Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's such a beautiful weekend! The weather is clear and crisp. The leaves carpet the frost-crunchy, morning ground and a few are still fluttering down from the canopy.
This transition from Autumn and Winter is so inviting, a walk on the Hansville Greenway should not be missed.

There may be a tree down here and there, but no obstacles to foot traffic have been reported.

There are soggy areas. The west side, behind Buck Lake is getting pretty mushy and will require boots and determination.
Muddy spots have been reported, between Hood Canal Dr. and marker post #16, between mp #15 and #16, and between mp #14 and #16.

The new Hawk's Hole Creek bridge is in, but the approaches, to the bridge, are not, so that portion of trail is not yet open.

Birds seen and heard:
Buffleheads on Buck Lake
Stellars Jay
Bald Eagle
Northern Flicker
Red Tail Hawk
Dark-eyed Junco

Other sightings
Douglas Squirrel

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We've had a stormy week and there are reports of downed trees on the trails. None of these are large enough to block the trail and volunteers are out clearing them.
Work continues on Hawk's Hole Bridge.
The trail is a bit mucky on the west side of Buck Lake, but the trails, under the evergreen canopy, are a pleasure underfoot.
The mushrooms are still fruiting as Autumn continues and to celebrate them here's a couple documents listing the taxa found in the Pacific Northwest.
I'll also add these to the links list, at the right of the page.

For any myco-geeks reading, here is partial list of species reported here in the north end.

Agaricus praeclaresquammosus
Amanita muscaria var. formosa (Fly Agaric)
Amanita ocreata (Destroying Angel)
Boletus chrysenteron
Bondarzewia montana
Cantherellus formosus (Chanterelle)
Cantherellus subalbidus (White Chanterelle)
Chlorophyllum olivieri (Shaggy Parasol)
Chroogomphus tomentosus (Scaly Chanterelle)
Clavulina cristata (Crested Coral)
Clitocybe dealbata (Sweat Producing Clitocybe)
Fomitopsis pinicola (Red Belted Conk)
Ganoderma applanatum (Artists Conk)
Geastrum saccatum (Earth Star)
Gomphidius oregonensis
Gomphus floccosus (Wooly Pine Spike)
Lactarius rubrilacteus (Red Bleeding Milkcap)
Leccinum manzanitae
Lepiota clypeolaria (Shaggy Stalked Parasol)
Lepiota rubrotincta (Red Tinged Lepiota)
Lycoperdium perlatum (Gem Studded Puffball)
Naemotoloma fasciciulare (Sulfur Tuft)
Paxillus atrotomentosus (Velvet Footed Pax)
Phaeolus schweinitzii (Dyers Polypore)
Pholiota terrestris (Ground Pholiota)
Polyporus elegans
Ramaria formosa
Russula albonigra (Blackening Russula)
Russula brevipes
Russula emetica (Emetic Russula)
Russula rosacea (Rosy Russula)
Russula xeramplina (Shrimp Russula)
Suillus granulatus
Suillus tomentosus (Poor Man's Slippery Jack)
Xylaria hypoxylon

Friday, November 6, 2009

I haven't heard of any trail impediments except for the on going work on Hawk's Hole Bridge.
I'm sure the rain has soften up the stretch of trail west of Buck Lake, but I haven't heard any reports of squishy-mud, yet.
We've had a couple windy, rainy days this week and may have a breezy weekend. Alders can be unpredictable in windy conditions so it's a good idea to keep an eye on them while enjoying a gusty Autumn day in the woods.

And as a reminder, it's pretty hard to keep our heads up, when scanning the ground for dog poop. For your convenience, mutt mitt dispensers are located at Alder wetlands trail, Cora, Buck Lake Park and Ponderosa.
Nothing ruins a walk in the woods faster than stepping in a stinky pile, so have a heart, pick up after your pet.

It going to be a great weekend for a walk in the Hansville Greenway!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hawk's Hole Creek Crossing - Bridge Work in Progress

As reported by Ken:
Here are some photos of progress on the bridge. Footing forms are in. Now we're ready for inspection and then wait for some dry weather so we can get the concrete poured.

The trail is closed between signpost 14 and 17. Please stay out of the immediate area unless you're working on it. You can get a good view of theprogress from the northern rim of the ravine.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Two alders are reported to be down, over the trail, 75 paces East of post #6.
The larger is about 16" in diameter. They are easily negotiable for walkers.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

There is a tree down between Hood Canal Drive and marker 16. It does not make the trail impassable but the hurdle is about 2 feet high. Volunteers will probably be out this weekend to clear the obstacle.
There has been volunteer trail improvement work west of Hansville road. Blackberries have been whacked back.
The trails are in generally good shape and the cool weather is perfect for enjoying the Hansville Greenway.

Friday, October 2, 2009

It has been a while since my post. Such a beautiful summer makes for consistently dry trail conditions. As pleasant as dry trails are, the Summer brought very low water levels in Lower Hawks pond, so I imagine pond residents are ready for the change of season.

There is one current alert for trail users and Hansville residents. There is a pack of feral dogs roaming the area.
They have been reported both east and west of the Greenway. They have been seen in a pair, a trio and one report counted four dogs, two black lab mixes and two brown dogs, one having the appearance of a German shepherd. They have attacked livestock and have shown aggression toward people.
It is advised to call 911 if you are menaced by dogs-at-large.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

After a brief period of rain, Summer has returned.
The trails are still in good shape and the forest has become very fragrant.

Just in case you've missed the sign in the village, there will be a guided Greenway walk tomorrow, the 19th of August.
The tour will begin in Buck Lake Park at 10am.
Bring a sack lunch for the picnic.

Enjoy the this beautiful weather!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I haven't posted for a couple weeks, so I'll post a short, simple report.
Trail conditions are perfect
and will continue to be so until the rains of autumn return.

Buck Lake will not be the best place to park a car, this weekend.
Hansville is holding its annual rummage sale, Saturday and Sunday.

It's going to be another beautiful weekend in the Hansville Greenway.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Just a quick note:
There is a tree down across the trail between markers 2 and 4.

It is a gorgeous weekend here in Hansville and we have a beautiful weather week comming. Enjoy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Volkswalker reported a muddy stretch along a newly cleared logging road between Hansville Road and marker 18. But besides that, the trails are in their summer glory.
Volunteers have groomed them beautifully and the sun streams through the lush green.
The weather is gorgeous. It just doesn't get any better than this, on the Hansville Greenway!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Trails are in great shape. They are a pleasure to walk.
The honeysuckle is in bloom, between Otter meadow and Muskrat Swamp.
Deer are everywhere, and birdsong is raucous.
The sun may be obscured by clouds this weekend, but a dry Saturday is predicted.

Welcome Volkswalkers!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The last several days have certainly felt like summer in North kitsap. This warm dry weather has put the "mud map" to rest. The trails are in gorgeous condition.

Some major improvements have been made to the section of trail, between Hansville Road and marker 18, as well as to the section between markers 15 and 16.

The Greenway is exploding into bloom.
Although woefully incomplete, here are some of the current floral highlights to enjoy:
There is a very pretty patch of Pacific Bleeding Hearts between Spruce and marker 13.
The False Lily-of-the-Valley is also showing a particularly lush bloom in that area, and is also carpeting the forest floor on the south forest loop. The densest drift is near marker 7.
There is a delicate sprinkling of pale lavendar Western Starflower throughout the floor of the mixed conifer/deciduous forest.
In Otter Meadow, The great ash is finished blooming, the Indian plums are begining to color, the Bracken fern stand in tall drifts in the grass.
To the north (although by no means exclusive to the north half of the Greenway) These natives are in full bloom.
Siberian Miners Lettuce
Foam flower
Large-leaved Arvens

The preserve is so beautiful!
The sun streams through the backlit canopy in slanted shafts, which makes the forest glow! The scents and sounds have come into full bloom as well. The absolute greeness possesses a soft power to both surround and saturate the observer.
This is an especially magical time in the Hansville Greeway.
Come treat yourself to a day in the woods!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It probably comes as no news that the weather this weekend is stunning. So beautiful that this trail report is ...late.
Biking note: There was a 12" diameter log down over the railroad-grade trail, in the center of the park. It may or may not be removed, at this time.

The mosquitoes are out in force so repellent is advisable.
In addition to mosquitoes, the wildlife reported is as follows:

American Robin
Mourning Dove
Band-tailed pigeon
Common Raven
American Crow
Red-winged Blackbird
European Starling
Steller's Jay
American Goldfinch
Spotted Towhee
Pacific-sloped Flycatcher
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pine Siskin
Western Wood Pewee
Rufous Hummingbird
Golden-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)(Myrtle variety)
Wilson's Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Bewick's Wren
Black-capped Chickadee
Dark-eyed Junco
Brown Creeper
Varied Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Barn Swallow
Violet Green Swallow
Norther Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Common Yellowthroat
Hutton's Vireo
Canada Goose
Great Blue Heron
Belted Kingfisher
Wood Duck
American Coot
Hooded Merganser
Pied-Billed Grebe
Black-headed Grosbeak
Barred Owl
Red-tailed Hawk
Bald Eagle

Douglas Squirrel
Black-tailed Deer

Pacific Chorus Frog
Red-legged Frog
Common Garter Snake

Banana Slug
Black Slug
Western Tent Caterpiller
Carpenter Ant

There are so many wild flowers in bloom (I'll get back with a list). They just sparkle in shafts of sunlight. It just doesn't get any better than this!
Get out and enjoy your Hansville Greenway!

Friday, May 15, 2009

It's weekend again and what a weekend it promises to be!  The Trails are in wonderful shape and the sun will shine through in bright shafts through the trees of the forest, bringing 50 kinds of green to life.  
The ferns are all unfurling the flowers blooming and the swallows swoop in low fast circles, over the grasses of the meadows, hunting for insects.
It seems that spring is sprung and bekoning us to enjoy the Hansville Greenway.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A quick update...
The weekend is predicted to be gorgeous!
If You're planning a visit the Hansville Greenway, via Buck Lake Park, tomorrow, the Annual Flotsom & Jetsom Garden Club Plant Sale will be in full swing.  Attendants will be on site to direct parking.  Plan on seeing most of the Hansville community out and about.  
While You're out enjoying the day, why not do a little shopping for Your garden and come say hello at the Greenway booth.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Froggie went A-courtin'

Spring has sprung here in the Western Washington.  The wild flowers are blooming, the bird populations are swelling.  With all this excitement, it's easy to overlook another herald of spring...Frogs.

We have 

The Pacific Chorus Frog, which sounds like this
The Red-legged Frog, which sounds like this
The Bullfrog, an invasive non native,which sounds like this
The Western Toad, which sounds like this and this

Is it a a frog or a toad?

Technically frogs and toads are the same.  The name "Toad" indicates species, which are able to tolerate drier environments.  Adult toads do hunt near water but also spend significant time in drier areas, such as woodland.
You can tell a frog from a toad even before the tadpoles emerge.  Toads, like frogs, lay eggs in water, but instead of laying eggs in clusters, toads lay eggs in long chains.
Toads have shorter legs for walking, instead of jumping and swimming like frogs.
Their skin is usually described as being dry and warty although these bumps are not actually warts, but  glands which produce protective chemicals.  
In the case of the Western Toad, the glands produce a bitter, white fluid, which causes the eyes and mouth of a would-be predator to tingle and go numb.  
While toads will not give you warts, it is important to throroughly wash your hands before touching your eyes, after handling a toad.

Another difference Between Frogs and toads...Frogs have teeth!

Frogs in the environment

The health of any natural system is reflected in balance.  Frogs are critical to that balance.  
They are a necessary link in the food chain.  They prey on insects and other tiny animals which, when the balance is askew, become pests.  Frogs in turn become food for larger animals.

Frogs are an indicator species.  Health issues in the frog population are early flags for environmental problems.
Frogs are amphibians and like all amphibians they are dependent on both land and water.  They have thin skins, through which they absorb water and whatever is in that water, making them vulnerable to bacteria, fungus and pollutants.
They eat insects and therefore ingest and matabolize everything the insects have eaten or are carrying.
There has been a startling increase of frog mutations, parasitic infections and declines in population all over the world...including the Puget sound region.  Of course human pressures take their toll on frog habitat, but scientists are especially concerned that frogs are approaching extinction in remote areas which were considered to be pristine.

Concern for amphibians is more than an academic or aesthetic excercise.  Frogs are a source of food for humans as well as a medicine chest, which we have only begun to explore.  But to continue to benefit from our relationship with frogs, we must also take care to ensure they not only survive, but thrive. 
We are but a  part of this eco-system and that which effects even the humblest of creatures impacts our survival also.

Additional references, resources and cool links

Pacific Chorus Frog (Pacific Treefrog), Pseudacris (Hyla) regilla

Red Legged Frog, Rana aurora

Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana

Western Toad, Bufo boreas

This is a thematic page for teaching children, but it has a lot of great links that adults will enjoy as well.
Do visit the morphology site.  It's a web-based digital library of three-dimensional (3D) interactive and customizable reconstructions of animal anatomy and one heck of a fun toy!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Since it's been a warm, dry week, most of the trails have died out and firmed up.  Even with weekend rain predicted, we'll  likely have ample dry periods and sun breaks.

There will be a guided nature walk Sunday morning, lead by Mr Ralph Rogers, the Greenway's former Science and Education Specialist. 
Those interested should plan to meet at the parking lot at Buck Lake Park at 8am.  Wear comfortable walking shoes and plan on being out a couple of hours or more.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A muddy spot has been reported between markers 14 and 15, so here's an update to the mud map.

Other than the muddy bits, the trails are drying out, most are a pleasure and all are clear.

In bloom:

While rain is predicted for Saturday, a dry midday or afternoon looks promising.  We may even get a sun-break, so get out and enjoy the Hansville Greenway.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Just a quick update for this sunny weekend.
A couple deeply muddy areas have been reported between Hanville Rd. and marker 18.
So the map looks like this.
Other than the bits of mud, the Hansville Greenway trails are all open and ready to be enjoyed on this beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trillium ovatum

In the Northwest, Trillium is the emblem of Spring and the super-star of spring wildflowers.
It is difficult to adequately describe the beauty of a drift of trillium, in full fresh, white bloom, on a spring day. Both delicate and lush, they float in an cloud, a foot above the forest floor.
Sun shafts angling through the vertical tree trunks and canopies saturate the green of the mossy woods and illuminate the white blossoms. They absolutely glow!
It's almost as much a feeling as a vision.

In the Hansville Greenway, you'll find Trillium in most areas of mixed evergreen forest, with a dense community in the area of the south forest loop, between markers 6 and 7.
download Trillium ovatum Flashcard

Trillium blossoms begin white,  turn pink, then purple with age, and are followed by seed pods. The mature seeds drop to the ground and are attractive to ants and rodents, which carry them into their nest, thus dispersing the fertile seed.

Many western Tribes used the plant to treat sore eyes and boils. The Makah employed it as a love medicine poultice.

Trillium numbers have drastically declined, in the modern world for a number of reasons, but the most devastating predator of the Western Trillium was (and may still be) children.
Trillium grow each spring from rhizomes and are similar to bulb plants like tulips or daffodils, in the respect that the food produced by their green foliage is stored in the fleshy root for the next year. Without this store of food, the plant cannot summon the energy to grow the following year. When this cycle is broken, the plant is severely weakened, and often dies.
The only green foliage a Trillium possesses is the collar of 3 green leaves just below the bloom.
As little as two generations ago, children picked the blossoms by the handful, as Easter gifts for their mothers' vases, not realizing that such harvest would stunt or kill the plant.
It is said that once picked, a trillium won't bloom for seven years. But as its decline attests, most will never recover.

Trillium ovatum is difficult to salvage. Most attempts to do so result in failure.

Please note that any ethnobotanical information is presented for academic purposes only. I do not advocate self-medication or ingesting wild plants. Please also note that it is illegal to remove any plant or animal from the Hansville Greenway.

Sources and References:

Native American Ethnobotany, Daniel E. Moerman
Ethnobotany of Western Washingon, Erna Gunther
Trillium-Washington Native Plant Society
Trillium profile-USDA
Plant Watch-University of Alberta
Description and culture-Washington State University
The story of Trillium ovatum-Navarro Watershed Working group

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Even with rain predicted, we are enjoying our usual intermittent sun, here on  the north tip of the Kitsap Peninsula.  No rain yet and I suspect if we get rain, it will be but light.
The trails area bit muddy in the small areas indicated in the map, posted on March 6th, but most of the trails are a pleasure to walk and all the trails are clear.

The trillium and salmonberry are in bloom and green is sprouting everywhere.

It's a wonderful weekend for a walk in the Hansville Greenway.

above:  Trillium ovatum at the foot of a spring-board stump.  
Below:  Trillium ovatum blossoms.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The trails have remained pretty consistent since my last report.  The map below is still accurate.  We've had a bit of rain so the muddy areas, marked on the map, are even muddier, but most of the trails are a pleasure to walk and to my knowlege all trails are open and clear.
The weekend is predicted to be sunny and beautiful for a walk in the woods.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The trails are wet after the rains of this week, but most of the trails are in good winter shape.  The areas which are sloppy enough to be slippery are are highlighted with green-blue on the following map.

The birds reported lately:
Hooded merganser
Stellers jays
Norther flicker
Pileated woodpecker
Song sparrow
Red-Tailed Hawk

Other wildlife reported:

Rain is expected on Saturday with perhaps a dry window in the afternoon and a chance of light snow is possible for Sunday. 
Wear boots and enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's been comparatively dry and it shows in the trails, which are nice and firm.  With a dry Saturday on tap, it will be a beautiful day for a walk in the woods.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The trails are in great shape this week.  There may be some sogginess around Hawk's Hole Creek, at the southwest corner of the greenway, but the rest of the trails, including the stretch west of Buck Lake is firm and a pleasure to walk.
Saturday is predicted to be dry and Sunday has only a chance of precipitation.  So get out there and enjoy a pleasant winter weekend walk in the Hansville Greenway.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The snow is gone, replaced by warmer weather and rain.  The forest has returned to Pacific Northwest green and has the quality of light that winter brings.
There are muddy patches, as might be expected, but the trails are in generally good shape.
The sloshy parts are the same as reported before...
west of Buck Lake, south of marker 12 (this 100 yd stretch will be pretty muddy until later spring) and Hawk's Hole Creek, at the southwest area of the trail system.

Recent wildlife sightings:
Red tail hawk
Bald eagle
Pileated woodpecker
Downy woodpecker
Northern flicker
Winter wren
Stellers jay
Hooded merganser
Tundra or Trumpeter swan
Douglas squirrel
Coyote (spoor)

Tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon, the chance of rain lessens and the next week looks to be dry with sun breaks.
It's going to be a beautiful winter week to walk the Hansville Greenway.