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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Freeze it did; elk by the river

A herd of about 30 elk wandered the hillside across the way from today's run. I went to the river, but I took the route used when I first came to this area last spring: up a small track north from Herrin Lakes Road, onto the hilltop and following the ridge west onto the state land. I followed that ridge down to the road near the salt lick. I took the road around to the logged area near the west edge of the state land, then went up a ridge and back down, across the road onto another track that goes up the east edge of the state land.

Eventually I found my way back to the original ridge and back to the car. The elk vanished over the west edge and I didn't go after them. The east-edge track brought me to another road that I'd followed last spring to see the sandhill cranes in a pothole below. No pothole today and, of course, no cranes.

This riverside tree shows the "pitch tubes" where mountain pine beetles had entered the tree (which, by the way, was dead). I think an infestation of the beetles is probably at the root of both the blow-down that occurred in the same area last month and the logging that's been going on west of this spot for a couple of years.

This is shot from the same spot as the beetle tree picture. The river looks nice after several warm days. Fortunately, and as I hoped, last night's wind heralded a cold front and today it was perfect 28 degrees — more than cold enough to freeze the awful mud I ran in yesterday.

The woodhawks had been in the area in the past month. This, complete with fresh sawdust, was just west of the major blowdown area on the river.

6; 17; 41; 920
Posted by Mose, 8:49 AM


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