My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

When a Hike is Work

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

One of my fun assignments here at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge is to hike all the wilderness trails – there are four of them.

Today I hiked the Hanson Road Trail. I hike it the first time to mark, with waypoints, all the big trees that need to be removed from the trail. The rest of the times, I'll be hiking with my little saw and clippers to remove smaller trees that have fallen across the trail. And I'll take out baby trees and shrubs that are in or very close to the trail.

This trail was my favorite of all the ones I've hiked so far. (I hiked on a couple of trails to do the vernal pool survey.) It winds more than the other trails do, and has some pretty areas of big boulders. Also, the prettiest waterway I've seen on the refuge is where I stopped hiking because I would have had to walk across a stream by rock hopping and I didn't have my hiking stick with me to give me more balance. I'll have to come back in from the other end with my stick. 

Come along and see what I saw. And oh yes, the woods were ringing with the calls of the ovenbird. Click here to see and hear an ovenbird singing.  

I think these are serviceberries - please comment 

The trail wound around several boulders or boulder fields

Lots of tiny shrubs were putting out leaves

This is a tree that I will not remove - I made a waypoint for it and it will be mapped for someone with a bigger saw

The lake and drainage at the end of my hike - but the trail continues - the bottom right of the pictute is just across where you are supposed to hop rocks to get across. 

This is in wilderness and is no longer maintained - the water structures have washed/eroded out

I love to find beautiful geometry in nature

The geometry belonged to this little guy - I think a common garter snake

My most exciting moment of the trip was when I started to get back up off the side of the hill overlooking the lake in the above picture. I was sitting next to a large rock  - probably weighing over 100 pounds. When I touched it to help myself up, it started rolling downhill.  It then landed on several logs and is resting on them until they rot a bit more, when it will probably roll into the lake.  I was glad it rolled with just a touch and that I was not REALLY leaning on it yet. 

The hole - left and part of the boulder- right. I just slid a little right to take this picture,
before I tried getting up again. 

Oh  yes, I almost didn't produce a blog for today.  Life is very busy and we are having lots of rainy days. But I was so glad for this day.  The weather was beautiful until late afternoon.  Now rain is coming back.