SWORD FERN (POLYSTICHUM MUNITUM)
This ubiquitous northwest native can be found in the most coniferous forest understories. Look around on your favorite trail, or in your neighbors backyard as this plant loves our habitat here! Check out the backside of the fern for its brown spores which can be used as a treatment of burns and abrasions, especially the rash caused by stinging nettles.
ROUGH-SKINNED NEWT (TARICHA GRANULOSA)
These sometime elusive amphibians prefer slow moving, quiet water but are sometimes found on land away from water under logs or rocks. Fun Fact: their skin toxins can cause mild skin irritation, but can cause severe symptoms if ingested, including paralysis and/or death! So skip snacking on these little creatures. Let us know if you have seen one in your neighborhood!
Salmonberry (rubus spectabilis)
This native plant is moderately rare, but can be found in moist forests and along stream margins. Fun fact about the Salmonberry, once the magenta flowers start appearing, you can expect to start hearing Swainson’s thrushes as they typically migrate around the same time! Keep an eye out for the salmonberry as you explore your neighborhoods and send us any pictures of what you find.
BANANA SLUG (ARIOLIMAX COLUMBIANUS)
The lovable Banana Slug is relatively easy to find and common on forest floors all along the Pacific coast in coniferous forests. They have a tendency to dry out, so look for them anywhere damp and with forest floor litter. Did you know, they are the second largest slug in the world growing up to almost 10 inches long!? Keep your eyes open and send us a photo if you find one near you!