Life in the Hoh Rainforest bursts forth both as new growth and as decomposition. They go hand in hand in breaking down and building a forest. This fungus is one of many kinds that we saw. It decomposes and absorbs organic material.
Slugs are another type of decomposer. They eat and break down plant materials. They are voracious and can daily eat several times their body weight.
What’s this? It’s a rotting log and it’s been helped along by one of the top predators in the food chain, a bear. Bears paw through soft dead wood like this, searching for grubs and other little critters that feed on decaying wood. We just missed seeing a bear on the trail where we saw this log. Other hikers excitedly described their sighting further down the trail. It was gone by the time we got there. Phew!