Category Archives: Nature Walks

GVM Natural History Report Online

Manhead Mtn Photo
Manhead Mountain in Glacier View Meadows, CO (Photo by Jim Erdman)

In October 2012 Jim Erdman submitted a 26-page report http://mummyrangeinstitute.org/glacier-view-natural-history.pdf  to the Mummy Range Institute which has featured it on their website.  It is a “must read” for those of us who love the ecology, geology and beauty of GVM. Thank you Jim for your lucid writing and beautiful photos! For more information on the important work being done by the Mummy Institute, visit their website http://mummyrangeinstitute.org/.

Pheromone Pouch on Old Ponderosa

Pouch Ponderosa
Pouch placed on this Ponderosa

7/7/2011 Email from Wynne: “I put pheromones on a 500 yr. old tree (one we looked at with Jim Erdman on walk ? 2 yrs. ago, who determined the age)—trunk curls around a big rock. ”    Thanks Wynne!

More information from Jim E. about the old Ponderosa in the Haystack USFS Property:

“I looked at the core, one of two I’d taken from opposite sides of that tree 1/20/’09; both hit punk ~5 inches in.  I labeled it ‘2nd Meadow Ponderosa.’  Laurie Huckaby did her usual keen followup dating from mine and got an inside ring date of 1737 into the heartwood – a mere 271 years on a tree with a 2 foot DBH (diameter breast height).  The rings that spanned 1800-1900 were ~1 inch long on the core. So it could well be ~500 years old, among the oldest cohort ponderosas in this area – the 1500s, a favorable century for reproduction.  During the last decade, the years 2002 & 2006 appear as micro-rings for that period, especially very little dark latewood.
Jim
* Every time I look at my cores that Laurie dated over the past couple years, I’m amazed at how her penciled writings and other notations can be so tiny!  You’ve got to see the cores for yourselves. “

Sept Flowers, Tree History featured on Nature Walk

9/7/2009 Jim E. led a nature walk in the Forest Service inholding at Haystack Dr with Andre, Ellen, Judy, Karen D., Mary, Warren & Wynne on a partly sunny September afternoon. We started with an overview by Jim’s truck with a poster that included a table entitled “The World’s Oldest Known Trees,” and displays of annual sunflower, valerian root, and fetid marigold. Jim passed around the valerian root (the plant is called edible valerian or tobacco root) for us to smell and he read about its medicinal uses

Trees:  Jim showed the trees that he identified for Laurie Huckaby and John Popp, of the U.S. Forest Service,  as potentially very old trees from the 1500s. He pointed out these old trees may have survived due to protection by surrounding rocks.

10/16/09 Jim emailed additional information: “During the May 20th outing with Laurie Huckaby, the local USFS’s key researcher on the fire history of this northern region, she said the few old meadow trees belonged to that ~1500 A.D. cohort, a period of ample moisture. Indeed, she’d cored a large ponderosa in that cluster, untouched by beetles. The pith date: 1575, with her estimated real age of 1535. Yet she’s found 700-800 year-old ponderosas up in the Red Mountain area to the north. Roughly 200-year intervals occur between cohorts, established during off-year drought cycles. The oldest known ponderosa — 880-890 — was found in Utah. That, based on a table, ‘The World’s Oldest Known Trees’ in a USGS/USFS poster (no date), Colorado’s Ancient Trees.”

Mountain Pine beetle: We saw several pine beetle-infested trees that had been cut down within a cluster of infested trees. The wood was then stacked and wrapped in plastic by the U.S. Forest service.

Flowers: yarrow, blanket flower, gumweed, black-eyed susan, smooth white aster or Porter aster, valerian, yellow owl-clover, yellow sweet-clover, bottle gentian, tansy aster, golden aster,

Grasses: squirreltail, shortawn foxtail, June-grass, timothy.

POSTPONED:Mountain Pine Beetle Field Trip: Sunday May 31

Beetle-infested Ponderosa
Beetle-infested Ponderosa
Directions to Beetle Tour
Directions to Beetle Tour

5/31/09 2:00pm update: Our outing is postponed due to rain and lightning.  

5/29/09 update: James emailed that the meeting place this Sunday at 3:00pm will be at the forest service land near the end of Haystack Drive, where it turns into Manhead Mountain Dr., ~2 miles in from Gate 10

5/26/09 Forester James White emailed: “I am available on Sunday May 31st at 3:00 PM for a field trip to sharpen our skills in beetle detection. I am asking for recommended areas that have known beetle trees where we can look at mortal and partial hits and possibly look at next years likely candidates. Please e-mail me if you have some recommendations. Thanks, James”

Possible Spring Nature Walk

Ponderosa cored recently
Ponderosa cored recently

Jim Erdman is hoping to lead a spring nature walk on forest ecology and fire history, if he can enlist his U.S. Forest Service colleague, Laurie Huckaby to visit GVM. Her most recent analysis is of a tree Jim showed Wynne and the rest of us on our Nov 1, 2008 nature walk, see photo. Laurie agreed with Jim that this tree may be at least 400-500 years old (click “more…”for details). Continue reading Possible Spring Nature Walk

GVM Nature Walk Nov 1,2008

Jim Erdman led an informative nature walk November 1, 2008, from 9-11am. We met at his house for an introduction to Colorado forest history. Jim set up a demonstration in his driveway, cleverly using his truck as a prop: the side door was used to display a poster on Colorado’s oldest trees and the truck bed held a dissecting scope, tree-ring cores, and trunk cross sections. Next we then set off on a hike to look at several sites Jim had selected. See photos below. Thanks Jim!