Mostly sunny to start, transitioning to mostly cloudy, then partly cloudy, and back to mostly cloudy again. A bit breezy, but not especially so. Perhaps a sea breeze.
I decided to take care of the Gavan ibuttons this morning. It was about time them to be done, and I was feeling like I should dedicate myself to getting up hills a bit more often. In part this was because I saw P. Norwood’s observations from a hike back to the Sisters a couple of days ago. This reminded me that there are a couple of saxifrage species restricted to high elevations around here which I would like to see blooming. They bloom fairly early in the season (after the snow melts). It’s possible that I could still find one or both on Bear Mountain, if I get up there soon enough, but that’s not going to happen without some effort to get in better condition.
On the way down I took a side trip to visit the grove of large spruces where someone had lived for 15 years or more. He was not there legally, and was asked to leave when the land was sold to the Forest Service by the Mental Health trust. I had noticed the large trees back around 2005 or so, but noticed someone was camping there. I didn’t want to disturb whomever it was, and most campsites are only used for a season, or at most a year or two. I checked back from time to time, but eventually realized this was a longer term thing.
It’s very park-like, having been modified somewhat and tended over the years. The new Gavan Hill trail route will cut through part this area, and I hope it’s possible for the park-like character to be maintained somehow. However, given the number of people who use the trail, I wouldn’t be surprised if people and dogs end up turning it some of it to mud from leaving the main trail to check it out. There are salmonberry thickets surrounding much of it, and they’re likely to close in as well.
Along the Baranof Street connector past Pherson Street I heard Red Crossbills (#136) for the first time this year.
Cedar Waxwings were reported by KJ over at Old Airport Road this morning, so I stopped by there before needing to be home for a call. No luck on the waxwings today, but I suspect they will stick around. I did get nice looks at Swainson’s Thrushes while they were singing.