05 de junio de 2012

Entry for the Final: 6/3/12

Location: Schmitz Park

Coordinates: 47.574455, -122.400299

Weather: It was about maybe 60 degrees. I was there around noon and the sky was clear and mostly blue. It wasn't sunny or hot, just average and cool as the cold dewy morning was fading into warmer midday.

Habitat: The habitat was an old-growth forest with dense, tall trees and a muddy, moist trail. It was very woodsy and had a fresh smell to the area. There were many nature noises happening around me. I could hear trickling streams of water all over the forest, the songs of birds, the rustling of leaves and bushes, and the humming of bees and other insects. I saw maybe 3 or 4 different groups of people. I saw the same jogger running the loop a couple times, a family taking pictures and looking for mushrooms, and a couple forest wanderers. Generally, the area was pretty isolated at that time of the day. I saw many, many birds in this area. At the entrance I could hear the voices of lots of individual robins calling to each other. I could hear crows and seagulls, as this area was close to the beach. I also saw some tiny songbirds (perhaps warblers, nuthatches, or wrens) at the entrance to the trail hopping along maple tree branches. At a certain curve in the trail, I heard a loud squawking coming from a pine tree. I thought it was a harsh call of a starling, but it turned out to be a lovely (but not lovely to hear) stellar's jay! He was big, announcing his presence and defending his territory. He had a dark black head and a brilliant blue body. I kept walking the trail and eventually reached my location. There I saw an Allen's Hummingbird! I heard a loud buzzing which I thought was a bee, but it turned out to be an adorable little hummingbird. He was poking into some rocks where I thought he maybe had a nest, but then he left. I also saw what I thought might be brown creepers jumping around and up and down trees. They had a distinctive call that I could not identify. I also noted that I saw a lot of bumblebees and honey bees. They seem to like to collect pollen from the forest flowers.

Vegetation: The forest seemed to be almost 50/50 deciduous and conifer trees. However, if I had to pick which was more prevalent, I would say there were more deciduous trees, especially big leaf maples. The most prevalent conifer was the western red cedar. I also saw many pines like the douglas fir (and maybe lodgepole pine?) I could not identify and some less common deciduous trees like black cottonwood and red alder. Some more fairly common trees I saw included western hemlock and sitka spruce. The western hemlocks seemed to grown together in clumps and I saw at least one, lone sitka spruce in the middle of the forest right at my coordinates. I saw a lot of skunk cabbages, they seemed to be very common and lined the trail of the forest. I also saw many salmonberries of varying color, from redish to light pink. These were also very common and could be found everywhere. I saw some less common thimbleberry and creeping buttercups. I also saw many ferns. If I had to describe the forest, I might call it the forest of ferns, cedars, and maples. I saw many giant swordferns, which appeared to be thriving in the western washington wet conditions. I also saw bracken, lady ferns, and wood ferns. However, sword ferns were by far the most common and they grew the tallest. I also happened to see a few fungi. On the trail, I found some cut down logs. They were covered on the sides with artists conk and turkey tails. The fungi also seemed to thrive in the damp, dark forest environment, though I didn't see a lot of them.

General Comments: When I learned that this forest was an old growth forest, I was surprised. I never knew that there was such an old forest right in the middle of suburban Seattle. So I decided to do a little research on what makes an old growth forest an old growth forest. There are apparently four major components to an old growth forest. The first is that it is made up of large trees. The pacific northwest's large trees might include douglas firs and such. These large trees are factories, bringing in energy by photosynthesis and storing it in their large structures. The next important component is large snags. Snags are standing dead trees. These are important because they can provide homes to wildlife or provide food. The next component is fallen trees on the forest floor. These are important because they decay on the forest floor, yet take many years to decay. They provide homes for insects and can be hosts for many fungi. These rotten trees can also turn into nurse logs and new, young saplings can grow from them and use their nutrients. I saw many examples of just this in Schmitz Park. The last feature of an old growth forest is a continuous canopy. The forest has so many layers of canopies and brances (largest tree branches on top, smaller ones filling in gaps, smaller shrubs lower down, etc.) that it is essentially continuous. Lichens and mosses live on these branches. I saw many mosses and lichens growing on trees. This is the sign of clean air and a healthy forest.

Species List: Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum)
Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata)
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
Red Alder (Alnus rubra)
Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa)
Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)
Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Sparrows of unknown species
Wrens of unknown species
American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin)
Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)
Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum)
Lady fern (Athyrium felix-femina)
Wood fern (Dryopteris sp.)
Dwarf Oregon grape (Berberis nervosa)
Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
Western Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus)
Northern Giant Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia braunii)
Bumblebees (Bombus sp.)
Honeybees (Apis sp.)

Publicado el junio 5, 2012 08:09 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

01 de mayo de 2012


Location: Raveena Park

Coordinates: (Lat: 47.6715421, Lon: -122.303767)

Weather: It was in the mid 50's that day. It was overcast, cloudy, and sprinkled rain slightly. I went from around 5pm to 7pm.

Habitat: The habitat along the trail in the park was very forest-y and woodsy. There were tall conifers and small creeks where I expected frogs to live, but never saw any. There were many ferns and horsetails. The area was rather quiet and there was not a lot of human traffic. I only saw the occasional jogger or dog-walker. I saw some colorful, flowering plants, but there weren't many. The tall trees provided too much shade from their canopy to let enough light in to led all the small, forest floor plants get big and flowery. When just standing and listening in the forest, I could hear woodpeckers and the songs from small birds trying to attract mates. I didn't see any mammals along the trail. I could hear a lot of birds singing way high up in the trees, but could hardly see any. The forest trail lead to a park with a baseball field that led back to civilization with streets and cars and food. Everything at the end of the trail was definitely planted.

Vegetation: The vegetation was probably half conifers and half deciduous trees. There were also small wetland plants growing around a small stream that ran along the trail. These plants included horsetails, skunk cabbage, aquatic grasses, and other things. Many of these might have been planted in order to maintain native species. I also saw many berrying plants like blackberries, huckleberries, and salmonberries.

General Comments: The most awesome creature I saw that day by far was the Barred Owl. A jogger along the trail had told us that she saw an owl a ways away so I went to go look for it. It ended up being pretty much at eye level, blending into the tree behind it. It was sleeping on a branch and when I stopped to stare, it opened its eyes and would blink at me. I was surprised that it never flew away or made any sounds. I learned that it may have been so silent and camouflaged in order to keep small birds away. Apparently during the days, when owls are blinded by the sun, they are quite vulnerable. Small, vicious, songbirds like to come peck at and harass owls and other birds of prey during the daytime. So I assume it was very tired and that I wasn't worth the effort to fly away and risk being seen by birds that could bother it. I really enjoyed seeing this owl as I have never seen one in the wild before and it was the highlight of my adventure. I hope to see more birds I have never seen before and learn about them.

Species List: Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Japanese Cherry (Prunus serrulata)
Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanus)
Western Lady Fern (Athyrium filix-femina)
Barred Owl (Strix varia)
Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)
Moneyplant (Lunaria annua)
Serviceberry (Genus Amelanchier)
Red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum)
Lesser stitchwort (Stellaria graminea)

Publicado el mayo 1, 2012 08:41 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario


Location: Magnuson Park

Coordinates: (47.6812231, -122.2477698)

Weather: The weather that day was really nice and sunny, which prompted me to go to the park in Sandpoint in Seattle, WA. It was fairly warm, perhaps in the high 60's F. I went in the mid afternoon, around 4 pm. It was not very cloudy and it was not breezy at all.

Habitat: There were about 3 different habitats at Magnuson Park. The first one I went to was a wetlands with cattails and horsetails. There was a trail along the lake bed and there were many ducks in the ponds. The wetlands/marshy area was also home to geese and red-winged black birds. This area had a lot of tall grasses and berry bushes. The next area was more of a beach-y area by Lake Washington. The trail leads to the edge of the lake bed where there were rocks and the water comes right up to the edge. There were seagulls and more ducks around here. There were a few conifers as opposed to mostly deciduous trees now. The last area was a forest area. It felt very natural and dense. There were many conifers and less deciduous trees. There were also many ferns, bracken, and madrone. The animals I could see were sparrows and robins hopping around in the tree branches and on the forest floor. There were also many prickly blackberry bushes.

Vegetation: In the wetlands area, the dominant vegetation were cattails, small deciduous trees, large deciduous trees, berry bushes, and horsetails. The vegetation was green, and flowering. I also saw many fungi growing on dead logs and stumps. They seem to like wet, moist areas with some shade. In the beach area, there was less vegetation. There were more conifers, like Douglas Firs, and a lot of grassy meadows leading up to the lake edge. There were many small wildflowers like moneyplant and daisies. In the forest area, there was a vast amount of conifers. There were also common deciduous trees like madrone and ocean spray. Other plant life in that area included sword ferns, salmonberry, himalayan blackberry, and horsetails.

General Comments: I felt like the most natural area of the park was the forest part. I even got lost in this area because of the overgrowth. It felt more secluded from the rest of the park and from civilization and people. It was shady and filled with tall conifers. I also really like seeing the different fungi from the wetlands part of the park. Additionally, I liked seeing the ducks swim around in the ponds. I was able to get fairly close to Shovelers and see that their feather colors are quite different from a Mallard's. The male Shoveler's appear to be much more purple-blue than the Mallard's iridescent green. I also learned that what I thought were female Mallard's spending a lot of time with Gadwalls were actually a pair of female and male Gadwalls. Apparently female Gadwalls look a lot like female Mallards.

Species List: Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Unknown mushroom
Unknown Fungi
White-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
Ocean spray (Holodiscus discolor)
Pholiota terrestris
Some plants I have not yet identified

Publicado el mayo 1, 2012 08:22 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario


Location: Union Bay Natural Area

Coordinates: (47.65128707885742, -122.31150817871094)

Weather: I went to the Union Bay Natural Area after 6pm on Wednesday. It was cold and windy. It was about 50 degrees F. The weather was overcast, cloudy, and basically a normal Seattle day.

Habitat: The habitat is a wetlands with a lot of grassy meadows, cattails, horsetails, and deciduous trees. There were many stagnant ponds with ducks and coots swimming around in them. At the edge of the natural area was the bank to Union Bay. From this point, I could see a wider variety of water birds like seagulls, cormorants, and buffleheads. The cattails around the ponds and lake bed were home to red-winged blackbirds. The birds would perch on the tops of the cattails and call to the females. Small sparrows also jumped around the trail and pecked at the ground. Other hummingbirds could also be seen buzzing around floral trees.

Vegetation: The dominant plantlife were cattails, grasses, and horsetails. there were a lot more marshy plants than large trees. The dominant trees were deciduous. Many were small and floral by the lake beds. Other trees were larger and further from the lake bed. In the grassy meadows was an abundance of dry, brown queen anne's lace.

General Comments: I had been to the Union Bay Natural Area before with the class when we did the sketching exercises. I really liked it so I came back a few times to get pictures and try to see new birds. When I came back, I saw new birds like more Great Blue Herons, Canada Geese, Shovelers, Buffleheads, Coots, and Double-crested Cormorants. Seeing these birds made me more enthusiastic about bird watching and taking pictures. I was really happy to just observe them and watch them do what they do everyday. I saw the cormorants just sitting on a little island in the bay close to land. At first I wondered why they just sat there. Then I learned that they had to dry their wings in order to fly because they can't fly with wet wings after they dive. I also saw the Great Blue Herons fishing for small fish. I saw Canada Geese flying in pairs and I saw Buffleheads and coots for the first time ever. Diving birds are a rare and new sight for me.

Species List: Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)
Common cattail (Typha latifolia)
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)
Red-winged Black Bird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Black-capped Chickadee (Parus atricapillus)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
American Coot (Fulica americana)
American Wigeon (Anas americana)

Publicado el mayo 1, 2012 08:04 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 1 observación | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario


Location: The Cedar River Trail in Renton, WA close to the Landing shopping center and Boeing.

Coordinates: 47.4662048, -122.1375128

Weather: It was in the high 50's to low 60 degrees F. It was very warm. It was partly cloudy at some times during the day, but it was mostly clear and nice.

Habitat: The area I went to was close to my house. I walked along a trail by a river that opens out to Lake Washington. I walked from the Renton Highschool football stadium parking lot until the end of the trail by Boeing. It ended at a pier where I could look out at Lake Washington. The habitat along the river was sort of a wetlands. It was a river habitat with aquatic plants growing close to the bank. There were also many deciduous trees like willows and alders further from the river bank close to the trail. The river habitat is home to many ducks, gadwalls, small rabbits, small birds, seagulls, and squirrels. Although I didn't see any, I could also assume that the river is home to frogs, fish, lizards and other elusive amphibians.

Vegetation: The dominant plant life included large deciduous trees. The large trees grew along the trail, close to the river. There were some few conifers further away from the river bank, but they were smaller and more like bushes than trees. There were also non-native, planted saplings and young blossoming trees along the trail for decoration. Smaller plant life I saw included river bank plants like horsetails and cattails. There were also a few berry bushes like blackberries and salmonberries.

Species List: Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)
Shore Pine (Pinus contorta contorta)
An unknown plant
Aesculus hippocastanum
around 7 unknown flowering plants
Silver-spotted Tiger Moth (Lophocampa argentata)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Camellias (Genus Camellia)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Brush Rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani)

Publicado el mayo 1, 2012 07:42 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario


Location: My house in Bryn Mawr Skyway, close to South Seattle.

Coordinates: (47.4927114, -122.239218)

Weather: It was partly cloudy and 61 degrees F. Every now and then the clouds would part and it would be quite warm. Overall it was a pleasantly warm day.

Habitat: Down the gravel road from the busy street, is my house. My driveway is surrounded on all sides by brambles and blackberry bushes. Tall trees grow in piles of common Ivy. As the driveway proceeds, the trees seem to get taller. The tallest trees are Big Leaf Maples. They are the home to many small sparrows and other small mammals. Lining my yard are medium shrubs and prickly brambles. Birds like to perch there and chat with each other. Surrounding my house is a giant grassy yard. The yard is always green and growing. In the middle is a bird feeder so that squirrels can't get to it. It attract songbirds from all over the area. Ever since we set it up, I've been seeing newer and more colorful birds. The back yard is just as large as the front yard. A very tall laurel hedge divides our house and yard from our neighbor's. Birds and other creatures like to hide in there. There is a very suspicious trail from the beneath the shed to the laurel hedge. It never goes away even when we mow the lawn because I assume it is well traveled by some strange creature at night. I also often hear coyotes calling to each other at nighttime. Sometimes I hear them by my window in the middle of the night and they sound like crying babies. It's rather scary.

Vegetation: The large plantlife is mostly deciduous trees. Many of them are native, like the Big Leaf Maple and Black Cottonwood. However, some are also planted by my family like Dogwoods and fruit trees. Somehow, in my backyard, wild grapes of some kind decided to grow from my neighbor's yard and climb up our ancient apple tree. Next to our apple tree grows cherry, plum, and pear trees. There are also little, non-tree plants growing everywhere at my house. There are many bushes and shrubs, wildflowers, berry bushes, and blackberry bushes.

General Comments: I have seen and heard a wider variety and greater amount of birds at my house than I have at state parks. My house really feels like a natural area away from the city and away from a lot of people. It's a great place to bird watch and see all kinds of birds, from hummingbirds to eagles. Before this class, I never knew the wide variety of nature growing right at my house.

Species List: Carpenter Ant (Camponotus floridanus)
Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)
Black House Spider (Badumna insignis)
Lawrence's Goldfinch (Carduelis lawrencei)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria)
Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
Leycesteria formosa
Form Prunus laurocerasus rotundifolia
Oregon Grape (Berberis aquifolium)
An unidentified berrying plant
American Plum (Prunus americana)
Common Pear (Pyrus communis)
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
An unidentified moth

Publicado el mayo 1, 2012 07:20 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

11 de abril de 2012

April 10, 2012

Location: The area around the Hansee, McMahon, and McCarty residence halls and the UW Power Plant that I have explored in previous outings for species.

Route: From Hansee Hall's main entrance, turn left on the path and head towards the stairs to McCarty. Continue down the street and walk around past McMahon towards the Hall Health building and Loew Hall. The Madrone is located behind Loew Hall and the other plants can be found along this route.

Weather: About 30% cloud cover today with temperatures at 64 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the time I spent looking for species. There was a slight breeze.

For habitat, vegetation, and general comments on this area that I have explored in prior journal entries, see the journals for March 27 and March 30, 2012.

I will continue to take observations from this area in the future because it is so full of diverse species despite its rather urban location.

Species List:
Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)
Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Mountain dogwood (Cornus nuttalii)
Two trees (one conifer and one deciduous) and a coniferous shrub that I have not yet been able to identify.

Publicado el abril 11, 2012 06:01 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 5 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

April 2

Coordinates: 47.6593...
The rest of the plants found later in the day were located along Stevens Way in the UW Seattle campus near the Hansee residence hall and the recreation fields near that.

Route: From Hansee Hall's back entrance closest to the busy street, exit the garden area and go until the first left turn presents itself. The field to the right of this path is where the Hyacinthus orientalis, the Genus Ilex, the unknown plant with large, 5 pronged leaves, and the Viburnum carlesii can be found. The plant with white flowers, the plant with pink flowers, the plant with purple flowers, and the plant with blue berries can all be found on the nature path that runs between Hansee, McCarty, and McMahon halls, particularly near the tennis courts in that area. Finally, the Red Elderberry can be found on the right side garden area next to the front entrance to Hansee Hall and the Magnolia stellata can be found on the left side of this same area. On another note, the two flowering plants at the coordinates above are located outside the Music Building in the Quad at UW Seattle campus, which can be reached by going straight up the road past Kane Hall from Red Square.

Weather: The sky had only 20% cloud cover and it was a very sunny and warm day compared to my previous outings for species. The temperature was about 60 degrees Fahrenheit and there was very little wind blowing.

Habitat: Since I have been exploring this area plenty of times recently, more information on the habitats surrounding these species can be found in the journal entries for March 27 and March 29, 2012 both here on iNaturalist and in the written field journal.

Vegetation: See journal entries for March 27 and March 29, 2012 here on iNaturalist and in the written field journal.

General Comments: I walk by this area frequently on my way to class from my dorm at Hansee Hall and to get to the IMA and, since there are so many interesting plants blooming and birds coming out this month in this small area, it seemed like a good place to start out studying. I feel like I have only scratched the surface as to the many different species living in this area alone, so I will continue looking for new ones as things begin to bloom and new animals come out later in the quarter. The two plants I found in the Quad and the Magnolia stellata had only just bloomed, so it seemed like a good time to document them. I am still having trouble placing a species for the purple and pink rhododendrons I found on this day and I do not know what to call the yellow flowers and white flowers I found as well.

Species List:

Magnolia stellata
Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa)
Viburnum carlesii
Genus Ilex
Hyacinthus orientalis
7 other species that I have not identified at this time

Publicado el abril 11, 2012 03:41 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 12 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

March 31 - April 1, 2012

Location: Pack Forest, Mt. Rainier National Park, Nisqually Wildlife Refuge

See written journal entries for March 31 and the one for April 1 for more details on the species identified and on the habitat and vegetation.

Publicado el abril 11, 2012 03:14 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 29 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de marzo de 2012

Journal: Thursday March 29, 2012 - Part 2

Location: The plants I saw were from 3:21-5:59 pm on Thursday in my observations. I saw them all around the UW campus, from Hansee Hall to the area by the IMA.

Route: From Hansee, I walked on a path going towards the other northeastern residence halls. From this area, I walked on a less traveled path filled with parking lots behind buildings. From there, I headed towards the IMA.

Weather: The sky was cloudy and gray. It was raining on and off. It was slightly breezy and sometimes windy.

Habitat: On the route by Hansee, there was a theater building by Denney field where there were many tiny bushes filled with tiny birds. There were also a few tall fir trees where squirrels like to hide. Just today I saw a squirrel trying to open a nut such as an acorn. He seemed comfortable around me, which is logical seeing as he lives around campus surrounded by lots of people. This path lead to a trail where the other northeastern residence halls are. The trail was well-traveled by students living in the residence halls. This trail was thick with many bushes, shrubs, and tall trees. I also discovered bushes with little red, white, and black berries. I also saw many ferns and ivies along the ground. Over by the IMA, I saw tons of daffodils and flowering trees. This area was surrounded by many classroom buildings, and there were many parking lots and cars. I also saw a lot of people walking around here.

Vegetation: The vegetation seemed to be planted by people around Hansee, as many were floral and well-trimmed. However, along the path by the other residence halls, the vegetation seemed more natural and woods-y. The trees were bigger and the plants were more wild and overgrown. In the other area, by the parking lots and buildings towards the IMA, the trees were smaller, by the edge of the road. There were more little plants and shrubs. It was a lot less dense than by the residence halls.

General Comments: I really liked the area behind Hansee for bird watching. It was quiet and few people were around there. It also seemed like a good place to look for squirrels and raccoon. I also liked the thick and dense trail where there was a lot of vegetation as a place to identify plant species.

Species List: Genus Prunus
Vine hill manzanita (archtostaphylus densifora)
Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium)
Ligustrum vulgare
Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
An unidentified shrub with holly-like leaves and tiny buds
Western swordfern (Polystichum munitum)
An unidentified plant with large, dark green leaves, and white blossoms
Lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor)
An unidentified conical plant with long, slender leaves
Oregon-grape (Mahonia aquifolium)
An unidentified plant with red holly-like leaves
Daffodil (Narcissus)
An unidentified daffodil-like flower
Genus nandina
Wood sorrel (Genus Oxalis)
Genus Ribes
Genus forsythia
An unidentified tree
An unidentified flowering tree with yellow 5-petaled blossoms

Publicado el marzo 31, 2012 07:23 MAÑANA por velizo velizo | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario