Carkeek Park | 4.18.18| 5:03pm |sunny | 54°
Phenology (retyped from field notes)
The foliage is beginning to protrude into the walking path, casting evening shadows of their form. There is a small, quick insect periodically buzzing around my face; too small and quick for me to note the species. Flies dodge around me, land on a leaf and continue their journey. I hear more voices than birds today, in fact I don’t hear any birds, but the creek is rhythmically flowing as usual. However there are now approximately 10 twigs of varying sizes, some as thin as a pencil, others as thick as water bottle is round, beginning to dam up around the boulders. They are to the right of a thick tree slice (~9’’) that I presume fell in when a tree was cut by man after falling onto the trail.
I observe some of the species I have begun continually noting. The Western Hemlock has a growing canopy. It extends ~8’ from the trunk (toward the creek) and ~7’ into the walkway. The lowest branch barely skims my head, making it approximately 5’ from the ground. I could eight new buds, where an offshoot of needles will begin to grow off the main branch. The branch is greenish brown in color and looks fuzzy, like a kiwi, however it is not fuzzy enough to be detected when touched.
The branch directly to the right of this one is missing ~4’’ of needles midway down the branch. I wonder what this could be a result of. About three feet up the tree I wrap my hands around the trunk. My index fingers meet and so do my thumbs. They have room to stack, nail on nail. I wonder how old this tree is.
There are six small twigs, dreaming of becoming branches, growing ~2.5’ up the trunk from the ground. They are wispy and ⅚ have dropping moss on them. The moss is soft to the touch, dense but lightweight and olive in color. It tacos the branch. I wonder if the branch will continue growing or die given the moss presence.
Last week I noted a Lady Fern growing out of the creekside bank. This week I took more time to deeply observe it. It is a single frond, ~1’’ in size. It has seven sets of opposites leaves plus a tip. Above it is new growth, about ~1cm in size with five tiny sets of opposite leaves. I can see the veins – they have a purple tint; are gentle but prominent. A second Lady Fern is growing ~4’’ to the south. It has 3 fronds growing despite only being 1’’ to 1.5’’ in height.
On the tip of the water bank, ~6’’ from the creek is a new tree or shrub. It is difficult to tell since it is only ~8’’ tall. It looks like a Beaked Hazelnut however it is likely a Sitka Alder given its proximity to water. It has a leaf ~1cm in size, ~2’’ off the ground. The stem is approximately as thick as three toothpicks. ~1’’ from the first leaf is an offshoot (will be a branch) with three leaves. I cannot yet tell if they are opposite or alternate. Then there are two leaves, three leaves, and one more at the top, with two about to bud. The veins are prominent and barely alternate as they come off the center vein; they are positions toward the tip as if their contents flowed outward and to the tip of the leaf.
**I also photographed these species so that I can record their growth in written and visual form throughout the weeks to come.