12 May 2016: Walker Meadow Loop

The first river crossing

CA: Mendocino Co: Angelo Coast Range Reserve: Walker Meadow Loop

Today, we hiked the Walker Meadow Loop. But first, we began the day with a presentation by Emily about the management of old growth forests. It encompassed the ecology of old-growth forests, and the management issues surrounding prescribed burning and the lack of fires in forests today. Then, we began our hike, and began learning the trees of the reserve because we are going to have a quiz on them. We focused on the Douglas firs and oaks. We visited four meadows on our hike: Sprague Meadow, Lower Walker Meadow, Walker Meadow, and South Meadow. We also had two presentations by the river. Mayra talked to us about the Foothill Yellow-Legged frog and then we saw eggs, tadpoles, and the frog itself. Santana talked to us about lampreys, and later we saw half a dead lamprey, and a few live ones.

Lamprey!
Sprague Meadow

In the first meadow, we split into groups and spun the wheel about how the meadow got there, why it was a meadow, and what the meadow would look like in the future.

Group key in Lower Walker Meadow- Calochortus tolmiei
Calochortus tolmiei

In the second meadow, we found a new calochortus, and most of the class did a group key of it Calochortus tolmiei. We continued the hike, visiting another meadow, and then eventually returning to South Meadow. Before dinner, a few of us took a dip in the river, keyed plants, and went birding for a few minutes.

A burd!

Within the first minute of birding we saw a Western Tanager. It is such an exotic bird with its bright red and and a bright yellow body. People were stoked. We then had dinner, and after dinner had three presentations. Lupita talked about salmon, Morgan talked about salmon management, and Max talked about illegal marijuana grow operations. We ended the night with a campfire and s’mores!