Yesterday I went on a hike up Mt. Verstovia to Picnic Rock. I spent the better part of today working on a new site. I’m migrating the trail guide from my personal site to its own domain. I’m planning to update it a little bit in the process. Hopefully it will be ready for public comsumption later this week. I’ll note it here hwen it is.
Weather: Overcast with some rain. There was not a lot of rain. Temperatures in the upper 50s.
Birds: It’s been fairly quiet around the house, with a Winter Wren and Swainson’s Thrushes singing. I also hear Robins, but they’re not really singing.
There was a lot of bird activity along Verstovia Trail, especially near the top. Unfortunately, visibility wasn’t that great, but I could still hear many things that I didn’t see. Birds I heard or saw included Varied Thrush, Robin, Townsend’s Warbler, Winter Wren, Orange-crowned Warbler, Dark-eyed Juncos, Hermit Thrush, and I think Fox Sparrows (though I’m not positive about that).
When I reached the point where trail leaves the trees, there was an exceptional amount of activity. There were a couple of Varied Thrushes making a rather aggressive sounding call which was unfamiliar to me. Several Robins were flying around as well. I am uncertain whether it was me they were concerned with, or if they were doing something else. On the way down, it was quite at this location, but I did hear juncos making calls that were unfamiliar to me. I may have to figure out a way to carry the recording equipment a little more easily so I can document these calls to help me remember them.
Flora: The contrast between the trailhead and the slopes below Picnic Rock couldn’t have been more dramatic. The plants at sea level are in their mid-summer form, but it was early spring and even still winter under the snow on the slopes below the peak. Blooming flowers that I noticed included orchids (rein orchids and twayblades), Stream Violets, Dogwood, Purple Sweet-cicely, Yellow Mountain Heather, Alaska Mountain Heather, and White Mountain Heather, Subalpine Daisy, Partridgefoot, Blueberries, and undoubtedly some things I’m forgetting.
Other Notes: Connor and Rowan are remarkably calm about bugs. They like to find them and sometimes bring them to me to see if I want to take pictures. In the last couple of days both Connor and Rowan did things that I know lots of adults (including me, perhaps), that would not feel comfortable doing. Connor carried a bumblebee in his hands into the house to show me. As he was bringing it to me, he said that it wasn’t able to fly. I suggested to him that just because it wasn’t flying did not mean that it couldn’t fly, and it might be a good idea if he didn’t bring bees inside unless they were in a jar. Rowan’s bravery consisted of carrying a live Cranefly from her room outside. They don’t sting or bite, but many people consider them pretty intimidating due to their over-sized mosquito look and tendency to vibrating/buzzing (as they try to fly) when held.