Monday, February 24, 2014

Winter Sunrise Lost Valley Trail

Lost Valley hiking trail is one that keeps you coming back. In late winter you can sense that spring is coming. It is a multi-sensory treat.  Wild turkey, hawks, crows and woodpeckers broke the silence. The sweet scent of the air is reason enough to love this place.

I had the place to myself on this day. As I walked back to my car, I got a picture of the sunrise cross lighting the trail and igniting the beech leaves in the distance at the trailhead.

Just a few weeks from now, the 2014 wildflower season begins. The first signs are in place. It looks like we have one more wave of arctic cold and then we are on our way.

Winter Sunrise at Lost Valley Trail

Calf Elk by Buffalo River 2/24/14

Calf elk by the Buffalo National River in the south end of Boxley Valley.

Calf Elk Near Cave Mountain Road

2/24/14 Elk Herd Locations & Trumpeter Swans

This morning there were 2 elk herds in the south end of Boxley Valley. One was right next to the river at Cave Mountain Road, and a second was in the Smith Creek field north of Smith Creek. The herd closer to the river was split on both sides of the road.

I have not seen a trumpeter swan, collared or uncollared for my last few visits to the valley. They have been a pretty permanent fixture at the Boxley Mill Pond for a few years. Recently they were joined by 4 uncollared swans. All are gone now. It will be interesting to see if the collared swans are gone now. It is possible they are just nearby.

The daffodil shoots are now showing. This is the first reliable signal that the wildflower season is just around the corner. We should see the first wild flowers in a week or two at Lost Valley and the Smith Creek Preserve as well as other hot spots all along the river. More on wildflowers soon.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

2/22/14 Elk Herd Map & Boxley Valley Report

There is one herd kicking around in the deep south end of Boxley Valley in the Smith Creek field. It moved from south of the spring to north of Smith Creek yesterday.

For the second day I saw no trumpeter swans on the Boxley Mill pond, neither the collared pair, nor the 4 uncollared trumpeters that have been around recently. This will be interesting to track.

Friday, February 14, 2014

2/13/14 2 Elk Herds in Boxley Valley, Wild Trumpeters Still on MIll Pond

Elk returned to the fields after all the snow storms. Two herds yesterday, one in the second Ponca field, and a second down by Smith Creek.

I am sure the bulls are around, but I didn't see them when I did my survey yesterday. Yesterday was the first day I have been able to get out in about 2 weeks. Our road is a sheet of ice.

Be sure to visit the mill pond and check out the uncollared trumpeter swans. There are 4 of them and they do not seem to mix with the non-migrating collared swans. They have been on the pond now for a few weeks. It will be interesting to see how long they stay.