Journal archives for June 2015

June 26, 2015

June 23 Saddle Mountain Hike

I hiked in the Saddle Mountain Preserve on Tuesday June 23rd from 8:50am until almost exactly 1pm. I crossed Weeks Creek, then crossed Alpine Creek and continued through the property onto Erland Rd. I turned around and backtracked, turning towards the Hunter's Cabin and Pond. I didn't check the Northern Overlook. In terms of trail blockages I found one large limb down on the way to the Hunter's Cabin just before the meadow where the sign and fork are located between the Cabin trail and the overlook trail. That limb is maybe 6 in. diameter small and easy to step over, but would be a pain if you were trying to drive up. It's a live oak and covers the whole trail. The second is just before the Hunter's Cabin, within sight of it. The tree cracked mid-way up and is dangling in a diagonal angle towards the ground. It looks steady and probably won't fall further, but the limbs are blocking the path and it looks like people have been walking around it. This will be a big job to clear due to the way the tree is suspended above the trail. Again it's a live oak and whole trail is blocked.

In terms of wildlife, I scared numerous does and fawn resting near the trail. A buck snorted at me for several minutes on the trail to Erland road. I saw several wild turkeys, lots of birds: acorn woodpeckers, jays,etc. Along Alpine creek I found a ground hornet or other ground bee nest dug out of the ground by an unknown critter. Between the downed tree and the hunting cabin there were two reptile nests dug out of the ground with egg shells littering the ground. Even closer to the hunting cabin was a fresh wild turkey kill. Right outside the front door of the cabin was several day old bear scat, loaded with manzanita berries. Elsewhere on the property on the trails was coyote scat. I didn't see or look for lion scat or tracks. In Alpine Creek right at the crossing were fish. They were tiny and hard to identify and I didn't see them elsewhere. Weeks Creek appeared too stagnant and was loaded with algae, but Alpine ran clear everywhere I looked.

Along Weeks Creek where blackberry was recently removed, the plant hasn't come back very much there, which is a surprising and a good sign if more needs to be removed. On the trail to Erland the meadows are loaded with star thistle. Lots of butterflies and other insects were using it for pollen. Most other flowering plants were brown and dead from the heat. Manzanita are becoming ripe; bay nuts are in abundance but not ripe. No major reports on the plants this time.

Posted on June 26, 2015 12:08 by bjoelle bjoelle | 12 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment