June 01, 2012

May 29, 2012 Union Bay Natural Area Bird Tour

Today my class went on a bird watching tour. This was around 3:30pm, and the weather was warm but cloudy. We all tried to be silent occasionally and when we did, we could hear the chirps of a Song Sparrow. There were quite a few Red-winged blackbirds out that day, and I was able to walk quite close to one that was perched at the top of a tree. It sat there for quite awhile and would chirp near constantly then let out a three tone call that to me resembles a train whistle. There were many mallard ducks swimming in a shallow pond nestled in the middle of the UBNA, and at one point a female mallard came close to shore with a baby mallard duck that was no bigger than my fist. When the baby duck hit the shore it did not slow down but continued on at the same pace as if it were still swimming. Along the edge of the bond was what I originally thought was deadly nightshade, but later identified as bittersweet, which is still part of the nightshade family but not as deadly.

Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
Red-winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
Bittersweet, Solanum dulcamara
Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos

Posted on June 01, 2012 01:39 PM by andymj andymj | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 26-27, 2012 Waterfall Hike Port Ludlow, WA

Today I went on the waterfall hike around 1:00 pm. The weather was sunny and warm, and there were many more wildflowers in bloom this time, and the ground was carpeted in threeleaf foamflower. The twinberry was in bloom as well as the fringecup and Western Star flower. The western star flower grew both in clusters and alone, and had a varying number of leaves from 2 to 5. These were new to bloom in the last week, because last week there were none. The five-fingered fern was not looking as fresh and green as it was the last time I was there, and the flowers on the youth-on-age were wilting. Along the way home, there were many beautiful rhodedendrons in full bloom along the side of the road and nestled into the forest.

The next day the weather was cold and misty, and around 4:00pm I saw an Ensatina salamander in the tool shed in the forest. Later I took a walk on the beach around 7:00pm and the weather had improved and I saw several Lewis's Moon Snail egg colors on the beach at low tide.

Threeleaf foamflower, Tiarella trifoliata
Twinberry, Lonicera involucrata
Tall Oregon grape, Mahonia aquifolium
Jumping Spider, Family Salticidae
Pacific rhodedeondron, Rhodedendron macrophyllum
Fringe Cups, Tellima grandiflora
Western Star flower, Trientalis latifolia
Lewis' Moon Snail, Euspira lewisii
Ensatina, Ensatina eschscholtzii

Posted on June 01, 2012 01:32 PM by andymj andymj | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 25, 2012 Union Bay Natural Area

Today I walked around the Union Bay Natural Area looking for wildflowers. It was around 2:00pm and the weather was warm but cloudy. The UBNA is composed of many grassy fields as well as a few lightly forested areas, and it meets up with Lake Washington. Along my walk I saw that there were many small flowers blooming in the grass, some of those being White Clover, Red Clover, and Black Medick. I also noticed tiny forget-me-nots and even aquatic forget-me-nots. Inside a stand of trees there were tall buttercups growing along the path, all in bloom with shiny yellow flowers. There were three beautiful blue lupines growing near the beginning of the UBNA, but I did not see anymore in the rest of it. As I was leaving across an open feild, a group of five Barn Swallows began circling me and coming so close that I had to be careful not to step on them. They only stopped circling and swooping me when I left their field. Perhaps they had a nest nearby and were afraid I would harm it.

Oregon Oak, Guercus garryana
Water Forget-me-not, Myosotis scorpiodes
Black Poplar, Populus nigra
Turkey-Tail, Trametes versicolor
Water lillies, Order Nymphaeales
Lupines, Genus Lupinus
Forget-me-not, Genus Myosotis
Buttercups, Genus Ranunculus
Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica
Red Clover, Trifolium pratense
Black Medick, Medicago luplina
False Dandelion, Hypochaeris radicata
Small Camas, Camassia quamash

Posted on June 01, 2012 01:16 PM by andymj andymj | 14 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 20, 2012 Beach Walk

Today was a cloudy day but still surprisingly warm. I took a walk along the mile long stretch of relatively untouched beach backing right up to a thick forest. Along the way I saw many different species of seaweed and some I had never seen before, like the Sea Cauliflower and Gracilariiopsis sjoestedtii. I also saw some Bull Kelp and a Dungeness crab in the sand. Perhaps the most spectacular part of the walk was when I spotted a bald eagle being chased by some crows. It flew out of the trees over the beach then found a new tree to perch in. As I got closer I noticed it was sitting very close to another bald eagle high up in a tree. I continued walking for another thirty minutes and when I turned around and passed them again they were still sitting in the exact same position and exact same branch. As I passed they looked down at me. I also saw a strange sea worm of some sort attached to a barnacle covered rock. It was a caramel color and had an almost sea anenome like top. I also saw a beautiful black and red tube worm extended from its tube. In the marshy area near the beach there was a large patch of silverweed and some of them were flowering with beautiful star shaped yellow flowers. Also that day I saw river otter prints leading away from the woods toward the bay.

Northern River Otter, Lontra canadensis
Cleavers, Galium aparine
Thimbleberry, Rubus parviflorus
Pacific Silverweed, Potentilla anserina pacifica
Leathesia difformis
Bull Kelp, Nereocystis luetkeana
Dungeness Crab, Metacarcinus magister
Gracilariopsis sjoestedtii
Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Comon ivy, Hedera helix

Posted on June 01, 2012 01:01 PM by andymj andymj | 12 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 19, 2012 Old Growth Forest and Stream Bed

Today I took a walk through an old growth forest to a waterfall. The weather was mildy warm and sunny, although in the shade of the trees it was cooler. There was a large open sunny meadow just before the forest where large-leaved avens were growing as well as a patch of yarrow. Near the stream bed I saw beautiful mint colored ferns with dark brown stalks that came out separately from the substrate. The stalk would grow straight up then curl around in a swirl with the leaflets swirling as well. I later learned these were caled five-fingered ferns. I had never seen this type of fern before, and it is not common elswhere in the Port Ludlow forest. I also saw beautiful large western sweet coltsfoot leaves that were growing extremely close to the stream bed. Also near the stream bed were large stink currant shrubs. In the soft soil of the forest floor there were a few trillium plants growing, and a few of them were even flowering.

Five-fingered Fern, Adiantum pedatum
Parasol, Macrolepiota procera
Lewis's mock-orange, Philadelphus lewisii
Scotch Broom, Cytisus scoparius
Tolmiea menziesii
Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium
Western sweet coltsfoot, Petasites frigidus palmatus
Large-leaved avens, Geum macrophyllum
Stink Currant, Ribes bracteosum
Trillium, Genus Trillium
Red huckleberry, Vaccinium parvifolium
Daisy, Bellis perennis
Pacific bleeding heart, Dicentra formosa
Sitka spruce, Picea sitchensis
Pinemat manzanita, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
False Solomon's Seal, Maianthemum racemosum

Posted on June 01, 2012 12:37 PM by andymj andymj | 16 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Fungi Tour May 6, 2012

Today we were taken on a tour of the UW looking for Fungi. The weather was warm and sunny. First we looked at a large group of Agrocybe Praecoxs. There were many different clusters, and the mushrooms ranged in color from tan to white. The more mature mushrooms had distinctive white cracking. I learned that many different mushrooms can be a part of one organism, and that this can result in a fairy ring, a circular group of mushrooms. The next type of mushroom we looked at was a button mushroom. This is apparently the common form of mushroom that is sold in grocery stores. Next we looked at turkey tail mushrooms growing on a log near the Urban Farm. There were also Oyster Mushrooms growing out of a stump, and I learned that you can plant oyster mushrooms by drilling holes in a stump and inserting spore soaked pegs.

Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus
Turkey Tail Mushroom, Tremetes versicolor
Agrocybe Praecox

Posted on June 01, 2012 11:52 AM by andymj andymj | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 12, 2012 Union Bay Natural Area Sketching Day

Today our class walked down to the Union Bay Natural Area to practice our field sketches. The first thing I drew was a dandelion. The dandelion has elongated rectangular petals that graduate to the middle of the flower where there are tiny hair-like structures that are yellow as well. The petals at the very bottom of the flower are yellow on one side and green on the underside. The stem has a rubbery feel and is not very sturdy-it feels amost hollow like a straw. The leaves are very thin with tiny hairs. The next thing I observed was a Garter Snake. I was walking through the tall grass, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted movement and saw a thin black snake with a light green/white stripe up the middle of it. It slithered away in an "S" shape when I approached and went deeper into a thick layer of dead grass. I also spotted many small himilayan blackberry vines in the grass. The weather that day was mild with dark rain clouds with occasional sun peaking through. Toward the end of the class it began to rain.

Himilayan Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus
Apple Tree, Malus domestica
Dandelion, Taraxacum
Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis
Jumping Spider, Salticidae

Posted on June 01, 2012 11:41 AM by andymj andymj | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 1, 2012 Nisqually River Delta

Today our class visited the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge which is a wetland area that contains many species of birds. The weather was slightly cloudy with occasional sun. The area was very flat and we walked along a wooden bridge for the majority of the time. On either side of the bridge there were many Big Leaf Maple trees that were large and covered with moss and lichen. The trees did not have their leaves yet, and they seemed very scraggly. Many Red-flowering currant and indian plum shrubs were growing amongst the trees and both of those were flowering. There were also snoberry plants and salmon berry bushes. In the more marshy area were it was mostly grass, I saw many great blue herons walking around in a slow graceful pattern. I also saw quite a few robins searching for worms, and some brown creepers swirling down a tree trunk together then hopping back up it. Perhaps the most amazing part was getting to look at two great horned owls sitting in a tree together. I also came across a juvenile red-tail hawk sitting in a low branch above the path. It had a white belly with brown specks, and a green beak and yellow eyes.

Indian Plum, Oemleria cerasiformis
Snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus
Red-flowering Currant, Ribes sanguineum
Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia
Great-Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
Skunk Cabbage, Lysichiton americanus
Salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis
Big Leaf Maples, Acer macrophyllum
Canada goose, Branta canadensis
Himilayan Blackberry, Rubus armeniacus
Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
Robin, Turdus migratorius
Cottonwood,Populus trichocarpa
Brown Creepers, Certhia americana
Red-tail Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
Marsh Hawk, Circus cyaneus

Posted on June 01, 2012 11:34 AM by andymj andymj | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 02, 2012

Port Ludlow, April 21-22, 2012

Today the forest around Port Ludlow Bay was lush and green with new growth. The salmonberry bushes have grown to about seven feet tall and are blooming with fuschia pink flossoms. The weather is in the fifties, and there is a light cloud cover but the sun has been peaking through. In a very tall tree high up there is a large nest. I am not sure what bird it belongs to, but it is smaller than an eagles nest usually is. There are many new shoots of beach grass on the beack, and the skunk cabbage have large new leaves and bright yellow flowers in the swamp.

Aggregating Anenome, Anthopleura elegantissima
Ochre Sea Star, Pisaster ochraeceus
Northern Kelp Crab, Pugettia producta
Balnus nubilis
Western Skunk cabbage, Lysichiton americanus
Hairy Hermit Crab, Pagurus hirsutiusculus
Tresus nuttallii
Nucella lamellosa
Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica
Salal, Gaultheria shallon
Western Swordfern, Polystichum munitum
Purple Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea
Salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis
Fucus garneri
Turkish Towel, Chondracanthus exasperatus
California mussel, Mytilus californianus
American Robin, Turdus migratorius
Baldhip rose, Rosa gymnocarpa
European Holly, Ilex aquifolium
Red elderberry, Sambucus racemosa

Posted on May 02, 2012 04:35 AM by andymj andymj | 30 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Longmire Park Mount Ranier, March 31, 2012

The weather at Longmire was surprisingly sunny, with only the occasional misting. There was still snow on the ground, but the temperature was moderate. The trees in Longmire were old growth, and the forest differet greatly from Pack Forest which was mostly second growth. At Longmire the trees were much taller, and Western Hemlocks and Red Cedars dominated the landscape. The trail, called the Trail of Shadows, looped around the Longmire hotsprings, which were steaming. Some interesting things that I saw on this trip were bright yellow oomycetes growing along a stick, and the beautiful red bark of the western yew. There was also moss and lichen covering many of the trees and stumps. Many young trees were growing out of old logs, and I learned that these were called nurse logs. There were also some beautiful fungus shelves growing along the trunks of the trees.

Western Hemlock, Tsuga heteropylla
Oomycetes
Western Yew, Taxus brevifolia
Western redcedar, Thuja plicata

Posted on May 02, 2012 03:57 AM by andymj andymj | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Archives