Sunday, September 30, 2012

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Didymodon fallax?

I have moved on to this moss.  I have no idea what it is.. All the leaf tips are shed.  the leaves are 2mm X .5mm the cells are linear at the base to quadrate at the apex.  the stems are about a centimeter tall and packed together.  It has rotten wood attached to it.  Notes on the packet say  12-26-80 WS Rice hummus N84 3100 Skamania co T7n rwe sw14 s 7.  So I guess it was collected in Skamania county at 3,100 feet on hummus.  But it clearly is attached to rotten wood.

Leaf panorama at 100X magnification


I let my slide sit out overnight and now I can clearly see that these are pappilose leaf cells.. Kewl.. mystery solved...

Low and flat on Racomitrium from Montana, 33 years old. They don't show up when the moss is wet

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Codriophorus (Racomitrium) aciculare from the herbarium

I am in the slow process of  identifying 33 year old bryophyte (moss) samples from the TESC herbarium.  I did two Racomitriums today.  Racomitrium is tricky and the experts disagree so I try not to spend too much time banging my head over them.    Here are some pictures of Codriophurus aciculare . 

This one tricked me because I do not recognize cells like this to be pappilose.  I honed on on Racomitrium aciculare right away in my field guide but kept dimissing it due to lack of pappilose cells.  I love the online key to Oregon Racomitrium, in it I learned that these cells are pappilose, just not in a way that I recognize.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Green Diamond aka Simpson logging company is a fan of this blog

Well, well, well.. what do you know.. "Green Diamond" is now a regular reader of this blog. Maybe they don't like me complaining about all the trails that were destroyed under the "100 year sustained steal". Check out Bob Wood's Olympic Mountain trail guide to find out how many trails were destroyed by logging on the South Flank.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Copper Creek amphibian rescue

Dendroalsia abietina

Huge new culvert at Copper Creek has become an amphibian death trap

Rough skinned newt and Western Toadlet trapped in culvert, there were many dead ones too
We moved these surviors out of the culvert
Dendroalsia abietina

Townsends Long-eared Bat in cave

Unknown solo bat in cave

Cave cricket

Great Blue Heron

I can see that the  Climacium dendroides moss is alive after being
flooded out and now uncovered as they lower the lake level for the winter

Westeren red sided snail on moss


Monday, September 17, 2012

Wagon Wheel Ridge, Helicopter Day

"no lake at the top"

Silver Snag Peak

There were a bunch of rough skinned newts floating on the surface of the lake.  I guess that's how they sun.  I saw a goat at 1,600 feet.  The goat ran away from me as fast as it could.  The lake had a filthy layer of scum on it but I went ahead and took a dip on the way up. I did not swim on the way down though because the wind was blowing a bunch more scum towards the lake shore.

They were helicoptering supplies for the new bridge at Staircase until about 2:30 so it was a little noisy but not too bad.  I could see the helicopter making trips from the ridge above wagon wheel.  Waaaaaay down below me.

I saw Ranger Bruce again today and we had a nice chat.  He said He also said the culverts are repaired all the way up to  snow lake and the cause way bridge will open to the public on Wednesday.  That gives me two weeks to get up to snow lake before the wild life gate is shut!

I'm very tired, I hope I did not overdo it for tomorrow's lichen foray.

I started my hike at 9:45, made it to the lake in 3 hours, headed down at 3:00 made it back to the lake and headed for my car at 3:30.  By 5pm I was back down to my car.  Only 1.5 hours to get down from the lake, not bad!

My hike went well but my back hurts a little from slipping on the way down.  This has happened before and is usually resolved by morning. I struggled a bit dropping the last 1,000 feet.  I slipped a lot because I was tired. I never fell down  though.  The only fungi I saw were dried up and had been picked.  If it does not rain soon we might not have much of a mushroom season.

It felt good to be back in shape to do wagonwheel.  Next I want to do the Brothers, but I need someone to go with me.

7.5 miles with 3,800 feet elevation gain

Rough skinned newts floating on the surface, perhaps they are sunning

Mount Cruiser

Helicopter at Staircase bringing in supplies for the new bridge

The helicopter is way down there

Hydration system

Nice to have Ice on the hot ridge

The ridge

Mucky lake shore


Crossing the outlet creek it was hard to tell what direction to turn

Pano of the sawtooths

Three trips up and down Rose and I figured I was ready to take on Wagon wheel.. but Rose is such a nice trail. I forgot that Wagon Wheel is a bit rough. I went to the ridge above the lake and got a good view of the helicopter bringing in supplies to build the new loop trail bridge with.

I saw a goat at 1,600 feet and it ran like hell. I've never seen a goat that scared of me before, I've also never seen a goat that low before. Rough skinned newts were floating just on the surface of the lake. I took a dip before I hit the hot ridge but the lake and a surface layer of scum on it. I skipped swimming on the way down.

I took my platypus for this dry hike, I normally don't carry water in the Olympics but this is one hike where I have to take water. I froze my platypus over night and I still had ice water to drink all the way to the end of my hike. The ice water helped keep me cooler.

I only took 1.5 hours to get from the lake to the car. Took nearly 3 hours to get to the lake. 7.5 miles with 3,800 feet elevation gain. I feel that I am ready to climb the Brothers now as a back pack to base camp and then an day hike up and down the Brothers from base camp. I wish I had someone to do it with me though.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Smoked out on Mount Rose

Over-ripe chicke of the woods

I left my house at 9:05 and we met up at 9:15.  As soon as I left I realized that the socks I wore for this hike were not long enough to be comfortable under my ankle brace.   I also remembered I had taken the socks out of the shoulder straps of my GGG pack.  So we stopped at the only store in the county and I bought two pairs of socks.  My pack holds socks in the shoulder pads.  This saves a bit of weight and uses the sock for two purposes.  I’ve been using this pack for a few years now and I’m quite happy with it.  But I wonder if it is wearing out?  It does not hold the weight as well as it used to.  Maybe it is sagging?  I had to sew the metal frame into place, it’s held with Velcro so it can be removed but the Velcro got dirty and quit working so I just sewed it into place.

We hit the trail at about 10:30, the dirt road to staircase is in great shape and I had no trouble doing the speed limit in my little car.  One person pulled in behind us, but the mobs of idiots seem to have left for the summer.  We only saw one other person on the trail.  There is still a lot of toilet paper and garbage on the mountain but I could tell that most of it had been removed.  The Mount Rose trail crew cut out a few logs and covered up some illegal fire pits.  I could see no sign of the big trashy fire that some idiot had on the meadow at 4,000 feet.  Fires are not allowed above 3,500 feet in the Olympics.   The trail crew also had to do some work where folks have been cutting switchbacks.

There was a fresh fire pit ON the summit rock... WTF??  There were signs of another fire pit in the middle of the trail much lower down and garbage strewn all around it.  There were several spots where the herds had been cutting switchbacks.  But the Mount Rose trail crew fixed it all up.  I wonder what they thought when the saw the mess up there.  Hoards of idiots descended on Mount Rose this summer because the Forest Service closed the nearby Ellinor trail and failed to put up a closure sign.  So people drove all the way in to the dirt roads before they found out the trail was closed.  Why can’t the forest service put up signs out on highway 101?  Also why those goats can’t be removed or shot?

Anyway we summited at about 2 and stayed on the rock until about 3 when the only other person we saw that day arrived.  She was a young German woman who was travelling.  Germans sure get around.  I wish I had been that brave when I was young.

The view from the summit was poor due to forest fire smoke coming in and filling up the valley from the East.  I wonder where all that smoke came from?

Very smoky view

The mountain through the smoke

 The trip down took just as long as the trip up because I was hiking with someone who is just starting to get into shape.  Because we hiked down so slow I noticed a few things that I don’t normally see such as a possible eagles nest.
The trail was very dry thanks to the summer drought.  I think it was the driest I have ever seen it.  The weather was pleasant, it felt like about 70 degrees F at the top.

When we got back to the car we found that while we were out hiking the outhouse had been removed.  Summer is over, thank goodness for that!  I feel pretty good today, I’m sure I could have done another 1,000 feet in elevation gain, so next week I’m going to tackle something a bit more challenging. 

6.3 miles 3,200 feet elevation gain
Bridge over dry creek

More Chicken of the woods

Mouth of Dry Creek.. the lake level is starting to go down

One of my favorite forests

German visitor on the top.  The Hoodsport Visitor Center told her to hike Rose

The old horse camp for the Mount Rose Lodge

Strange growth on this Vanilla leaf

Air qaulity was bad

Tree at the summit