It is December 31, 2015 and we have come almost full circle. The picture below first appeared in Part 1 and shows Lake Odonata completely frozen over as we began 2015. At home the wood stove had been burning non-stop for over a month. This year...four days!
Quite a different winter to say the least. Lake Odonata below has had only a little thin ice at the edges and that melted quickly.. The open warm water has allowed Kingfishers, Blue Herons and Canada Geese to be frequent visitors.
The open water has also allowed the beavers to continue their wood cutting ways. The Red Maple below is the latest casualty. This tree is just off the board walk trail.
The mild weather has been a blessing and a curse at the same time. Because the ground has not frozen, invasive plant removal is still possible. (That's also the curse!)
The woods are now dotted with piles of winged euonymus that have been pulled by hand. In the picture below you can see an unpicked area that is dominated by a dense stand of young sprouts.
Once an area is picked a dramatic open forest floor reappears revealing such things as moss covered logs, ferns and wildflowers leaves.
Many of the old logs are covered with a common type of moss - Thuidium delicatulum.
A closer examination reveals the common name of the plant - Fern Moss. As you can see below the moss looks like an entangled mass of miniature ferns.
In a wet seep near where I was picking today, the basal leaves of Golden Ragwort are very abundant. These leaves would persist even below a snow cover...if that ever happens!
And so we come to the end of this year long post. A glimpse inside this little corner of the world known as Wahkeena Nature Preserve. Many changes have occurred along the way and many more will come. New perspectives lay just around the corner. Taking a break from euonymus pulling, I looked up and viewed the exact corner of the White Pine forest nearby...what discoveries are just around that corner......?
Thanks for following this blog. New features are coming in 2016, so stay tuned for those.
Happy New Year to all the Earth lovers out there.