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BigTreeWalker

Spending Time In The Gifford Pinchot National Forest

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daveedoe
BFF Donor

gotta watch those big Doug fir limbs. Sometimes they break get hung up and will come down later with the next wind event. 

 

I was watching the doppler radar at work yesterday when that big cell formed over Vancouver lake, We watched it head off to the NE. I commented on it as it past over my sister place in Salmon Creek. Moved fast to Battle Ground at that time I told the guys at work looks like a tornado signature. When I got home found out I was right. Glad no one was injured. Love doppler radar on the internet.

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BigTreeWalker

In the last two years, every time I go out of town this time of year, a tornado has happened. Maybe I better stay home next year if that's what's triggering them. :D

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BigTreeWalker

The weather was so nice my son and I went up into the GPNF Tuesday. We decided to check out our control specimen. The road was plowed for a ways. Right up to the road we needed to take, which someone else had driven down, probably last weekend. So it wasn't to bad to drive close to where we needed to go in about 12" of snow. Since it was pretty much a dead end road into there, no other cars were seen for about 20 miles. Very quiet. We had the whole area to ourselves. We strapped on our snowshoes and headed up the road, then into the woods. Took them off in the woods because there wasn't much snow in there. The first pictures are leaving the SUV. Then up in the area around the control specimen.

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That was me standing next to the bones. The next picture was interesting because of what I found on a stump close by. The vertebrae were close so it didn't take much to get them there. But the black hoof was carried there from about 40 yards away. Because these bones were moved here about a year ago probably by the cougar that feed on them. The hooves were at the original spot. I saw fresh evidence of rodent gnawing and possibly mink canine impressions on the bones. So it was probably the mink or more likely a woodrat that moved them onto the stump.

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The only tracks we found in this area were elk tracks. There were quite a few here and there.

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These pictures are for those that think snowshoe tracks can easily be mistaken for BF tracks. For one thing they are side by side, with short steps and only about a half inch deep. And they don't even look like a footprint.

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We drove back down the road a little after lunch and hiked an old logging road a half mile or so back into the woods. My son and I both caught a skunk like odor for a few seconds. Don't know what it was, since I've never seen any skunks at this elevation even in the summer.

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A big gravel pit we checked for tracks. Only elk and human. Mt St Helens and sunset.

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I threw in this one because of the interesting effect. I didn't have a tripod, so I rested it on the car and that is what I got. Even though it was just a sliver of a cresent, you could see the whole moon.

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It was a great day to be in the outdoors!

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daveedoe
BFF Donor

Great pictures. Love the sunset and the moon shots. Are those trees marked for future logging?

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SWWASAS

Nice pictures. Skunk smell not likely to be skunk cabbage this time of year. You probably did not see any skunk tracks. I have yet to smell skunk associated with BF activity. Makes me wonder of I have only had contact with a female or something like that. There has to be some explanation if skunk smell is common with BF contact.

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BigTreeWalker

Thanks Dave and Randy. Yes those trees are marked for cutting. There were flags all over in there. It's one of the areas that they are cutting again in the national forest. It's all second growth in this area. They haven't touched any of the old growth a few miles up the road, yet. Hope they don't start on it again.

It is the wrong time of the year for skunk cabbage, another month or so. I guess I need to read up on skunk habitat a little more. But I know there are other mustelids (mink, weasels, maybe even fishers) in the area. Not sure what they smell like.

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SWWASAS

I remember a mink farm near where I grew up.    They are really smelly but then again they are all in a confined space.    Not sure I would recall the smell but it probably would come back when I smelled it.    I suspect in the case of a mink or weasel their dens would be smelly but doubt they would give off much smell running around.    Someone probably knows.    Some animals spray urine to mark things.   Not sure what animals do that.   Squirrels seem to mark watching them. 

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BigTreeWalker

I did some reading up on the mustelids in general. They all have well developed scent glands and use them for marking territory. I don't know if it is the skunk smell or not, but if you were close to one of their territorial markers it could be noticeable. It seems this family is very numerous though seldom seen because they are mostly nocturnal. I have found evidence of their canine marks on the control specimen and the second elk kill we discovered. Unlike other predators they are very fearless for their size and are probably determined to get their portion of a kill regardless of what's been feeding on it.

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