Connor, Rowan, and I took advantage of the clear (but cool, and fortunately calm) weather to swap out the ibuttons. The overnight low in the low 20s (coldest of the season so far) actually made things a bit easier, as the muskeg (and wet areas surrounding it) were frozen enough to support my weight. Ordinarily it takes getting my feet wet or taking extra time to carefully pick my steps. Unfortunately, they were a couple of weeks past when they had filled up, so there will be a gap in the data.
We made good time up the trail, but my underestimation of how long it would take to get started resulted in the last couple getting placed closer to the start time than I would prefer. I’ll need to check when I collect the data later to make sure the initial reading is not influenced by being in my pocket too close to the temperature recording time.
In the muskegs, puddles were frozen solid enough to walk on, though we were still wary of doing so. There was not really that much frost accumulation, but perhaps that takes more days of freezing nights than we’ve had in this spell.
We walked up to the end of the long muskeg and arrived just as the sun started hitting the area. I wanted to sit and enjoy the sun and quiet for a little while and challenged Connor and Rowan to each find a deer bed before we left.
I was a little puzzled by one muskeg puddle that had very cloudy ice when pretty much all the others had clear ice. Now I kind of wish I had taken a picture, but that’s the way it goes.
On the way back we had some miscommunication and Connor ended up going back a different way than Rowan and I, though we met up on the trail at the second bridge.
Just down the trail from the cascade and blue swing, Connor spotted what he thought was a Song Sparrow. I was skeptical at first, as I don’t ever remember seeing them not on the beach or in residential areas, but we were able to get good looks and confirm that it was a Song Sparrow. I’ll probably write more on that in a follow-up post.
There were still 30+ cohos and a couple of smaller fish (dolly varden?) in the large pool down river from the swing.
Forecast for overnight is increasing clouds and a chance of snow. Ultimately that’s expected to change to rain Saturday or Sunday.