool of water
   *  Just in time for Halloween, a bright Orange Fungus, see it on 
      Scott's picture web site
      It is a little over a foot wide
   *  Animal scat, with a lot of Tanzanite Berries and Huckleberries in it
   *  Silver Falls is still quite magnificent, and has an enchanting effect thru the trees 
      as you approach it on level ground.
Banana Slugs 5, total 34
 
Silver Falls to Sunset Camp connector Trail:
Banana Slugs 4, total 38
 
Sunset Camp connector Trail to East Berry Creek bridge
9. Cudweed (not Pearly Everlasting, but this sort of resembles it)
 
East Berry Creek bridge to Timms Creek Trail:
   *  Some dried seed pods of the Spotted Coral Root Orchid. Can't wait for next May!
 
Timms Creek Trail to West Waddell Creek bridge:
   *  A Maroon Spotted Coral Root Orchid, unspotted, that had the top eaten off a few months ago,
      rejuvenated with flowers again, and actually has 2 fertilized seed pods growing towards maturity.
 
West Waddell Creek bridge to Skyline to the Sea connector trail:
     Nothing to report
 
Skyline to the Sea Trail connector to Middle Ridge Fire Road:
     Nothing to report
 
Middle Ridge Fire Road to Park Headquarters:
   *  Yellow Slime Mold
 
Times on Trail:
Left Park HQ at 8:55A.
Middle Ridge Fire Road 9:40A.
Sunset Camp connector Trail marker 2:30P.
HQ 4:45P.
Hours on the trail 7:45P.

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