Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Day at the Pass

On Sunday Mallory and I went up to the pass to do a couple of summer transects for the Cascade Wildlife Monitoring Project. We attempted two of the transects, but it was a bit tricky since the transects were set up in the winter and deep snow makes it a bit easier to travel in straight lines there.

Anyway it was a satisfying outing. It started out with a miserable amount of mosquitoes, which I think just served to make the things after that portion of the day seem all the better. There were a bunch of highlights for me: Finding a spotted sandpiper's nest with 4 eggs in it (the bird spooked off the nest when I was only a couple feet away or I wouldn't have noticed it) Getting to within 15 feet or so to a big buck with large velvety antlers while I was walking through some willow thickets. Finding weasel tracks (which I've only seen once before despite the fact that western Washington is supposed to have one of the densest populations of weasels anywhere). On the plant end of things I found rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia), wild ginger (Asarum caudatum), and high bush cranberry (Viburnum sp.).

And here's a picture from my previous outing:

A western toad (Bufo boreas) in a black bear (Ursus americanus) track.

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