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13

It looks like a Burl. They are natural non-harmful (think of them like scar tissue maybe, resulting from injury or infection) deformities in the grain of trees. Both hardwood & softwood trees can develop burls. (FWIW, I'd guess based on the bark & needles laying in the folds of the bark in the first picture that this tree is some sort of conifer.)


11

I'll answer the slightly broader question "How should I plan my first backpacking trip in Oregon or California?" (with emphasis on California, since that is the area I know best) Since you are mentioning fishing and hunting, I am going to lead with permits. Make sure that fishing and hunting is permitted in the areas you are considering. Hunting is not ...


9

In your first example (a lost hiker firing shots into the air) at minimum a citation should be issued, firing into the air is a violation of basic gun safety; you don't know where that bullet is going to come back down. Consider also that most visitors to National Parks are unfamiliar with the area and the wildlife; there will be little sympathy for someone ...


9

In general, you want to be in the south during winter. Another problem is that parks are more dispersed in the east. One strategy might be to start in the northeast (which basically means Acadia) as late in the season as you can handle, then move down the east coast as the weather gets cooler, getting to the Everglades in the depth of winter. You then go ...


8

Sugar maples, like other maples, flower in early spring. The flowers aren't very impressive. The leaves of sugar maple are usually fully expanded three to four weeks after the leaf buds begin to swell in the spring. The flowers emerge soon after the leaves and are in full bloom within a week. ...Fruits that result from flower pollination usually mature ...


8

This is impossible to answer unless you are willing to do an enormous amount of research. There is no single, or even just a few, databases of trails in the US. The national trail lists generally only contain the larger multi-state trails (like the AT, PCT, etc) and some of the larger regional trails, but these are the tip of the iceberg. I'm guessing, ...


8

Each species and possibly even each individual animal will behave very differently. A good rule of thumb is: if wildlife reacts to you, you are too close. I think this is the most general way to answer you question and has the benefit of giving you instantaneous feedback. If the animal looks straight at you, back off until it resumes what it was doing. The ...


8

I don't think you need to bypass them at all. You didn't say what time of year you'd be going, but in the later summer/fall, they are not nearly that deep. Also, at any time of year you could easily carry your pack(s) across, then go back and piggy-back your son with a 2nd trip. The first trip would also give you a feel for how rough the crossing would ...


8

Throughout the entire US the law boils down to this: Whether government or citizen owned, you cannot travel on land without the landowners permission. Doing can result in charges from criminal trespass to much, much worse (in the case of some private government lands). So you'll need permission. In short, for each part of your journey. Find who owns ...


8

In the United States, a lot of climbers use www.mountainproject.com (MP) to document outdoor climbs and first ascents. If you discover a new boulder problem or bolt a new route, you could submit it here and enter any first ascent (FA) information. See example below: Some climbs had first ascents way before MP came about, so there are discussion boards for ...


7

According to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, American Robins are indeed found in wild places like woodlands, forests, and mountains. Because worms hibernate, the winter robins feed primarily on berries, found on trees and shrubs in the woods. The Ohio Division of Wildlife lists robins as native to Ohio. Some migrators travel through but there is a ...


7

I haven't been diving/snorkeling in 10 years. But, back then I was looking at the U.S. Virgin Islands because the dive/travel websites and travel books I read told of nice snorkeling beaches on those Islands that were easily accessible and not crowded at all. Back then those islands were overlooked and not crowded. I never made it there. I'm not sure about ...


7

I'm not familiar with the Wichita refuge; my bison experience comes from the Yellowstone area. That said, I would never describe bison as being particularly "active": they spend most of their time either resting or grazing, with the herd slowly moving on to uneaten patches of grass. If you want to see bison running around, mating season (on the Wichita ...


7

Possibly crayfish burrows or "chimneys". Identifying by burrow holes can be tricky though. Are they near any water? That would increase the likelyhood that they are crayfish burrows. Similar examples: http://www.pbase.com/red_slough_wma/image/142389118 Crawfish chimneys are smokestack-looking stacks of mud that appear in fields and yards in the ...


6

You may like the look, but those trees are in the process of being killed by a nasty invasive, Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus). It is one of the more common invasives in MA. There have been many things writting about this invasive. It's been on any list of invasive plants in MA that I've seen. Do a search and you'll see. DCR (MA Department ...


6

You can get a weather forecast for Zion here. As you can see, daytime temps are about freezing or slightly above by night temps can drop pretty low. In my opinion camping in -10 to -15 C is pretty cold and you need to have the right gear, although its definitely possible. Obviously make sure you have suitably warm clothes, a decent tent and you'll probably ...


6

As to the OP's question: The answer is Most Probably Not. From http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2723&q=345000, a State of Connecticut publication on the Eastern Chipmunk: There is no difference in appearance between males and females. From How to tell if the Chipmunk is male or female •Pick your chipmunk up with your hands and place ...


6

The National Weather Service offers a REST Web Service to provide forecast data in XML format. You can request forecast data using latitude and longitude, start and end dates, and forecast data element. If you have an DeLorme inReach satellite communicator, you're in luck as someone has already set up an experimental service to parse messages from it and ...


6

There is a big difference between a 'non-profit' organisation and just doing something on a casual basis without asking for payment. Obviously if you are advertising your services in any way then there is a good chance that you would be considered to be a business regardless of whether you ask for payment. Note that in most jurisdictions charitable and non-...


5

I think part of the answer to your question relates to WHERE in the Rockies you'll be visiting. Will you be in an area that is not visited much by humans, or will you be visiting a high-traffic area such as a national park or other popular tourist destination? If you will be hiking through an area that has few or sporadic hikers, then you really have ...


5

Possible culprits: Opossums: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6D-iFOsRhJ4 Raccoons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAG0V1AauJs Badgers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwrG_HdH2oY Foxes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPLJ0Gbu5D8 Porcupines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_yoCesDLhg Skunks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfrXnBMnNvg There ...


5

Quick List: Mountain Lions Bobcats Coyotes Rattle Snakes Scorpions Feral Burros Feral Horses Desert Bighorn Sheep Black Widow Spiders Red Rock Canyon & Valley of Fire have very heavy human visitation, so any large predators are likely to be scarce (Mountain Lions & Bobcats). Coyotes are present, but unless cornered will not give you any ...


5

The robin should be quite capable of building the nest on her own. Almost anywhere there should be enough dried grass and small twigs around. It is unlikely your robin is having trouble finding building material. The best thing you can do for the robin family is to give them space. For your own enjoyment and perhaps that of others, you might install a ...


5

There is no universal answer. Each property is managed separately, so the only real answer is you have to ask the management of each property that you intend to camp in. By separate property, I mean individual National Forests, for example, not the whole National Forest system. Within any one forest, there will likely be restrictions by location, time of ...


5

As to answer what areas may be more likely to allow backcountry camping, I usually look at the two following things. If you are unsure where to start, I would consider any long trails in the vicinity of where you want to backpack. Popular long trails, such as the AT, PCT & etc. allow you to camp mostly anywhere around the trail. There are some ...


4

I've certainly seen robins in woods (I'm in Scotland) but I've also noticed how much the populations of different bird species vary with location. There might just not be that many robins in your local woodland. Edit: American robins and European robins are apparently quite different. However, my comment above is probably still valid.


4

You don't see robins in the woods for the same reason you don't see prarie dogs there either; it's not their habitat. Notice that most of the time when you see a robin, it's hopping along the ground in some open space, or in a tree near some open space.


4

This is my answer to your question, I am new here but I really enjoy this type of thing. In 2011, we had a very bad tornado come through our property. After that I have heard 4-5 new bird calls, which I have never before around here (Tennessee), and 2 at night. If you think back to when you first heard this bird, had there been any bad storms where you live? ...


4

Bears behave differently in places where they are used to a lot of human activity vs places where they are generally left alone. They learn and adapt. For example, in the Adirondacks in NY, bears have become adept at recognizing and grabbing human food from "bear bags" (food hung from a tree, theoretically out of reach on a limb that won't support the bear's ...


4

I was pleased to see the photos of the burls; it's been some time since I had thought of all of the splendid uses Native Americans and others had found for burls, so I hope no-one minds my digression. Burls are caused by wounds to trees, as has been mentioned. But far from making the tree unattractive, burls had been valued! They had been sought out by ...



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