2017 May 17--Expedition to Rock Creek Watershed and the Calapooya Divide

I combined a desire to look for extralimital Oregon Slender Salamanders with a need to find a good sampling stream for stream amphibians for my Field Methods class and headed up Rock Creek, a major tributary to the North Umpqua River. I didn't know how far I would get before getting blocked by snow, but to my surprise I made it to about 4000 ft before running into any snow. There was one snow patch across half the road, but it was easily passable. The ridge at roughly 4000 ft, running between Huckleberry Mtn and Silica Mtn, at the headwaters of Mosby Creek (Willamette River drainage) and Pass Creek (tributary to Canton Creek, a trib of the North Umpqua River), had snow on the conifers in the morning when I first got up there. Temperatures in the morning were in the high 30s F and got up to the low 40s before I descended to lower elevations, where things began to warm up.

0913-1035 (43.54077, -122.78413). I started at the junction of BLM 23-1-13, 25-1-31, and Clark Creek Road, . I walked NE over the bank into an old-growth forest. This particular spot was roughly 3600 ft elevation, with a NE slope and moderately steep. It was one of those patches with little ground vegetation, likely because of the steepness, aspect and extensive multilayered canopy. The stand had highly diverse tree, snag, and log sizes and ages. The duff was deep. There were large class 5 logs mostly underground. It was like walking on a stiff bed mattress, a pile of hay, wood chips, or bark mulch--lots of interstitial space below my feet. Occasionally I would even fall through into an old rotten log. It's the kind of place that I've found Oregon Slenders in the Blue River watershed (McKenzie Basin). Given this great habitat, I was surprised to find only one salamander in over an hour of searching. The single Ensatina was "inside" a class 4 log that was half buried in the forest floor. I just happened to grip one grabbable hunk and turned it up, roots from nearby Western Hemlocks attempting to keep it in place, and there was this one Ensatina. I found zero amphibs just under scattered surface objects. I found a couple snails. It was about 40 F in the air and soil/duff. The duff and the inside of many buried rotted logs seemed oddly dry to me. Bird list.

This was the starting point for my trek back, so I began back the way I came.

1100-1154 (43.51805, -122.81308). I saw a few snags in this stand near the road and decided to check out the bark piles and whatever other cover I could find. This site was about 3950 ft elevation, along the ridge mentioned previously. It was at the top of a little knoll with a SSE aspect. It was not steep on the knoll, but was steep below it. It was still in the low 40s F here. This site had less canopy cover and a moderate understory of Rhododendron. The duff was not as deep here, but there were a fair number of small and medium logs, as well as a few snags with bark piles. Here I found a few more animals, 2 Ensatina, 1 Clouded Salamander, and a Vespericola columbianus snail. The Clouded Salamander used its tail to hold on to the bark piece as it descended to take cover after I let it go. Here too, all the salamanders were in locations quite protected, not just under loose surface objects. Bird list.

I had thought that since we had recently had almost a week of rain that there would have been more surface activity by the salamanders, but this did not appear to be the case. I am still pondering why the salamanders seemed in more long-term hiding locations, suggesting they had not been out recently. Was I too late, and their activity peaked a month or two ago? Or was I too early, and they would be out more with warmer rains? I don't know.

On the way down I stopped at a couple spots to look for stream amphibians without luck, and stopped to look at various wildflowers. I found some Douglas Maple at fairly low elevation which was interesting, as well as a few flowers new to me. Finally, I found a fresh pile of "vegetarian" bear scat right next to the road.

There were several nice streams and a few interesting rock outcrops (and a large quarry) worth further exploration.

Publicado por umpquamatt umpquamatt, 20 de mayo de 2017

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Salamandra Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 09:21 AM PDT

Descripción

33/63 mm, inside class 5 log.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 09:49 AM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 09:57 AM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 10:07 AM PDT

Descripción

Under class 3 log, 18 cm dia.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 10:14 AM PDT

Descripción

Under bark. I can't decide if this is a very small Haplotrematid, or a Megomphix sp., or something else. This was at 3600 ft in west Cascades (see map) in small patch of old growth forest.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Salamandra Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 11:09 AM PDT

Descripción

33/60 mm, under class 3 log, 30 cm dia.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 11:30 AM PDT

Descripción

Under class 4 log. With Ensatina salamander.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 11:39 AM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Salamandra Neblinosa (Aneides ferreus)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 2017

Descripción

33/58 mm. Under bark piece near large snag. It appears the back left leg/foot may have been injured and regrown. It was smaller and darker/grayer in color, lacking the warmer tones. Used tail to hold itself as it descended back under the bark piece when I let it go.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 12:17 PM PDT

Descripción

Under rock adjacent to small stream.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 12:48 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 12:58 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Helecho Águila (Pteridium aquilinum)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:00 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:01 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:02 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Arce Enredadera (Acer circinatum)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:02 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Cedro Colorado (Calocedrus decurrens)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:03 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:04 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Ayarín (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:05 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 09:21 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:08 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:09 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:09 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:23 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:23 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Plantas con Flores (Subfilo Angiospermae)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:24 PM PDT

Descripción

Not getting anywhere with this one.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:26 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:27 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Aliso Rojo (Alnus rubra)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 09:59 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Moscas de Sierra (Suborden Symphyta)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:30 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:31 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:34 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:38 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:40 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Yerba de Selva (Whipplea modesta)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:41 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Fresas (Género Fragaria)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:41 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Oso Negro Americano (Ursus americanus)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 01:47 PM PDT

Descripción

Full of grass or sedge.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Salamandra Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii)

Observ.

umpquamatt

Fecha

Mayo 17, 2017 11:25 AM PDT

Descripción

32/58, under class 4 log. Vespericola columbianus snail under same log.

Comentarios

No hay comentarios todavía.

Agregar un comentario

Acceder o Crear una cuenta para agregar comentarios.