June 05, 2012

Schmitz Park, part two

I went to Schmitz Park for my final, and in my physical journal I have detailed a more general naturalist account on the park itself. I observed many species on the ground floor of the park, as this park does have an under-story and ground-covers of mostly native and restored species. I was surprised to find lichen in the park, but I was able to find at least three different species in the park, most of which were low on the trees and very sparse. The presence of fungi along with the presence of lichen are good indicators of a healthy forest, as well as the presence of nurse trees and new growing species that are starting to grow berries and flowers. It is important in a forest surrounded by city pollution that there are indicators of health and growth within the species.
A lot of species were in abundance, including skunk cabbage, ferns, mosses and tall buttercups. A lot of the plants were beginning to grow berries and spread seeds, as exampled by the common dandelions in the area, which had shed their flowers in favor of spreading seeds, as well as flowers blooming to begin pollination. I saw a few bees and flies, but as the weather was so cold today it was a rare occurrence. It was 52 degrees, with a wind chill, light rain and and complete cloud cover.

Posted on June 05, 2012 10:04 AM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 34 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 02, 2012

UW Squirrel Tour

Today we learned about squirrels on the UW campus, as well as different species of squirrel. The tour began with the group showing us a video of squirrels and their behavior on campus, including their feeding practices and human interactions. All of the squirrels filmed were friendly to humans and accepting of the food given to them. They showed how they climb and move, and how squirrels from outside the campus behave differently in the presence of humans, and are a lot less chubby.
The tour continued with some of the mounts from the Burke museum, which showed different species of squirrel and chipmunks from the state and beyond. We also had the chance to feed some of the squirrels up on north campus, which was actually really fun.
Then my group ran the butterflies, moths, skippers, beetles and bees tour, which I think went really well but I didn't get here about the other stations as I was busy with the butterfly station.

Posted on June 02, 2012 05:25 AM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 31, 2012

UW Birds and Waterfowl Tour

Union Bay Natural Area

Mids 60's
very little cloud cover
sunny/partially cloudy
Mid afternoon
no precipitation

The tour started with birds, and we were able to see both examples of nests and many species that make their home in the Union Bay Natural Area and the water surrounding it. We saw two types of swallow hunting together, mallards and their ducklings, american robins, hummingbirds, Canadian geese, crows and Red Wing Blackbirds, as well as a bald Eagle late in the tour. I heard song sparrows as well as seagulls and many other unidentified species as well. Most of the species on land near the campus were smaller species, but some larger species were seen farther out, too far to photograph but could be seen and identified by the group through binoculars.
The waterfowl tour went over some specific species that you could observe in the Union Bay Natural Area but were not present at the time. The ones that were present were different types of ducks and ducklings in the ponds surrounding by trees, and waterfowl far out on the bay that were barely visible. This tour was the most visually appealing, as it went over different behaviors and the specimens moved and showed different actions. This also made it harder to observe and identify the specimens, as they would not stay still and let you pick them up like plants do or let you take samples as trees and plants do.

Posted on May 31, 2012 08:54 AM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

UW Fungi and Forbs Tour

Union Bay Natural Area

low 60's
partially sunny
partial cloud cover
low wind

Today we learned about types of fungi and forbs available for observation on the UW campus. It is very hard to identify fungi, but we were on our tour able to see a wide variety of different classes and species of fungi in the union bay natural area to the east of campus. It was a mild spring day just after a medium rain shower the day before, so the mushrooms and fungi were in close to ideal conditions for observation, and many juvenile and adult specimens were growing (see the pleated inkcap for an example). I'm not sure if I got the spellings right for these species, so I have added them to ID please so someone could correct my spelling if it is incorrect.
Forbs came directly after, and we learned about different flowering plants in the Union Bay Natural Area, including Morning Glory, tall buttercups, common dandelions and skunk cabbage, which I didn't know was a flowering plant until I found out where the flowers actually are on the structure. The tour also went over the pollinators each plant tries to attract and how they are pollinated. The plants the tour went over are almost all flowering angiosperms that rely on pollinating in at least some capacity for reproduction and breeding, in comparison to all of the tours so far this was much more prominent in each station of the tour. There were also a lot more examples in the Union Bay Natural Area than in other parts of campus, so it is most likely the best place, at least in this season, to observe a multitude of native or adapted fungi and forbs on campus.

Posted on May 31, 2012 08:40 AM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 11 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 23, 2012

UW Tree Tour/ UW Mosses and Lichen tours

First, my group went to the tree tour, which detailed different types of trees on campus. We went to each station and detailed each type of tree, which I wrote down in the notes section for each tree. Each tree we looked at had a different connection to the PNW and to the campus, even though most of them were not native to the area, the species were well adapted to the environment and are not invasive or harmful.
I then went on the mosses and lichens tour, and started with identifying mosses on the Burke Gilman, and then learning about the life-cycle of mosses near the UW farm. We then trekked up to the area near Pacar to identify lichen, which were all on one tree near the road heading towards Kane past the Burke museum.
On the way, I also identified the lupines near the fisheries building, and a Northern Flicker between the road near the Burke and Kane. I needed help identifying the bird, since the picture I took is not good enough to use in a field guide identification, and it didn't look like any type of bird we had seen previously on campus or on the field trips.

Posted on May 23, 2012 06:49 PM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 15 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 16, 2012

UW Species in the first sunny week in May

I decided to identify more species on campus now, rather than earlier in the year, as the plant species on campus finally started blooming and fruiting, making them so much easier to identify. It was high 60's, mostly sunny, mild weather perfect for making observations and taking pictures. Almost all of the species I identified were most likely affected by human interaction or planted specifically by the grounds-people who manage the flora on campus.
I was only able to get to genus on the inaturalist observations for certain species, which is unfortunate considering that getting to taxa is more valued on this website, but I was not able to identify these species further than that. By comparison to other trips I've taken (like the one in Schmitz Park) identifying species was much harder, and species I put up as and ID please were only identified by the experts to genus. It could be in part that Schmitz Park had a lot of easily identifiable native species, or that I took a lot more pictures that day than I did this trip through the UW.

Posted on May 16, 2012 08:45 AM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 17 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 04, 2012

Admiral District, West Seattle, WA

52 degrees Farenheit, moderate to heavy rainfall, full cloud cover.

I observed a few species of plant that seemed to have fully bloomed in the area, and added them to my account. I am having trouble identifying a few of the species using the inaturalist species identification methods, and the fact that they are most likely not native species and were brought here by human intervention makes them hard to identify using online plant guides of the northwest, which focuses more on native species and not on common species.

Posted on May 04, 2012 01:44 PM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 30, 2012

West Seattle, Washington, April 19th 2012

Weather- Overcast, mid 50's
Mid afternoon

These were plants observed in the West Seattle area, most likely planted as part of the decorative foliage for the neighborhood. I'm not sure if any of these plants would grow in a untamed situation without any human intervention, but they are quite common in my neighborhood and are also worth mentioning, as they dominate the landscape and must have some impact on the local flora and fauna if only through the volume available in the area. there is also many squirrels, crows, raccoon, possums and mice as well as rats in the area, which are able to adapt to the suburban landscape to their advantage.

Posted on April 30, 2012 05:38 PM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 20, 2012

Schmitz Park, Seattle- 4/19/2012

I went to the park knowing that I needed a lot more species to add to my intauralist account, and that the park is set up to be as untouched as possible to mimic some of the characteristics of old growth forests, such as nurse logs, snags and old growth trees. I heard a lot of bird species even with the rain (there was heavy precipitation, mid 40's with total cloud cover when I went at 3 in the afternoon) including I think an owl, although I'm not sure.
I mostly cataloged species we hadn't gone over in class, as a lot of the plants in the park are at a slightly different climate and habitat than the places we have visited so far. I saw but didn't add to my account red flowering currant, Himalayan Blackberry, salal and other plants that we had already gone over in class.
These plants are harder for me to identify, but I believe they are all native species or at least naturalized species, as the park custodians try to remove invasive species when they crop up in the park.
There were a lot more mushroom species in the park than I would have thought for this time of year, and I tried to document all of the ones I could reach near the stream beds and on dead trees.

Posted on April 20, 2012 12:49 PM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 16 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 17, 2012

Field near the IMA at the UW Seattle

Our class went out into the field near the Urban Horticultural Center to study the local fauna, where I observed many different types of low growing plants, insects and bird populations. There were many different kinds of fungi and mushrooms, as well as dragonflies around the ponds and cattails. Their were robins, crows, seagulls and song sparrows, as well as great blue herons and other bird species that I couldn't readily identify.
The weather was cold and windy, with total cloud cover and light precipitation later in the afternoon. We were there from 1:30-3:30 pm, learning how to sketch the local flora and fauna and better describe the descriptive features of these plants.

Posted on April 17, 2012 08:17 AM by meganwaskom meganwaskom | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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