29 May 2008

Corral Creek

This is the first time I've gone up Corral Creek since I first started my hiking forays two years ago. It looked quite unfamiliar, in fact, except for one detail that I vividly remember: the massive ruts in the trail. I don't know if it's plain old erosion or too much bike traffic or what, but for most of the trail there's a two foot trench in the middle, just wide enough for a hiking boot to settle into. Add that to the mud from all the rain we've been having and there were some rather treacherous places. Anyway, here's an excerpt from the Map of the area:

I turned around when I got to a good view back over where I'd come, after some pretty heinous switchbacks, so I'm pretty sure my dot is in the right general area. I might have continued on, except that I'd promised to go with my mom to the dietitian this afternoon, and had no idea what time it actually was... I got back to my house with just enough time for a shower and some lunch, so that was about the right spot to turn around.

Anyway, I was hoping that the recent rains might have resulted in a wildflower bonanza, but methinks we need some more sunshine before that happens. I did see more larkspur in bloom over a single area than I can remember seeing before, but otherwise nothing spectacular on the flower front. However, I did find some rather remarkable mushrooms. The best one's just under this paragraph; the rest are below the fold.

I know next to nothing about mushrooms, except that they prefer moist, shaded areas, and that even experts sometimes misidentify them. If I happen to find a decent guide somewhere, I might attempt to put labels on them. Take them with a grain of salt. Oh, and never, ever eat wild mushrooms unless you're absobloodlutely certain what it is and know that there are no poisonous lookalikes.

As for the fifth and sixth pictures, that has to be the biggest mushroom I've ever seen (fifth one's a front view; sixth is a back view). It was at least a foot across, maybe closer to eighteen inches. I had to get closer to it to convince myself that it was a mushroom. ^/^ As for the rest, just enjoy the pictures.

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