Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Weekly Update (August 9-10, 2017)

Hi Mountain Lookout 2017 Interns –Emily Hermann, Cecilia Huizar, Gaku Ogawa, and Massupha Upachit

On Wednesday (8/9), we initially met up in SLO and Emily drove us up to the Pozo station and arrived around 9 am. Once we got to the Pozo station, we switched our vehicle to the US Forest truck and drove off to the fieldwork, which were a few miles away from the station. This field site was the second site that we’d been working on for the past couple weeks. As usual, we did our survey on the narrowleaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) alongside the streambed and collected the data on each plant to see if there was any breeding present in the area in this hot season. There was an abundance of milkweed in this field site and its colorful flowers make such a beautiful scene for us to enjoy. A couple of monarch butterflies were spotted flying in the patches and a caterpillar at its fifth stage was found devouring the leaf. As the heat temperature was nearly reaching its peak about 90 – 92 degrees, we decided to call off the survey and headed to the lookout for lunch around 1 pm. After lunch, Gaku, Cecilia, and I began our search for condor signals. Fortunately, we were able to receive two bird signals but have yet to see an actual condor. Hopefully, we could at least see one bird before our summer term comes to an end. When we finished the first round of the radio telemetry data collection, we walked back to the lookout and took a short break to stay out of the sun. In the late afternoon, Gaku and Emily did the second round of the radio telemetry but no signals received this time. After a hot day, we spent a wonderful night at the lookout enjoying the sunset, the full moon, and the stars.

On Thursday (8/10), we started our morning with a view of sea of clouds. It was just another fine day for us to work in the field. Around 9 o’clock, we headed back down to the second field site and began the data collection procedure. Things went smoothly because the weather wasn’t too hot and we finally finished up the second site and moved on to the third site. Yet again, monarch butterflies and a caterpillar were spotted in the area. Also, we found a lot of monarch butterfly’s wings laying on the ground so we assumed that in that particular area was a grave of monarch butterflies? We took a quick lunch break at 12.30 pm and resumed our work at 1 pm. When we were finishing up our survey at the third site around 2 pm, a small accident had occurred to the truck and Phyllis’s car. Fortunately, nobody got injured and both cars were zero damaged. For our vehicle, it was just a tiny scuff mark but it was easily removed by using some gel and a soft sponge. Thankfully, Eric, a captain from battalion 31 helped us remove the scuff mark and solved the problem.

I also attached pictures  that I took at the lookout from last week

- Massupha Upachit