Northwest People

mg_60251.jpg?w=200 Outward Bound Instructor Jacob Anderson climbing the Horsefly couloire on Reynolds Peak, Sawtooth Range, North Cascades, Washingtion.
mg_55381.jpg?w=300 Naturalist Marcus Reynerson inspects a black bear den discovered by David Scott who looks on along with Gabe Spence and Brian McConnell. Western Washington.
moskowitz-10132.jpg?w=200 Climbing guide Forest McBrian shows off some stylin’ moves. Bellingham, Washington.
moskowitz-16681.jpg?w=300 A taste of winter for Emily Gibson.Washington Cascades.
Casey McFarland prepares goose feathers for photographing for his forthcoming text on Bird Feathers of North America (co-author David Scott). Redmond, Washington.
Naturalist Emily Gibson inspects a marsh wren nest she discovered. Potholes, WA
Darcy Ottey on a sunny fall day in the Cascades
Rosa Levin taking a photograph,North Cascades, Washington
Mountaineer Steve Smith applies sunscreen on a bright day.Ragged Ridge, North Cascades Washington.
Forest McBrian reflects on life and love. Nisqually Wildlife Refuge, Puget Sound Washington.
Bling Bling takes a well earned rest bellow High pass. Glacier Peak Wilderness, Washington.
Drawing badger tracks from a plaster cast.Vashon Island, Washington.

 

Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest

WILDLIFE OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST Tracking and Identifying Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates

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written, photographed, and illustrated byDAVID MOSKOWITZ

A TIMBER PRESSS FIELD GUIDE

SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE ON APRIL 28, 2010

Now available. Purchase your copy through www.davidmoskowitz.net and support the author and the educational mission of Wilderness Awareness School!

Wild animals fascinate, yet are rarely seen. It is possible, though — if you know what to look for and where, and if you understand what you see — to increase your chances of wildlife sightings, whether you are far from civilization or right in your own backyard. Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest includes illustrated descriptions for more than 180 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates most common in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, northern California, Idaho, and western Montana. With more than 460 photographs, hundreds of scale drawings, and more than 90 distribution maps, it belongs in every pack and is a must-have for nature lovers of all ages and skill levels.

David Moskowitz, a professional wildlife tracker, photographer, and outdoor educator, has been studying wildlife and tracking in the Pacific Northwest since 1995. He has contributed his technical expertise to a wide variety of wildlife studies regionally and in the Canadian and U.S. Rocky mountains, focusing on using tracking and other non-invasive methods to study wildlife ecology and promote conservation. David has worked on projects studying rare forest carnivores, wolves, elk, Caspian terns, desert plant ecology, and trophic cascades. He helped establish the Cascade Citizens Wildlife Monitoring Project, a citizen science effort to search for and monitor rare and sensitive wildlife in the Cascades and other Northwest wildlands. David’s extensive experience as an outdoor educator includes training mountaineering instructors for Outward Bound, leading wilderness expeditions throughout the western United States and in Alaska, teaching natural history seminars, and as the lead instructor for wildlife tracking programs at Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, Washington. David holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and outdoor education from Prescott College. View his photography and find out about classes at www.davidmoskowitz.net.

Paperback Flexibind
Pages: 364 pp. 
Images: 464 color photos, 213 line drawings and 93 maps 

Tracks In Snow, Winter 2009-2010

moskowitz-18481.jpg?w=200 American marten (Martes americana)left hind track. North Cascades, Washington.
mg_1157.jpg?w=200 Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)hind track. Northern Rockies, Montana.
mg_1376.jpg?w=200 Mountain lion (Puma concolor)left front track. Northern Rockies, Montana.
mg_1485.jpg?w=200 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis)left front below left hind tracks. Northern Rockies, Montana.
moskowitz-1227.jpg?w=200 Moose (Alces alces)hind track. Northern Rockies, Montana.

 

PACIFIC NORTHWEST LANDSCAPES

moskowitz-1653.jpg?w=200 Ponderosa pine and hoar frost.East slope Cascades, Washington
moskowitz-1204.jpg?w=300 Kintla Lake.Glacier National Park, Montana
Mount Shuksan and the north fork of the Nooksack river.North Cascades, WA.
Hoar frost on snags.North Cascades, WA.
Sunrise over Mount Redoubt.North Cascades, Washington
Mountain stream west of Whatcom Pass.North Cascades, Washington.
Rogers Lake and Tiffany Peak, site of the Tripod Fire.Okanogan Highlands, north-central Washington.
Beargrass, Cornice peak. Selkirk mountains, southeastern British Columbia.
Sunrise in the Selkirk mountains, northeastern Washington
Kendell Peak ridgeline, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington Cascades
Southeastern Oregon
Balsamroot in the Tieton River Canyon. East slope Washington Cascades
Mount Baker and Mount Fury at Sunrise. North Cascades.
Northern California Coast

 

Pickets Traverse

Forest McBrian climbing into a col on the south side of Mount Fury.
Whatcom Peak, the northern start of the Pickets range
Challanger Glacier, the largest glacier in this part of the North Cascades
Forest McBrian hiking out of Luna Cirque with the massive north face of Mount Fury rising on the left and Luna lake below.
Southern Pickets from the north. Left to right: East McMillian Spire, West McMillian Spire, Inspiration Peak, Mount Dagenhart, Mount Terror
Forest McBrian traversing south along the ridge leading to Picket Pass, what Fred Beckey might refer to as “pleasant hiking”.
Forest on the Mustard glacier, part of our travel route over the southern Pickets.
Forest making the transition from the icy glacier to the steep wet rock which lead to the col between the Ottohorn and Himelhorn peaks and our route out of the Pickets. This section of the route was the most technically challenging piece of the entire traverse in the conditions we encountered it.
Last views to the north before we dropped down and south out of probably the most wild and remote section of the North Cascades. Mount Fury and Luna Peak in the distance.
One last major obstacle descending south off of our last col, a steep gully (an eroded volcanic dike of which there were a number in the range which presented difficulties along the traverse) filled with large quantities of loose rocks. The light at the end of the chasm couldn’t come soon enough.
Luna Peak at sunrise from the south

 

Climbing in the North Cascades

Samantha Goff and Matt Chalmers, filled with anticipation at the start of our trip into the Eldorado Peak high camp.
Samantha and Matt on the Inspiration Glacier on the approach to the West Arete of Eldorado Peak.
Samantha smiling at our first view of the route from the Dorado Needle Col which separates the McAlester Glacier from the Marble Creek Cirque. The climbing route is esentially the right skyline
Samantha at a belay ledge soon after getting on the arete, just above the layer of clouds which filled the Marble Creek drainage.
Happy faces after enduring an unplanned bivouac high on the west face.
Samantha looking up towards the summit as Matt leads the final pitch of the route. Dorado Needle and Early Morning Spire in the background.
Looking south from the summit across a sea of clouds with only the highest peaks of the North Cascades jutting up like islands.
Johannesburg Mountain in the foreground.
The south ridge of Eldorado Peak and the Eldorado Glacier.
Inspecting the descent off of the snow arete on the south ridge of Eldorado.
Forbidden Peak, the Forbidden Glacier and Moraine Lake with part of the Inspiration Glacier in the foreground, taken from our camp at the base of Eldorado’s east ridge.
Samantha leading out across the McAlester glacier towards Dorado Needle.
Samantha navigating the north ridge of Dorado Needle.
Myself at a belay ledge on Dorado Needle.
The massive west face of Eldorado Peak briefly poked out of the clouds while we were on Dorado Needle.
Samantha leading out on the final pitch on Dorado Needle.
Matt nearing the summit.
Matt navigating the final piece of the ridge, a knife edge section which he is climbing “au cheval”.
Samantha belaying from just below the summit.
Soaking wet from a long descent in pouring rain, Samantha completes a successful trip with the safe retrieval of several cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer from the Cascade River.

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Wolf Tracking in the Salmon River Mountains, Idaho

The landscape, typical of the mountains of central Idaho shows conifer forests, dominated by lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) in various stages of regeneration after naturally occuring fires. Interspersed are large wet and dry meadow systems.
Don Taves inspects the trail of a wolf trotting down a dirt road.
The right front foot of a large wolf. The toes have splayed widely and the claws of each digit have dug in deeply, including in the reduced inside toe due to the fast speed of this animal. The bounding trail of this wolf was adjacent to the trail of two fleeing mule deer indicating a pursuit (apparently unsuccessful for the wolf).
A pine marten (Martes americana) peers down from a safe perch.
Sandhill crane (Grus canadensis) in flight. Cranes breed and rear young in the vast wet meadow systems of central Idaho.
Columbian ground squirrels (Spermophilus columbianus) at a burrow.
Rocky mountain elk (Cervus elaphus)
Students in Wilderness Awareness School’s Idaho Wolf Tracking Expedition hiking out across Corduroy meadows at the southern end of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness towards the end of a long day in the field searching for and following wolf tracks and signs.

 

A Northern Pocket Gopher (Thomomys talpoides) Hard at Work.

The gopher had just begun to expell earth when I discovered him hard at work.
The exposed gopher quickly pushes soil out of his hole and then retreats back to a safer position to observe its surroundings.
The completed throw mound with the hole plugged at the base of it. Throw mounds are produced in the process of creating underground tunnels the pocket gopher uses for accessing food (roots and vegetation), as well as sleeping chambers, food storage spaces, and latrines.
The finished throw mound with the tent I was staying in the background.

Pocket gophers are prodigious soil movers. Though seldom seen, the throw mounds they create are conspicuous in areas they inhabit. Mounds are often confused with those produced by moles. However, as seen here, gophers produce fan shaped mounds expelling dirt from a hole to one side of the mound of soil which is plugged afterwards. Moles expel earth from a hole which come straight up out of the ground and the resulting mound of soil is generally evenly dispersed to all sides of the plugged hole when complete.I had the opportunity to photograph this creature while it worked right in the middle of where I was camped and could thus leisurely photograph and drink a cup of tea as the sun rose one May morning in Western Colorado over the course of an hour, an unusual pleasure while photographing elusive wild creatures.

Western Colorado: Aspen forests and Wildlife of the High Lonesome Ranch

Aspen stand at about 8500′ elevation on the western edge of the Rocky mountains
Aspen stand with bear climbing marks and elk cambium feeding scars on trees in the foreground. Many aspen stands in the southern Rockies are dying for reasons that are not yet totally clear. Aspen stands are generally comprised of one or a few individual organisms (called “Clones”) each of which sends up multiple trunks. About half of the mature trunks in the patch are dead.
Entrance and throw-mound of a bear den found on a steep forested northwest facing slope close to a ridge line at about 8200′ elevation.
Close up of the internal chamber of the den. The den was only about 4′ deep
Dewitt Daggett gets a close look at the den.
Rocky mountain elk at sunrise with stunted aspen in the background.
Incisor marks from an elk feeding on the bark of an aspen. Barking of aspens by elk can have extensive impacts on aspen stands. Along with the bark, elk, deer and cattle also feed on the branch tips of saplings stunting their growth and retarding recruitment of young trees where browsing pressure is intense.
A red-naped sapsucker paused from excavating a new cavity in a dead aspen tree. Cavities excavated by woodpeckers are used by a wide variety of other birds and mammals as nests once abandoned by the woodpecker.
A female Purple Martin looking out from its nest cavity in a standing dead aspen tree. In this same tree was also a nest cavity being used by a house wren.
Female and male Purple Martins courting close to their nest cavity.
Female collecting dead aspen bark to line her nest cavity.
Mule deer resting in the shade of a Douglas fir during the midday heat.
Large scrape made by a mountain lion under a large Douglas fir at along a ridge. This scrape has been visited and enlarged over repeated visits by the cat. Scrapes such as these are a scent marking behavior performed by both bobcats and cougars.
Looking northwest across the western edge of the Rocky Mountains at sunset.
Sunset and aspens

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Wildlife Tracks and Signs

River otter trail with a slide down a short slope.North Cascades, WA
Porcupine, fast walk track pattern. Umpqua Dunes, Oregon Coast
Mountain Lion and Black-tailed Deer tracks in mud. Skagit River, Washington.
Canada lynx, walking trail wending through fresh snow. North Cascades, Washington
Pellets of 3 Pacific Northwest Lagomorphs:Black-tailed jackrabbit (left), Nuttal’s cottontail (center), Pygmy rabbit (right) Southeastern Oregon.
Black bear claw marks on a Ponderosa pine tree. Northwestern Montana.
Northern River Otter. Right hind foot. Puget Sound, Washington
Coyote tracks, front (bellow) and hind (above). Oregon Coast.

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