John Grego, 03/09/2008
On Sunday afternoon, March 9, I travelled the firebreak along Red Bluff Road to get a little fresh air and check out the controlled burn from last year. (Note: be careful about hiking this route during hunting season.) Generally, hiking along a firebreak through pine plantation can only be so interesting, but the firebreak regularly crosses gated jeep roads that lead to the floodplain. The first road leads to a high bluff overlooking a beautiful forest alongside Cedar Creek. There was a small redbud (Cercis canadensis) blooming on the bluff--I'm not sure if it was natural or an escapee, but I usually don't see them blooming at the Park.
I backtracked to the firebreak, then turned right at the third firebreak and looped back along Cedar Creek to the second firebreak. The bluff along this stretch had alot of Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia) saplings just starting to leaf out.
Overall, the pine plantation seemed easy to move through when I had to go off trail, so last year's burn may have been successful in that respect. It didn't look as though the pines had been thinned appreciably, though. Birding was slow at times, but I ended up with a couple of nice warblers and a creeper—all at my first stop.
Feral hog skull, top view
Feral hog skull, side view
Intact egg (possibly Red-bellied Woodpecker)
Red Buckeye (Aesculus Pavia) was numerous along Cedar Creek's bluff
Well-gnawed deer antler
May 11, 2008 by Edward Kujawski
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