Monday, March 16, 2009

Iowa Floodplain

Decided to hit up some of the local woods. Walked about a mile or so back until I came to the floodplain of the West Fork of the Cedar River where I shifted gears and got out of the bottom and instead followed a couple of ridges until I came to the main tributary. Didn’t see much on the way but the tree community here is very different from the piney woods of the South I’ve spent so much time in as of late. Lots of Elm, Maples, Cherry, Oaks, and what look like Dogwoods (Cornus sp?). In any case, they are beautiful and the area looks like a great place to romp around in during the fall when the seasons are changing. I bet the winds coming through the trees are great when the leaves rattle about. The wind was brisk today, but there wasn’t much vegetation to react to the wind.

I was out in the woods today in part because this time of year is great for scavenging shed antlers since the trees haven’t leafed out quite yet and the visibility is high, but I didn’t really expect to find anything. I had been following a wet ditch, but I found a suitable place to cross and no sooner did I begin to cross through the brambles and up the other side of the ditch did I spot my prize. I crawled through a small (and I mean small) opening in the fence already established and found a nice 8 point buck carcass with the anterior in good shape, perhaps a young 2 year old as the base of the antlers weren’t very wide. There was a pretty decent shell of the animal present, so I had to drag the animal ~ 400 yards to retrieve a knife in order to remove the skull from the carcass.