Journal archives for January 2020

January 19, 2020

Gilbert Riparian Preserve

After seeing many interesting iNaturalist observations from the Gilbert Riparian Preserve, I paid it a visit today with my progeny @ejones17. It shares parking facilities with the Gilbert Library. We got there before the library opened and the parking lots were completely full. We were lucky to happen upon a car leaving and took its space within seconds of it clearing. Bit of a human zoo, but a large, spread-out facility with many lovely trails. Not much happening botanically, though the place is thick with Lycium fremontii which were beginning to bloom. It is an eBird hotspot, with 306 species (and 106 other taxa) known from the area. I didn't run an eBird checklist, being too busy taking photos. I added a few species to my life list. It's most definitely a place worth visiting if you find yourself in the area.

Posted on January 19, 2020 04:45 AM by stevejones stevejones | 25 observations | 4 comments | Leave a comment

January 29, 2020

Fire and water

Another visit to the Mountain fire area and then to a wash downstream of the fire. The wash is fed in part by the burned watershed. Nothing much new to report from the burned area, beyond the sprouting of Marah gilensis vines. A literal ground-breaking event - there were cracks in the soil where one of them was sprouting. Other than that and a small cluster of mushrooms near it, the area looked much as it did last visit.

The wash downstream was a different story. This is the wash where I found four Abutilon parishii plants. There are three now, because a flood last November took out the larger plant.

In previous trips to the wash from above, I was able to travel only so far before the vegetation became impenetrable. Approaching from below (as I did last June) I also could walk only so far before the wash was again impenetrable.

It is impenetrable no more. The flood that took out the abutilon also cleared a path through the third of a mile or so that had remained unexplored. It's not easy to get through - much climbing over or crawling under fallen trees - but it's possible. For now.

Another contrast: at the burn area site, I saw exactly one animal besides myself: a honeybee working filaree flowers. I heard no birds; not one. I stopped every now and then to glass the area. Nothing. At the lower wash site, there must have been a hundred birds in the first quarter-mile of the hike. Cardinals, canyon and Abert's towhees, a sparrow I didn't know (though I have some sketchy photos [ETA - immature white-crowned sparrow]), phainopeplas, cactus wrens, gnatcatchers and some calls I didn't recognize. Further up the wash where the walls are steep, canyon wrens. Not calling, but bitching about my presence. Can't blame 'em.

Posted on January 29, 2020 01:59 AM by stevejones stevejones | 84 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment