Wednesday, August 4, 2010

habitat ~ 08/04/10 ~ Fort Ord - BLM InterGarrison

Fort Ord - Inter-Garrison entrance
August 4, 2010

posted 08/18/11 - I always like to save the last post for a day as a habitat post. It's a way for me to note that I've posted all I wanted for that hike and a way to headline a series of posts in the archives, say for all of August 4, 2010.

I'm wondering if I should start naming the different vernal pools at Fort Ord. There are so many and each seems to hold water differently through the seasons. The first picture above is of the same vernal pool from May 6, 2009. You can definitely see the difference in dryness from May to August, even though each year varies. Now I'm not positive, but I think the second picture above is the same vernal pool from May 8, 2010 and the second picture from March 20, 2011. Since it's likely the largest vernal pool at Fort Ord, it tends to stay greener longer than any of the others.

Again from May 8, 2010, I also posted a picture of mima mounds when the grass was considerably greener. Here you can see the mounds a little bit better, highlighted by the various dried grasses. The sticky monkeyflower has grown in between the coyote brush, a very typical late summer scene around these parts.

August is not my favorite time of year to hike, because it is so dry in so many places. I really don't like dried grasses, even though I know they're important, too. Incredibly, it's rarely blazing hot at Fort Ord, and it's a bit cooler at Inter-Garrison which is barely closer to the ocean than Creekside. The high marine layer is evident in the pictures above, casting a dark grey filter on everything. I am glad we went on the hike for the diversity we were able to see.

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