Warden’s report for Trout Creek ER #7, November 9, 2013
Monthly tour November 9 2013 by Warden Laurie Rockwell
• I made this tour in the afternoon as I knew it would be warmer. It was mild afternoon hike at 5c,minimal wind,some sun and no snow.
• The downside was seeing/hearing only 5 species of birds; all were expected forest birds,but I did see the first Red-crossbills, Loxia curvirostra of the fall.
• I was surprised to find one flower on a Wavy-leaved Thistle, Cirsium undulatum plant! I was less surprised to find a few Sagebrush Buttercup, in leaf as this is one of a few plants I have found that seem to get a head start on next spring by leafing up before the snow comes. I did find a good number of fall mushrooms of two species in one area ,one of which I found previously but misidentified. One species I found was the “slippery jack”, Boletus granulatus, that I previously misidentified as the King Boletus, Boletus edulis. A new species for the reserve is the Pine Mushroom, Armillaria ponderosa.This brings the plant total to 132.
• I saw no mammals,but found a lot of deer tracks. I was puzzled by what appeared to be definite pawing of mushrooms by deer,which I had never seen before. I also noticed that many mushrooms of both species were broken in pieces. Checking on line and with a biologist confirmed that Mule and White-tailed Deer do eat mushrooms,a new learning for me!
• there was no sign of human activity.
• fence repairs are outstanding.
I will send you the annual report around the end of the month. (photo by Elaine R. Wilson, www.naturespicsonline.com)