The elusive yookeroo remains elusive, however, the pursuit has lead to a few interesting finds and photos. It’s amazing what’s encountered during a stationary six hour stake out in the woods. Birds, bears, Bambi, and snails seem to emerge from the under growth all at once. It’s not only what’s seen, but also what’s heard. The noise of rain falling on big-leaf maples, the endless serenading by song birds, and the trouser wetting rustle of bears breaking through the under growth.
Okay, the snail isn’t actually red, nevertheless, meet the Oregon forestsnail (Allogona townsendiana). These guys are in serious trouble, so much in fact that they’re federally red listed, or endangered – not that it means much anymore. They’re very picky with their living conditions and are reluctant to relocate. The Oregon forestsnail prefers broadleaf forests, typically comprised of big-leaf maples and red alder with undergrowth containing stinging nettles and sword ferns. The problem is that in the lower Fraser Valley there aren’t many of these broadleaf forests remaining and the Oregon forestsnail isn’t the type that disperses well. As a side note, after a solid ten minutes these snails still decided not to poke their heads out.
With the broadleaf forest in mind and remembering that the Oregon forestsnail is COSEWIC red listed, this clearing is rather puzzling. The extent of my forestry management knowledge is rather limited, but this clearing simply did not make sense. There were no roads, no mechanical cat tracks, and nothing appeared to be harvested. Trees were pushed over, lay uncollected, nothing was processed, and it appeared to have happened some time ago. If you happen to know more than the nothing I know about forestry and could shed some light on this, let me know.
Shortly after being startled by Mr. black bear, a pair of Stellers jays began terrorizing a robin sitting on its nest. The robin and its nest would have remained invisible, if it weren’t for the menacing jays. The robin reluctantly gave up and left its nest unguarded, creating an opportunity for a rather different perspective. At a good six or so feet above the ground, quickly snapping a couple of shots was just a little challenging – it was difficult to determine whether there was anything inside until checking the first frame. With the help of a recently upgraded 16-35mm mkII, this shot turned out tack shark and just as envisioned.
Fingers crossed that the next post is something more … on target.