Cascadia Wildlife Blog
News from the Wolverine Tracking Project and more
Sunday's trip was only a few miles away, as the raven flies, from Saturday's trip at Trillium Lake but Barlow Pass is about a thousand feet higher. The team saw and heard quite a few ravens and were visited by gray jays, but couldn't determine if the birds had actually flown from Trillium Lake. Haha.
The tracks today were abundant, and the team got a chance to study all sorts of variations on snowshoe hare and squirrel sign and trails in the snow. They had the opportunity to see what sort of trail patterns were left by Snowshoe hares traveling at different speeds and sitting, as well as squirrels jumping in and out of trees on their travels and just bounding along the ground.
With a lot of data recorded for the day and some energy left, the team ascended a small summit off the pass. A steep climb rewarded them with some awesome views east to the sunny desert, and the chance for a mountaintop selfie.
Happy tracking and trails everyone!
Saturday's tracking team headed to Trillium Lake, where they found great snow conditions. A great deal of snow fell the night prior and there was an additional dusting on the morning of the trip. This meant that the team knew that the squirrel, hare, and bobcat tracks they discovered on their hike were very fresh! As on all our trips, the team took careful data documentation with their finds of the day.
Excellent work team! We hope everyone is enjoying this year's tracking season.
Our intrepid trip leaders went tracking this past weekend in the forest around Pocket Creek, on the southeast side of Mt. Hood. With the exception of light dustings of powder in the clearing the snow conditions were... pretty darn terrible. With The Wolverine/Forest Carnivore Tracking Project characteristic spirit, though, we made the most of the day focusing on animal sign rather than tracks, and came back with data on bear, and elk without ever seeing their tracks, as well as tallying squirrels and making snowshoe hare track casts.
At around 4,000 feet, the Pocket Creek area is situated in the Silver Fir forest zone, so we were surrounded by a great mix of Western Hemlocks, Cedars, the occasional White Pine, and of course, Silver Fir!
Paul's cool technique of illuminating tracks from under the snow with a flashlight really brought out the detail on this snowshoe hare track:
Paul really wanted to save the track for later so he poured a plaster cast! I'm sure many of you remember the plaster track casts from training, and we have Paul to thank for quite a few of them. Thanks Paul!
Can you spot the animal sign in this picture? Hint: Chris is pointing at it.
We trip leaders pooled our knowledge and are fairly certain this is a bear marking!
Thanks for staying in touch and for tracking with Cascadia Wild! We are excited to see what the rest of this winter tracking season has in store for us.