Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nice Day on Orcas

I really appreciate the National Weather Service. The challenge of determining where and how much snow and freezing rain caused the forecasters a tough time last week. But the big picture was accurate and the forecast nailed Monday (yesterday) very well. A nice break in the weather that I took advantage of scheduling field work. Lovey day with sun and even a bit of warmth. Much better than today with wind and rain. So thumbs up to the National Weather Service for making my life so easy.

My field day was out on Orcas Island. First was looking at joint and fractures on a cliff slope.

Fractures and joints in Constitution Formation, Orcas Island

Had some nice early morning views on this project.

View down East Sound

Turtleback Mountain on Orcas Island from East Sound

I also came across my current favorite native tree - Gary Oak.

There were three oaks growing in the talus along the route I took. A few lonely outliers. I am sure there may be other oaks in the area, but these were the first I had seen on this part of Orcas Island. There is an extensive oak forest area on the southwest side of Turtleback Mountain that extends down to West Sound. This small group of oaks are taking advantage of the rocky dry slope. I noted that the Douglas fir on the same slope had burn marks from past fires and many had broken tops as this can be a very windy spot.  

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