Last week I spent four days in California helping out an aging parent which meant no slugfaris. The travel and stress culminated in a juicy head cold that has turned me into one of my subjects – a slug.
On Saturday, before my head became unbearably fuzzy, I headed out on a slugfari. The weather in Portland has transitioned to cold, wet and sometimes icy. I worry about having no mollusks to photograph as they hide from the cold. But, as luck would have it, Saturday’s slugfari was delightful.
Layers upon layers of fall leaves make it harder and harder to spot slugs. Not only do they blend into the leaves, they hide under the blanket of leaves for protection from the cold.
Occasionally we see a slug gliding across the leaves or crawling up or down a tree.
Or eating the few remaining mushrooms/toadstools.
The temperature dipped into the twenties the day after I shot this. On my next slugfari, I’ll find out if these tiny toadstools are still standing.
This adorable banana slug blended in with the leaves at the bottom of a tree as we walked up the trail. On the way back it had disappeared.
A big dog, who was not on a leash, scared the slug and it retracted its tentacles.
We saw only two large banana slugs on trees. (In October we’d see ten or more.)
But, slugfari isn’t just about slugs. It’s a treasure hunt for imagery in the forest. Even a leaf floating in rainwater on a manhole cover is photogenic.
A dark brown banana slug on a like-colored bark of tree. We’ve seen this slug on the same tree a few times in the past. “Does this bark color make me look younger?”
I looked down while shooting the dark brown slug and saw this guy on top of a deep pile of fallen leaves.
And a few leaves away, this little guy having brunch.
Slugs or not, beauty surrounds us. Raindrops on lichens and whiskers on kittens…(oh, never mind.)