03-25-13 Field Note

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03-25-13 Field Note

March 26, 2013

Jeff Clarke's Field Note shows early buttercups, loud red tailed hawks, and wild rye transplantation efforts.

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2013 By Jeff Clarke A massive March storm dumped 4-5 inches of snow on the ranch Tuesday evening.

A massive March storm dumped 4-5 inches of snow on the ranch Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, temperatures soared into the high 50s. The snow melted off so fast that barbed wire shadows left long raised lines of less melted snow. By Wednesday evening, most of the recent accumulation vanished.

On Wednesday evening a vicious wind storm surged across the ranch. The wind gusts reached 42 mph causing this 1/4 mile buck and rail fence to topple. On Thursday morning, our burly field crew manually lifted it back into place.

Using shovels and five gallon pails, the field crew transplanted 350 basin wild rye grasses from the plantation field to the flat bowl near the Orchard House. When the large cluster of grasses mature, they will provide a safe haven for mother deer and their vulnerable fawns.

The crew also pulled more than 15 large bags of hounds tongue this week. The newly leased Wheeler property is covered in the nasty invasive.

A continuous mat of mustard-like weeds recently arrived in the nurse plant/ bitterbrush study plots. The field crew battles the ferocious mat with hula-hoes and hand held spade shovels.

We also built two large buck and rail fences around aspen stands and their sprawling suckers. The new exclosures will also protect wild rose, snowberry and dogwood that live within.

The red tailed hawks arrived a few weeks ago. They are one of the most vocal raptors on the Ranch.

Early butter cups announce that spring has arrived!!!

Recent Field Work • Spread seed on disturbed soils • Build buck and rail fences • Pull Hounds Tongue • Pick up bailing twine • Weed nurse plant study • Transplant basin wild rye • Clean Top House garage

Previous Field Note

03-21-13 Bird Field Note