by Pam Willison, OSNA Chairperson
Ten hearty volunteers arrived at Owen Sowerwine on October 9th and spent about 3 hours on various projects. It started as a crisp and chilly morning, but gave way to some sunshine and the slightly warmer temperatures as they got to work. Thank you so much to everyone!
Rod, Cory, Shannon and Bridger made quick work of some trail improvements at the Greenridge entrance, installing 4 water bars and leveling a few areas of the trail. After working at the entrance, Cory joined Cindy and Tom who had undertaken improvements on the viewing blinds of the Education Trail, gathering and stacking fallen limbs and sticks to make the two blinds longer and taller. Shannon leveled the area under the sitting bench off of the Main Trail, and secured it in place with a locking cable because it had been wandering away – down the bank, into the adjacent bushes, etc.
Shannon also joined Bridger who came prepared to locate and clear all the nesting boxes so they will be ready in the spring for new occupants. The two of them walked nearly the entire perimeter of the Mainland area to find each box. Bridger reported finding evidence of a couple boxes being used for nesting, a dried-up hornet nest, an accumulation of dried grass, and a cache of dried mushrooms. The mushrooms were an interesting find because the nesting boxes have a predator guard, so there was some speculation about a flying squirrel caching the mushrooms.
Meanwhile, the kiosk was getting a much needed “sprucing up”. Kay, Alice, Susie, and Pam spent their time removing the plexiglass and of all faded printed material from the kiosk and masking and repainting the white side. Updated versions of the printed material were arranged on the two sides of the kiosk, including an up-to-date OSNA bird list, and the freshly cleaned plexiglass was replaced. Be sure you take a look at it, because it looks clean and renewed.
Thanks to the volunteers for giving up a Saturday morning to help keep Owen Sowerwine in good shape. Owen Sowerwine is an amazing area and we hope everyone gets a chance to visit at various times of the year. The management and on-the-ground work by volunteers, FAS members, and the Board of Flathead Audubon provide a valuable resource to the birds and critters who call it home and share it with the people who visit.