Trail of Shadows (Longmire, WA) 3/31/2012

3:30 pm

Weather: Clear with the occasional clouds. Temperatures in the mid 30s F

There were thick pockets of snow everywhere that were about a foot deep. We split up the groups and embarked on the trail of shadows. The trail surrounded a large steaming pond that was scattered with beaver dams. The pond was a hot spring that was constantly letting out CO2 bubbles giving it a boiling effect. However, the water was only a little bit warmer than the outside temperature. The beaver dams throughout make the pond appear to be terraced. Our group met briefly underneath a Western hemlock to discuss the length and orientation of its needles. The hemlock has planar needles that varied in length. The branches were soft to stroke. We proceeded along the trail observing the red clay sediment that followed the river. The sediment was red because it was rich in iron. I wondered how the red sediment would affect the plants gaining nutrients from the soil and water. We passed a large Western Yew with red bark and planar pines. The yew was mossy and damp like most of the surrounding area. The vegetation on the ground was covered with a blanket of snow. Some of the plants that were able to emerge from the snow were the sword and deer fern. The deer fern took shelter in a cave that a fallen log had provided. The deer fern has diamond shaped leaflets around the branch that were connected down the center.
Many of the trees in the region were bare of leaves and some were even covered in large fungi.

Species List
Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)
Western Yew (Taxus brevifolia)
Witch's hair lichen (Polystichum munithim)
Deer Fern (Blechnum spicant)

Publicado el 5 de junio de 2012 15:13 por lisettealbert lisettealbert


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