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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Higher altitude


I went back up on Black Mountain (west of Lincoln) today and another of my red tail hawk acquaintances was there to greet me. Like the one across the river, this one called repeatedly (and was answered by another farther up the mountain) and circled me about 30 feet overhead, and followed me, going from tree to tree, for about a mile as I left what must have been the area of his nest.

Anyway, it was a nice morning, marred only by heavy equipment operating on a nearby road about 2 miles in. I never saw it, but could hear the tank tracks and crunching of branches up the mountain from where I was running. I was on a closed road, but I saw the tracks from this equipment on the main road (Moon Drive, it's called), which evidently circles around above where I was.


This was the view about a mile in, looking generally eastward over the valley where Lincoln sits.

From here on, I'm going to try to post a bunch of smaller pictures of flowers and, in this first one, a cocoon that's got spruce budworms crawling on it. Creepy!

The plant it's on is an alder, which an old Indian fellow who was helping a woodcutter on my property a couple of years ago suggested would make great ground cover for my definitely-not-a-lawn. I may try unearthing a few next spring and see what happens.

The next picture is just of some cutleaf daisies, which are proliferating right now. I'm told they're not necessarily native or healthy, often following construction equipment into road cuts all over the Northern Rockies. They're pretty, but they can take over some areas, sort of like knapweed (which, by the way, I'm not seeing so far on my explorations).

My runs are going to get earlier in the day in the coming days because the forecast includes temperatures approaching 100. That's weird, because it's been up to 80 only twice so far this spring. Not sure what's going on, but I saw a weather channel forecast that the entire Pacific Northwest is going to be setting records for high temperatures this weekend and beyond. That bodes ill for the fire season a little later this summer. Time to start doing rain dances.

The next flowers are on thimbleberry plants. Thimbleberries are a little like raspberries in taste, except that when they come off the plant they form a tiny cup, like a thimble. Also, the berries are sparse considering the large size of the plants.

Finally, thie bottom picture just illustrates the amount of new growth on the evergreens around here. It's been fairly dry, but the trees are showing large amounts of new growth. I'd guess that's a measure of a) ample snow over the winter, and b) a cool spring.

Anyway, the run was routine and I felt good.

5; 10; 107.5; 554
Posted by Mose, 9:08 AM

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