In a few hours, Oklahoma and Florida will play in the BCS Championship Game, putting an end to the college football season. I hope Oklahoma wins, but I'm a bit nervous because, lately, they tend to lose big bowl games.
The next big season for me is the bird nesting season. I stopped by Dawson Creek to see if any Great Horned Owls are staking out territories. I did not see any owls, but I was able to see some recent weather damage to trees.
The branches of this exotic oak have been bent to the ground by the weight of ice and snow.
This native white oak probably tipped over during the last few days due to the wet soil and high winds. I like to check out downed trees to examine the parts that I can't see when they are standing.
The leaf buds were growing at the tips of the branches.
A nice carpet of moss and lichens covered the trunk.
The trunk's wood was quite solid.
But some of the branches were rotting. Woodpeckers had carved a few holes in the softened wood.
Some fungi have colonized this piece.
When I returned home, I found that a new book had arrived. It is a field guide to the riparian forest in New Mexico where I have been conducting research for the last five years. Some of my results have been included in the natural history descriptions of insects and birds, and I was excited to see that I was credited in the acknowledgments. I will read through the book tonight during the many commercial breaks in the bowl game.