Comox Lake Bluffs ER Wardens Report April 9, 2016

Posted April 15, 2016 | Categories : 136,Human Disturbance,Warden Reports |

A friend and I made a visit to the reserve Saturday 9 April, a calm, beautiful day.  Broom is beginning to bloom on the trail out.  As we entered the reserve we met a fellow on a small motor cycle with three dogs off lead leaving the area; he politely paid attention while I pointed out the sign.  Calypso bulbosa buds are showing at the edge of the woods, one flower already open.  Up on the bluffs it is very dry, the moss is parched and the thin soil is cracking and pulling away from the substrate in places. Hairy manzanita is in full waxy bloom as is kinnikinnick.  The arbutus is still in bud phase but there is a Pacific dogwood in flower.  Not surprisingly there weren’t too many forbs in flower, but here’s our list: a few plants of Saxifraga integrifolia, grassland saxifrage, leaves and stems limp and wilted; chickweed monkeyflower; sea blush just starting to open; small-flowered blue-eyed Mary; several meadow death-camas; a little spring-gold; silverback luina with lots of soft foliage but no buds yet.  We found a fire ring built of rocks, about 30 ins diam, which we dismantled.  A small pine tree had been cut and used for burning, we could see the blade marks and there were still green needles on one branch.  Walking further up the main trail to the NW corner of the reserve, we found Viola glabella and Viola adunca in flower, also Fragaria vesca, wood strawberry.  There was a blue ribbon on the ground by the reserve sign at the NW corner.  The ribbon was printed Legal Boundary, with the MacBlo ‘M’.  We saw a similar ribbon in a tree a little further along the trail beyond the reserve and then two more orange ribbons on the left of the trail printed Reserve Boundary.  It makes me wonder if logging is planned for that section?  On our way back down to the meadow area, we passed several groups of people with dogs heading up to the bluffs, all enjoying the day.  At the meadow was the remains of a large campfire, we dismantled most of the rocks and charcoal as best we could, though we couldn’t get it all.  Through the woods to the popular ATV site, there was little evidence of recent use.  A good end to the day!  Birds heard included northern flicker, NW crow, red- breasted nuthatch, American robin, varied thrush,orange-crowned warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, white-crowned sparrow and blue grouse.  That’s it for now, Mandy