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Soquel Demonstration Forest
Jan-Feb 2010 & 2011
Find your way to the Demo Forest and you'll be amply rewarded.
It's a popular spot, so pull over and park wherever space is available.
Cross the bridge to begin exploring.
A variety of trail options are available.
East Branch of Soquel Creek drains the surrounding watershed.
Soquel Demonstration Forest shelters a rich variety of native trees, plants, wildlife.
Ladybugs gather in great numbers to hibernate in places throughout the forest.
Deep drifts of leaf litter, forest debris carpet the area.
Ideal habitat for native salamanders like this Yellow-Eyed Ensatina.
Yellow-Eyed Ensatina Salamanders are "skin breathers". Avoid handling.
If you venture off trail, be sure to watch where you put your feet.
During wet, rainy months California Newts are frequently encountered.
While photographing this California Newt, noticed clumps of rose-colored slime mold above it.
Each "Cotton Candy" slime mold nodule swells as it matures, becoming porous to release its spores.
Hillside seeps like this one create a wet, soggy environment.
A jewel-like Western Tree Frog at the edge of a trail-side seep.
Newts gathering to breed in a shallow trailside seep.
Several were swimming around or resting on the bottom.
A surprising number of newts for such a small, shallow pool.
As winter gives way to spring wildflowers emerge.
A delicate wildflower drenched with raindrops.
The forest provides a banquet for this native banana slug.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing tastier to a Banana Slug than mushrooms.
A huge variety of wild mushrooms and exotic fungus thrive in the Demo Forest.
Colorful specimens such as these are commonly seen.
Examples of the unusual-looking Jelly Foot mushroom.
It's a "toothed" mushroom with tiny points on its underside.
Scarlet Waxy Caps
Like globs of butter melting.
Dull-colored Black Trumpets are difficult to spot among leaf litter on the forest floor.
Resembling dull-black funnels, they appear singly or in small clumps.
Yep, they're edible and highly prized by mushroom hunters.
Contact Soquel Demonstration Forest State Park to obtain permits for collecting.
Or become a member of the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz which hosts
wild mushroom forays in this Park and other sites throughout northern California.
Return to Top.          Go to Fungus Forays