Snow flurries in the Modoc

November has arrived. I am now the only seasonal left in Modoc county… or at least that is how it feels, but I do not mind. Watching the snow begin to cover the tablelands and Warner Mountains is well worth the isolation. I must admit I began to panic when I realized I would not be enjoying the outdoors as often when the cold weather began, but I have still been able to have some field time. I travelled to nearby Cedarville to help the Surprise BLM fuels crew with a sage brush planting project and ended up helping lead the project. My partner Joe and I gave instructions for planting Purshia tridentata and Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana. We recommended planting them in clumps of 7 to 10 down from the ridgeline. The area we were planting in was located in western Nevada in the Lost Fire, which was ignited by lightning in August. The fire burned more than 61,000 acres including habitat for sage-grouse, mule deer, bighorn sheep and pronghorn.  Restoration planting will continue into December and I hope to be a part.

Here is a picture of the Lost Fire:

Lost Fire

My partner Joe and I enjoyed sending a huge collection of seeds in as well as labeling numerous herbarium vouchers for the Smithsonian and Berkley. Joe left at the beginning of the month and I am now the only seasonal left in the field office. Collecting seeds takes longer with only one pair of hands, but I was still able to make a couple more collections before the weather set in. I was able to make a fairly large collection of Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis. Artemisia arbuscula proved to be a harder collection presumably because of the drought this season. The total number of collections we were able to make this season was 37! Now that field work is mostly through, I have a couple of projects to work on in the office and look forward to getting better acquainted with ArcGIS. (:

 

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