Almost Invisible

This time of year in the forest, banana slugs are difficult to see.  Some are underneath the piles of fallen leaves and some blend in on top of the layers.

Like a kid on Christmas morning, I shriek with glee every time I spot one!

Since this is my first year as a banana slug enthusiast, I don’t know how long they are active and visible in the winter. Perhaps they hibernate. If so, it will be a long, long winter.


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Filed under banana slugs, Fall, Mushrooms and Toadstools, Slugfari

Stuff Growing on Trees

Lichens, fungus, moss and all the “stuff” that grows in the forest provide color, texture and points of visual and photographic beauty that we non-scientist types appreciate. This stuff is everywhere in nature and often overlooked.  My goal for 2012 is to find out what these stuffs are called and to update the blog with their names.


See what I mean? Even now as we close in on winter, there’s interesting “stuff” in the forest.


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Filed under Fall, Slugfari, trees, Uncategorized

More Little Guys

Yesterday’s slugfari post was full of little slugs climbing up and down trees.  Today, more small slugs!

Lately, it’s been difficult to spot big banana slugs. This time of year they hang out atop or under the deep cover of fallen leaves.  On the other hand, little slugs (I believe these are illegal aliens) are easily found on toadstools and fallen logs.


I wonder what this guy was doing.  Napping? Looking for toadstools?

Two little guys brunching together.

These toadstools/mushrooms are the hottest spot in town, slug-wise.


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Filed under Fall, Mushrooms and Toadstools, Non-native slugs, Slugfari

Lots of Little Guys on Trees!

Yesterday’s slugfari surprised us with sightings of many little slugs climbing up and down trees.  One tree, with over 10 little mollusks speeding by each other in various directions, looked like an urban freeway during the morning commute.


Tree eye and small slug.

Bread and butter.  On their way down.

On the way up on another tree.

Looks like a race to the bottom.

We also saw lots of baby banana slugs on logs and toadstools, but that’s a whole other post. Tomorrow!


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Filed under Baby Slugs, Fall, Slugfari


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.)


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Filed under Baby Slugs, banana slugs, Fall, Humor, Mushrooms and Toadstools, Slugfari, trees

Slugfari: Finding Beauty

Slugfari is like a treasure hunt. With each step, I scan my surroundings for terrestrial mollusks. These strange-looking creatures make beautiful photographic subjects.

Their delightful tentacles.

Their ability to glide across rough surfaces.

Their beautiful colors and textures.

Their interesting positions and settings.

As beautiful as this tree trunk is, it’s even more beautiful wearing a banana slug.

Rich photos full of texture, color, pattern.

I see a slug eying the tree’s eye.

They have incredible balance and smooth moves. This slug moved onto the horizontal twig.

Some are camera shy.

Others strike a pose. Yes, I’m taking about you! Now smile for the camera.


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Filed under banana slugs, Slugfari

Fall Colors in the Forest

When I was young we used to sing a song in the fall. “Autumn leaves are falling down…

…red and yellow…

gold and brown.”

Leaves aren’t the only color I see on slugfari.

Pink toadstools.

Green moss.

Beige and brown fungus.

Bright red wild rose hips.

Yellow streaks on small slugs.

Yellow fungus covered logs.

Rusty leaves.

Red bugs.

And little black dots on tentacles.


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Filed under banana slugs, Fall, Insects, Mushrooms and Toadstools, Slugfari

Late Fall, Less Slugs, Lots of Goodies

In the fall it becomes more and more difficult to see slugs in the forest.

Colorful leaves provide cover for them to hide under and blend into.

However, when I see a toadstool or mushroom, nine times out of ten there is a slug nearby.

Especially little slugs.

Sometimes they appear to line up and wait their turns.

Or share a toadstool.

Very often, when I import shots into Photoshop I find slugs that I hadn’t seen when I snapped the shot. (There are three in this shot.)

That’s one on the lower left hand side of the toadstool.

I snapped this for it’s texture and color variation. When I imported it into Photoshop I saw the little slug in the center of the shot.

Sometimes I get lucky when I peer down into the forest floor.

Or glance behind a log.


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Filed under banana slugs, Mushrooms and Toadstools, Slugfari

I Brake For Slugs

If I ever were to put bumper stickers on my car, I’d have trouble choosing between these two.

Both are true.


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Filed under Humor

Yellow Slugs with No Spots

As a follow up on my story about spotted banana slugs earlier this week, and because I am compelled as slug reporter observer  to not to take sides in the controversial spotted-slug versus non-spotted slug issue, today’s post is about spot-free banana slugs.

Full disclosure, I am a spotted human.  In fact, I have more spots than any slug I’ve ever observed, so I tend to identify more with spotted-slugs than non-spotted slugs.  That being said, their purity, beauty, grace and loveliness is hard to deny.

Coming soon, a post with non-native slugs. Slime on!


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Filed under banana slugs, Slugfari