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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations you have made of the world around you.  Snails, fish, insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds and/or flowers.  All are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located.
Sunday May 5, 2013 on the NE corner of the Olympic Peninsula, WA

Last Sunday was a warm day for a walk in the park, at least from my 2 dogs' point of view.  It crossed the 70 degree mark today for the first time this year! It was a lovely day for a walk in the springtime PNW forest.  

The first treat was seeing a Spotted coralroot alongside the trail.  This is a native saprophytic orchid in Washington state. They have no chlorophyll and derive their nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi in the soil. These plants are found deep in coniferous forests. They like rich humus soils where a shaft of light reaches the forest floor.

Spotted Coralroot
Spotted Coralroot (Corallorhiza maculata)
The forest in this park has several patches of bleeding heart.  I think this is the first time I've seen it growing wild in the woods.  The flowers were a pale purple instead of the more vibrant pink that I have planted in my yard.  Is that because it was growing in the full shade of the forest?
Bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa) in the wild
We also found an amazing nurse log upon which are growing a number of large trees.  Some of the trees are around 10 inches in diameter.  I couldn't get a photo to do it justice.  The log itself was 50 ft long and there were trees growing every 3 or 4 ft along it.  It is cool the way the roots snake around the log to reach the ground.  I'd love to see what happens when the log finally rots away, but it isn't going to do that any time soon.
Nurse log
There were also still many Western trilliums (Trillium ovatum) and Fringecups (Tellima grandiflora) blooming along the trail.  The wild Pacific rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) were just on the verge of opening up.  I look forward to posting wild rhody pictures, probably next week.

What's happening in your environment?

I'll be in and out all day, but I'll read and respond to comments eventually.  Meanwhile, you know what to do.

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