Today’s outside activity included playing ultimate at Moller park, then going to take care of the ibuttons on Gavan Trail. Ultimate was largely uneventful nature-wise, though I did notice a raven that seemed to watching us and calling. Connor also told me he saw the Horned Lark, American Pipit, and Mountain Bluebird at the airport this morning. During the better part of two hours I was there, there were some gusts of wind, but nothing too steady or strong. As seems to happen so often, once temperatures started warming, they warmed more quickly than forecast, and most of the little snow that had accumulated last night was already melted. We had rain with just a touch of snow mixed in during one of the showers that fell on us while we were playing.
There were breaks in the clouds with the sun peaking through a bit at times as the afternoon went on. The hike up Gavan Trail (only as far as the Upper Cross Trail junction) was largely uneventful, though I did notice a bright orange polypore that I don’t remember seeing before. I didn’t have my tripod and it was in the forest, so conditions weren’t optimal for pictures, but I took some anyway. I’ve not had a chance to look through them, so hopefully there are at least a couple of serviceable ones. The ibuttons were long overdue for replacement, having been deployed last January. This is a site where there is a soil as well as air placement. The soil was set for two hour intervals and lasted to July before filling up, while the air one was set for one hour and lasted only until April. It was interesting to see that shortly after placement there was a day when it got up to 59 degrees. I’ll have to look back at the official weather for that day. Also of interest to me was the how even though we didn’t have any snow to speak of last year, the soil never got below about 30 degrees (though it stayed at the temperature for an extended period of time). I guess once the soil freezes, that’s just as cold as it gets – at least here, where we don’t really get frigid cold. I wonder if an extended cold snap might be able to pull enough heat out of the upper layer of ground that it could get colder. Or maybe it’s better to ask, how cold would it need to be, and for how long, before the upper few inches dropped down below about 30 degrees?