Most creatures living under the redwoods here are hidden during the day - under logs, behind bark, in burrows. It's easy to forget they're there at all.
This lack of awareness can have devastating results for some animals. The first log we looked under today was near the entrance to the preserve, in the middle of a dry streambed that's used as a trail. The little Ensatina eschscholtzii above was clinging to the log itself, and this one was bravely holding its ground on a scrap of wood:
The third Ensatina wasn't so fortunate. Its tail and a couple of feet had been flattened. My best guess is this salamander was in an unlucky position between the log & a scrap of wood when someone stepped on the log.
Please take care where you step in the woods.
Again, no Taricha newts out and about, but we did encounter another California Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus):
The banana slugs (Ariolimax sp.) are also more active this time of year:
Nothing new to speak of in the fungi department, but I thought I'd demonstrate why Caulorhiza umbonata is called the "Redwood Rooter." This is what the mushroom looks like when you encounter it under the redwoods:
But if you dig into the duff & the dirt very carefully, you can extract the pseudorhiza (or some of it, anyway!)
I didn't get the whole pseudorhiza here; these structures can be over twelve inches long! Not all mushrooms form pseudorhiza, and nobody's sure what the purpose of it is. But it's a good reminder that there's so much more going on in the woods than meets the eye.