One of the really great things I didn’t realize about this place is all of the off-trail trails. There are signs up for the ‘dog walk’ which completely ignore 5 or 6 trails that go throughout the are. I used a GPS app to (first notice) follow these around.
There’s a lot of wet ground after all of the rain we got, so there’s a lot of slugs and fungus to be found!
I don’t know if these are some kind of puffballs? A tiny bit of research makes me suspect they are but I don’t have a positive id yet.
This is some more fungus (I think?). Fungus is particularly tricky to identify – I don’t really even know where to start. I think this one might be a mushroom!
Now on to the part where I have a little bit more understanding of what’s going on. I’ve gotten in the habit from salamander hunting of turning over as many damp logs as look turnoverable. There were slug eggs! (do you see the tiny springtail in the gif?)
It made sense given how many slugs I’ve been seeing in the forests these days.
On a separate note, internet slug research seems mostly focused on slug eradication which makes finding species harder apparently.
I ended up finding these under several logs throughout the rest of the hike – along with many accompanying slugs and worms.
On the same log that I found the slug eggs I found something that I have yet not been able to identify at all.
I don’t even really know if they’re eggs or some kind of fungus? I’m going to look into it some more and ask on some facebook groups to see if anyone else recognizes them.
The only thing that they maybe resemble are tick eggs but those are usually all in one big pile and not clustered like this. So mysterious!
Update! It turns out this is Metatrichia vesparium – a type of slime mold. Not bug eggs, but still awesome.
I have a couple of really exciting things coming up on my calendar that I expect will make their way here in the form of some kind of post. They’re all with the University of Alberta Chapter of The Wildlife Society which I have recently joined. 🙂