Today I visited Johnson Woods State Nature Preserve in Wayne County. Here grows one of the largest concentrations of the largest trees in all of Ohio. I don't have a ton of time this evening, but I did wanted to share some photos of this nature preserve. The one thing that struck me today was all of the different types of fungi growing throughout the preserve. I don't know fungi very well, but they are really interesting, and I need to start learning about these interesting organisms.
Here is one of the large white oaks at Johnson Woods. My yellow notebook is about four inches wide, and this tree continues to go straight up for what seemed like forever. I measured the diameter of this tree at 117 centimeters, which is almost four feet. What a tree.
Next up, I saw a few outbreaks of the beech aphid. These aphids like to eat the leaves of beech trees, and form large colonies that look like masses of white wool clinging to the the branches. When disturbed the individual aphids wave back and forth and they look like one super organism. A weird sight indeed.
Another interesting creature was this salt and pepper colored slug. I have no idea what species it is, but I saw two of them on a fallen log. They were each about two inches long.
And now its time for the mushrooms and fungus. Since Johnson Woods is an old growth forest, there is plenty of what scientists call "coarse woody debris" on the floor of the forest, and much of it is inhabited by fungi. I don't know what these species are, but feel free to chime in if you recognize something familiar.