05 de junio de 2012

May 26, 2012 Dirty Harry's Balcony

Hiked at Dirty Harry's Balcony trail on a sunny Saturday. The temperature was about 58℉. The trail is located in the Snowqualmie Valley closed to exit 38 of Interstate 90 in North Bend (Lat: 47.42 Lon: -121.61).

The dominant tree species along the trail were sitka spruce, red alders, and some western hemlock. Douglas fir and redcedars were not present at all. Understory canopy was a mixture of false lily-of-the-valley, devil's club, and piggyback plants. As the vegetation here implies, this area is highly moist and covered in shades. Pacific trilliums were spotted several times near streams. Another dominant plants were false soloman's seal.

Unlike Mt. Si, lichens were not present at all here. I wonder if this has to do with the fact that this trail is so closed to highway.

As we reached 2,000ft, the vegetation was different again. There were western hemlock and sitka spruce at the Balcony. Oregon grapes, which were rarely seen along the trail, were very abundant at this elevation level. Mosses and lichens grow on rocks here.

(See written journal 15 for detail)

[Species List]
western hemlock
bigleaf maple
red alder
sitka spruce
false lily-of-the-valley
false soloman's seal
oregon grape
Davidson's penstemon
dust lichen
pacific trillium
devil's club
piggyback plant

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May 12, 2012 Leavenworth field trip

Weather conditions: Sunny, clear sky, and the temperature was about 60℉ in the morning, but slowly climbed up to 68℉ in the afternoon.

We first arrived at the Skykomish river just east of Goldbar. Bountiful shrubs at the parking area, including vine maple, Indian plum, honeysuckle, thinkbleberry, snowberry, and saksatoon. The forest consists of many floodplain species such as cottonwood and willow. understory canopy is comprised of Japanese knotweed, salmon berry, sweet vernal grass, and stingybob.

Open site had dogwood, bigleaf maple, and Pacific crab apple. We also encountered a woodpecker and a black warbler in the woods.

We arrived at Leavenworth around 2 in the afternoon and visited the site that was burned during the Big 1994 fires. As a result, this area is characterized by its high species diversity. There are many big douglas fir and yellow pine. More fire-adapted trees have larger limbs on the bottom. Flowers like chocolate lily, Indian paintbrush were also spotted.

(See written journal 12 for detail)

[Species List]
Bigleaf maple
vine maple
Cascade maple
western redcedar
western hemlock
ponderosa pine
Indian plum
Japanese Knotweed
Mock orange
Crab apple
vanilla leaf
wild ginger
false lily-of-the-valley
Indian paintbrush
western fence lizard
chocolate lily
cup mushroom
sweet vernal grass
sword fern
lady fern
slippery jack

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May 11, 2012 Tree tour prep

Our group went on a tree tour in preparation for our group project next week. We began our tour from Meany Hall, walking along Stevenway and then went around the campus.The weather conditions were sunny and around 55℉.

There are nearly 500 kinds of trees at UW, but only 28 of them are native on campus. We first observed the graceful deodar cedar that line along Stevensway. Enven though it's called a fir, it is actually a member of the pine family. The needles are greyish blue and bright green and come with bundles of 12-30.

Moving along we saw lawson cypress, China fir, coast redwood and the Coulter pine. with its enormous cones, the Coulter pin aka bigcone pine, is my favorite tree species of this tour. Their cones are said to be the largest cones among the pine family. Needles are think, and long, and smell like resin.

None of the conifers that we saw today was native to the PNW. Nevertheless, they have all adapted to local eccosystem and beautify our school with their gracefulness.

(See written journal 11 for detail)

[Species List]
deodar cedar
lawson cypress
China fir
coast redwood
Coulter pine
Japanese snowbell
sword fern
English elm
Oregon crab apple
oregon grape

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May 8, 2012 Fungi lecture

The theme of this week's class focused on fungi. Therefore, in order to gain basic knowledge of fungi, we had a guest lecturer and a campus tour today.
Fungi are one of the most important decomposers in nature, and their spores are what make them so distinctive from other organisms. After heading out the classroom, the professor led us through the lawn near the water fountain where we stopped to see a cherry tree that has been infected by a white rot fungus. White rot fungi can access almost everything. They are very efficient, but will eventually go away when carbon is exhausted.

[Species List]
Turkey trail
oyster mushrooms

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May 3, 2012 Entomology Lab

Our class was introduced to a whole new topic this week—bugs. The lecture by the guest professor was extremely informational, even a person who's not very into insects like me was fascinated by the natural history of bugs.

The lecture began with an overview on arthropods, which includes insects, primitive insects, spiders, mites, scorpions, milipedes, and centepedes. They are important to both natural world as well as human world because they play a key role in waste recycling, soil formation, vegetation control and plant reproduction. Furthermore, they also have medicinal benefits.

There are 10 million species of insects in the world, which is the most diverse group of all organisms. Beetles, moths, and butterflies are showy and nocturnal. Bees are actually specialized pollen-feeding wasps; the small ones are day-flying, but mostly flying alone. Like butterflies, the prefer nice weather, which is why they are hard to spot on a rainy day.

There are 6 specie of bumble bees in the Puget Sound, but sadly at least one species has gone extinct last year, mostly suffered from pesticides.

(See written journal 8 for detail)

[Species List]
Scarabeidae beetle

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April 28, 2012 Mt.Si Hike

Mt. Si is located in North Bend, not too far from Interstate 90 (Lat: 47.47 Lon: -121.75). The weather conditions were partially sunny with temperature about 55℉. It was very humid in the mountain.

The trail entrance was a semiopen space consisted of large deciduous and coniferous trees such as bigleaf maple, douglas fir, and western hemlock. On these trees were lichens, with the old man's beard being the dominant one. Huckleberry, licorice fern, sword fern, and lady fern were frequently spotted at lower elevation.

As the elevation increases, the diversity of understory canopy begin to go down and was replaced by ferns, mosses, and lichens. Trees that were once dominated at the bottom were no longer present. Half way during the hike, there was a small open space. 2-3 huckleberries were on site and some oomycetes growing on decay branches in nearby spots.

(See written journal 7 for detail)

[Species List]
Bigleaf maple
douglas fir
western redcedar
black cottonwood
old man's beard
sword fern
lady fern
pipecleaner moss
Pacific trillium
western hemlock
piggyback plant
trailing yellow violet
gray jay
common sedges

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April 19, 2012 Cougar Mountain natural trail

Cougar Mountain is situated in between Issaqhah and Bellevue (Lat: 47.52 Lon:-122.15). It was a cold, rainy Thursday. The temperature was around 48℉, and it was a bit foggy as we drove up to higher elevation.

Grassy area near the entrance of the Sky Country Trailhead and. Few robins were looking for worms on the grass. Species were much more diverse and abundant inside the woods. Douglas fir, western hemlock, western redcedar, and red alder were the dominant tree species here. Understory canopy included elderberry, some English holly near the entrance, and huckleberry, Indian plum, and salal. The soil condition was even more moist inside the trail. Wetland species such as Pacific trillium and skunk cabbage were spotted frequently. A dense population of devil's club was found next to a few western sweet coltsfoot at an open site near the old mining site.

(see written journal 6 for detail)

[Species list]
Douglas fir
western hemlock
western redcedar
red alder
bigleaf maple
English holly
Indian plum
American robins
Pacific trillium
skunk cabbage
pink purslane
sitka spruce
devil's club
western sweet coltsfoot

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April 3. UW Greenhouse

Our class visited UW's greenhouse on 4/3. The greenhouse is located on Burke-Gilman trail (Lat:47.65 Lon:-122.31). Inside the biology greenhouse was warm and felt like 65℉.

There is a great deal of exotic plants here with most of them being tropical. In fact, the variety of species here represents 1/10 of the entire earth's diversity! The plants we saw included Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), which is very sensitive, but only to its preys. Additionally, we also learned about epiphytes, which are defined as plants that grow on other plants (without harming them).

We also tasted the "miracle berry" (Synsepalum dulcificum), which has the ability to manipulate an animal's taste buds. Other interesting species we talked about were ghost chili, water lily, and water hyacinth (see written journal 3 on more detail)

Even though none of the species we saw at the greenhouse was native to the PNW, they have allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of plants and evolution.

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30 de abril de 2012

April 1, 2012 Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge

The second day of our field trip was very different from the first day as we were exploring the intertidal ecosystem here in the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. It is located in Thurston, WA (47.09 and -122.71), which is about 18 miles southeast of Olympia.
Along the trail were many red alders and common shrubs, including Indian plum, red flowering currant, snow berry, salmon berry, and nootka rose.

  • see written journal for more detail

In addition to the common shrubs, the Nisqually is also habitats of many birds. In between the red alders hid a great horned owl (bubo virginianus), who was resting peacefully on the tree branch. Furthermore, a juvenile red-tailed hawk was also spotted resting on a bigleaf maple.

As we walk along the trail toward the estuary, we found a garter snake hiding inside the westland grass. It was a black (or even dark green) with neon green strips. These little guys like to hang out in aquatic areas.

There were several Northern shovelers hanging out in the pond. At first glance, one might mistaken them with mallards, which also have green heads and colorful fur. However, the shovelers' beaks are black and a little longer and wider than mallards'. Due to competition, only male shovelers have colorful fur that change during breeding seasons. At the estuary, there was a marsh hawk or Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) circling around in the air, waiting for the perfect moment to catch its food. The marsh hawks tend to scare off the crows on the field before preying for food.

  • See written journal 2 for more detail

[Species List]
Red alder
Indian plum
Red flowering currant
Snow berry
Alder berry
Salmon berry
Nootka rose
Skunk cabbage
Great horned owl
Ted-tailed hawk
Garter snake
Northern shoveler
Marsh hawk
Great blue heron
Canada Geese

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Mar 31, 2012 Pack Forest, Eatonville, WA

The first stop of our field trip was at the Pack Forest located in Eatonville, WA, just roughly 45km from Puyallup. Latitude: 47.14; longitude: -122.49. The weather was much better than I had expected. Rainy, but mostly just sprinkles. 42℉ and humid.

We first spent a little time walking along the trail, observing the local ecosystem here. Douglas fir and hemlock were the dominant trees here. Judging from the fact that there were some Scotch brooms present in the open grassy area, there must have been some sort of human interventions here.

What caught my eye first were the moss-like dangling objects on some trees. These plants are lichens, not moss. They are very unique because they are formed by a symbiotic organism (fungus) with a photosynthetic organism. Thousands kinds of lichens have been seen all over the world. Chances are there can be several types of lichens on one tree. It is almost like a little ecosystem on a tree trunk or a tree branch!

*See more details in my written journal 1

In addition to douglas fir and western hemlock. Species such as red alders and western white pine can also be found here. The lower shrubs we observed includes sword fern (which is very common to see in a western hemlock-dominant ecosystem), Indian plum, as well as salal.

*See more details in my written journal 1

In the afternoon, we arrived at Mt. Rainier National Pak and began the exploration along the Trail of Shadows. The national park is located in Longmire, WA with latitude of 46.75 and longitude -121.81. It was very sunny in the afternoon, which exceeded far better than my expectation. As the snow has begun to melt in this season, the temperature felt even lower and more humid in the woods.

Along the trail is the old growth forest stand, where conifers such as the western red cedar, douglas fir, and mountain hemlocks are the main species here. The heavy amount of moisture in this place and the number of mt. hemlocks growing on decay logs point to the fact that this is an old growth forst.

We also saw more species as we arrived at the thermal spring. For example, we saw this tiny, bright-colored species on a small log (which is called "Oomycetes"). They reminded my of the orange-flavor vitamin gummies that I used to eat...
In addition, we also saw the lipstick cladonia.

  • Again, see written journal for more detail

From lickens, fungi, to ferns and conifers, we saw the distinctive culture of each ecosystem that we visited today.

[Species List]
Old Man's Beard (Usnea longissima)
Parmelia (Parmelia saxatilis)
Lipstick Cladonia (Cladonia bellidiflora)
Morel mushrooms
Sword fern
Indian plum
Oregon grape
Douglas fir
Western hemlock
Western white pine
Red alder
Western redcedar
Alaska cedar
Pacific silver fir

Ingresado el 30 de abril de 2012 por hsin119 hsin119 | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario