Southern Slopes

FIELD REPORT No. 022518AC

OBSERVATIONS: I had the good fortune of recently walking deer paths in the Cascade foothills after a winter melt off that allowed for early access to some otherwise snow covered territory. It was warm in the sun but brisk in shadowed drainages and though the paths we took were relatively dry, the northern, snow covered slopes were a constant reminder that it is indeed still winter. We packed the camera and found some interesting specimens; Chukar hollows nestled away in big sage, the remains of countless coyote feasts, and the centerpiece of our tour--the discovery of a mule deer shed. We could have passed by that antler a half dozen times and not seen it, it was so beautifully nestled in the grass.

KEY FEATURES: This time of year we all start to itch for some outdoor adventure free of cold and snow. It's easy to be tempted to violate closed preserves and other no-access lands. Be sure that your adventures take place on open public lands or private property with permission. When traversing the countryside in the late winter and early spring, ground can be soft and emerging plants are easily damaged. We recommend sticking to established trail systems or following deer trails.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Get your nature fix at a few of the local state parks. Both Lake Wenatchee and Squilchuck State Parks are fantastic options.