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View Diary: The Daily Bucket - Who? who's in my backyard (70 comments)

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  •  For the past 2 days I've been walking a piece of (14+ / 0-)

    public land at about 8200 feet in Colorado behind a closed campground called Kelly Dahl. It's outside Nederland. I walk poorly due to a torn tendon.

    I look for elk who have been crossing the two square mile patch of woods en route from summer to winter habitat. The woods are mostly very mature lodgepole that should have burnt off long ago. It has the look of a place that was logged 100 years ago. A few old mines left around.

    The woods are very easy to walk through. Little under brush and few branches to the short trees. Every once in a while the obvious trail of four or five elk not grazing but walking. No signs of deer or bear, rarely coyote scat. Nothing grows except pine trees.

    The dirt very dry, sometimes tiny remnants of snow but rarely. A mile in the only water, a small bog with a very small amount of standing water, lots of aspen, all showing signs of severe winter eating by elk, none recent.

    On the far side some of the only doug fir I've seen. Under one a dead woodpecker, no idea what kind, I'm not a birder. No sign of cause of death. Behind the fir a wallow for bull elk, not used for at least a few weeks. Beside it a 6" diameter young pine the elk used for scraping with horns. The bulls pee in the wallow then roll around in the mud formed by the urine. Makes them smell good.

    Weather supposed to move in during the weekend, that should get the animals migrating again.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:35:05 AM PST

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