Daily Observations

Subalpine Flowers

My brother and I hiked from Harbor Mountain to Gavan Hill today.

Weather: It was partly to mostly cloudy. This morning when we left, it was partly cloudy, but throughout the hike, there were only small patches of sun that we could see out over the water. The clouds were mostly above the mountains where we hiked, although on occasion they dropped down and we were hiking in them. There was not any rain.

Birds: We saw quite a few ptarmigan tracks in the mud on the trail between the shelter and Gavan Hill, though we did not see any ptarmigan. Near the summit of Gavan Hill there were several patches of bare dirt. In these, there were a number of places where ptarmigan had scraped out a little dish (presumably to rest in).

Flora: If anything, the flowers were even more abundant than last month when Melissa and I did this hike. There were certainly more species with abundant blooms. Of particular note were, False Hellebore, Arrow-leaf Groundsel, Subalpine Daisy, Monkshood, Wooly Hawkweed, Broad-petalled Gentian, and Copperbush.

On the slopes of Gavan Hill near the summit, I noticed some Mountain Marestail (Hippuris montana). This was the first time I remember seeing it. I’m not sure how common it is, but it certainly is inconspicuous. Hall has it listed as Rare, while Pojar and Mackinnon indicate it is fairly common, though perhaps infrequently reported.

We saw a few slime molds on our way down.

Other Notes: Jonathan followed a bear trail from one of the saddles between Harbor Mountain and the shelter down into the Cascade Creek drainage. He thought it appeared to be a sow with at least one cub, and probably two.

While trailing the bear, he also found some weasel family scats.

Jonathan noticed a set of very small tracks in the mud on the trail. Initially we thought they were either a Long-tailed Vole or a shrew, but after further research at home, he decided they were probably from a shrew.

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