Hikers on Kesugi Ridge observe a large abundance of Rusty Tussock Caterpillars all over cairns marking the trail from Coal Creek to Byre's Lake. They swarmed on the hiker's bodies and packs and from a distance covered structures to the point where they looked black.
The snowfall that came in the relatively mild Christmas season, was followed by severe cold and has caused the snow to freeze to bark and needles on conifers. The snow that now comes, settles on the branches in thick layers and is becoming heavier to carry.
The unthinkable (ripe Alaska walnuts) a few decades ago is potentially our new reality as our climate continues to shift (warmer summers and longer falls). As our climatic parameters shift, so does our opportunity to diversify our edible plantings!
The Hemlock Looper Moth outbreak is said to last between 3-4 years and now coincides with an outbreak of Phantom Hemlock Looper which saw its last outbreak more than a decade ago.
In the last few years, I have observed a significant die-off of Western red cedar in several high traffic and peripheral areas of Pacific Spirit Regional Park (PSRP). The majority of the cedar trees I saw were noticeably consumed by browning, small, and young, with most likely more shallow root systems. This is consistent with vegetative stress to which young trees have not developed resilience, but older trees may be less impacted