This is the bark of a pretty big Alaska Yellow Cedar, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis. Yellow cedar is a beautiful tree with beautiful wood that is coveted for certain building applications and firewood. It is extremely rot resistant so is often used instead of chemically treated lumber for ground contact or wet area construction. The wood is also a beautiful yellow color that can really be brought out with certain wood finishes. A dead standing or fallen yellow cedar also can make excellent firewood that doesn't necessarily need to be cured before being thrown in the woodstove. It is also light in weight for its size and is easy to split. Yellow cedar trees have been dying off in certain areas for over a century now with the most likely and scientifically accepted cause being freezing of roots where the trees grow in wetter areas that are not getting enough snow cover to insulate them. These trees that are weakened and dying because of their frozen roots are then more susceptible to being attacked by cedar bark beetles, fungi, and other invaders. Yellow cedars are typically found in higher elevations than our other cedar tree, the western red cedar, Thuja plicata, and can be distinguished from them by their needles and bark. My preferred method of identification is by stripping off a strip of bark and breaking it in half across the fibers. There are small light colored specks visible in the bark of yellow cedar which are small resin pockets absent in red cedar bark.
More fungus! This is a particularly glossy and pretty Red Belt conk, Fomitopsis pinicola, that I lucked upon growing on a dead fallen tree. These are very common here but I have never seen one with so many separate "shelves" coming from one central spot. This one was also particularly shiny, black, and the red belt particularly red. Fungi are very interesting things. They are more similar to animals than plants in some ways - they can't make their own food like plants and they also have chitin rather than cellulose in their cell walls. Chitin is the same compound that makes up the exoskeletons of insects, cellulose is the compound that makes up the cell walls of plants. Fungi can also break down lignin which is the compound that makes wood impossible for most things to digest or break down. If not for fungi, our forests would be much more crowded with the remains of dead and dying trees.
Lichen? mold? fungus? I don't know to be honest. It isn't an uncommon sight in this forest on decaying wood and I'm pretty sure I've seen it on rock as well. Whatever the hell it is, it is kind of cool looking so I took its picture.
This is a really interesting root section of a log on the beach just below where I live. There is probably a better picture to be gotten from this thing but this is my best so far. It is about a 3 minute walk to this from my house so I'll be working on getting better photos. There have got to be some better black and white photos somewhere in this thing too. The colors were nice and the white spots are once again some kind of lichen? mold? fungus?