Fall Creek

March 23, 1985

The weather on our moss trip turned out exactly as predicted on weather reports the evening before: slight pause between storms in the morning with a new storm arriving in the afternoon. We decided to skip the car shuttle and opted to leave our vehicles at the lower parking lot and hike in and out as needed to see mosses and liverworts and get in a little walking. Departure was a carbon-copy of this trip last year: assemble at SEHS at 9 and off walking at 10:15. Though cloudy, it did not rain the first two hours as we learned the common mosses of tree trunks, forest floor and trail-side soil. When a good patch of a desired subject was encountered, we stopped and got the names, botanical and trivial, and put a small sample in a pre-printed packet for later study. The differences between mosses and liverworts were noted, and stories told about the natural history of each species. In all, we dealt with 18 mosses and 5 liverworts. Two of these were gotten from branches fallen out of the tops of trees, their usual habitats. One of these, the “high-branch moss”, was so named because it seems to grow only in high branches and you must count on fallen branches to find it. The Oregon lungwort was a bonus find (a lichen) as a true WINDFALL! It began raining shortly after the lunch break, so we advanced to the rear for the last few stops for specimen study. Looking back on last year’s trip, held on the 10th of March (13 days earlier), it is interesting to note that only two of the five flowers noted last year were in bloom at this time. The grouse flower’s blue blooms greeted us delightfully, and the fetid adder’s tongue again surprised us. The spring beauty was noted this year only in bud, once, and not a sign of the indian plum or evergreen violet. Fall Creek is two or three weeks behind last year in flowering. We returned to our cars as the rain turned serious attention to our gear. A stop for etc. at the DQ in Pleasant Hill gave a chance to repast and socialize in comfort. Participating were nonmembers Carol Diane, V. & W. Marcotte, Peggy Robinson, Nola Shurtleff and Marjorie Zane; members Ben Ross and Dave Wagner, leader.

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