Hugh Erle Smith

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Favorite Forays

Washington and Lysurus mokusin, May 22, 2006

It was May 22nd. We took a trip to Washington to visit friends who live on their yacht in Puget Sound. But before we were to meet them, we decided to spend a few days on the Olympic Penninsula, mostly in the rain forest.
We ended up staying at Lake Quinault in the heart of the rain forest.

Five of the world's largest trees live here (no redwoods of course), and the people make sure it's known.

The first day was mostly cloudy with rain visible across the lake all day. That evening we had a perfect rainbow for dinner with a beautiful sunset across the Lake Quinault.

It was one of those evenings you wouldn't want to miss.

The next morning we awoke to a perfectly clear sky with perfect cool temperatures. At breakfast we met two rangers and they said that we should definitely go into the rain forest, because NOBODY EVER gets to see it like this. Well, that's what we had planned anyway.

Y'know, I have to believe what the rangers said. At 140 to 160 inches a year, this place is ALWAYS cloudy. Not a cloud in the sky!

The forest is so green that when we got home, my wife said our back yard looked dull. And it

So this forest has not been logged. The moss is thick, thousands of pounds of moss hanging in every tree, and on every thing.

All of the dead trees are where they fell or still stand, lots of them, and conchs everywhere!

Red belted conchs, Artist Conchs, some others, and lots of Reishi.

HUGE! And so many.

And of course, Bald Eagles, Roosevelt Elk, Banana Slugs, Pacific Sideband Snails, etc... and trees covered in giant conchs!

I was in Conch Heaven!

But this adventure is not the reason for this letter.

The reason for this letter is to tell you about my stinkhorns, Lysurus mokusin. These Lantern Stinkhorns started coming up in my yard BEFORE May 22nd, the trip to Washington.

Last year we had several trees removed from our yard, and the stumps were ground up.

On May 19th, I discovered Lysurus mokusin in my yard.

Now it's June 27th and they are STILL coming up.

My brother and I have found only six locations with Lantern Stinkhorns in our area, and my yard is one of them. This fruiting has produced probably three or even four times all of the other locations combined!

12 eggs showing at once. Currently there are seven eggs showing, with one looking larger than I have ever seen.

And still producing! Some are pencil diameter. Many are larger than the books indicate they get. Some are over 1 inch in diameter!

I have set up my camera over and over and over and over, all day and all night. You wouldn't believe the slug action at night.

The camera is set to take 100 pictures, one every 15 minutes.

It takes hours, but soon I will have completed many action GIFS, like watching flowers open.

I've produced a couple already. The best is over 11 megs, some less, so I'm working on that too.

THAT'S why I decided to write.

Update: Click HERE to see a time lapse video (704kb, linked to