Animals: While the change in animal life is harder to document as animals are so transitory I certainly found my fair share of them, and if not the animal itself, it's scat.

When I began I noticed the lizards who dominate the rocky dry riverbeds. By no means numerous they were still easy to find. In the river itself I discovered a pair of Orange Bellied Newts which would become the focus for a interesting seasonal change in the biotic community. These Newts roamed about the small calm pools formed by rocks at the edge of the creek moving in and out of the shadows. Up stream I found more in similar locations, I could hardly go a yard without finding one. I wondered what the sugnifcance of finding them in the small pools was, were they hunting or hiding. Across the creek in a large sun-warmed pool I counted eight Newts at a glance as well a over fifteen Water Skimmers. The Water Skimmers are the staple of the creek, always present throughout the duration of my study, thought they varied in abundance, they were never absent and at this point were mating. In the pool by my rock I observed a unidentified walking rock aggregate insect roughly one inch in length. Along the shores the spiders had constructed numerous webs prompting me to theorize about the abundance of insects along a creek. As yet the insects were few but as I suspected this was a sign of things to come.

As it got closer to April and the plants began to bud and bloom the insects came out in force, attracted to the buds and blooms, particularly the Oregon Ash and the spiders responded with bigger webs. Other insect predators such as the birds began to become more numerous though none stayed long enough for me to catch a good glimpse of. Most were passerine though Turkey Vultures occasionally circled about. On my rock I noticed some animal scat, smooth, liquid and black in coloration with pine-needles in it about 2.5 X 1.5 inches. I theorized that I had left my sent on some animals rock and they were marking the territory as theirs. Though I would never catch a glimpse of the animal or identify it, at the end of April I was reminded of it's presence with another bit of fresh scat on the rock (again pine needles and leaves but this time more solid and with hair).

The Newts tell a particularly interesting story. As April arrived the Newts began to get scarce. As I looked about in their usual shady spots I could only find three. By the first weekend of April they had vanished all together not to appear again for the duration of my study. This seasonal shift in the animal biodiversity intrigued me and I wondered what caused the Newt disappearance and what effect it would have on the community. I noticed that the sun-warmed ponds where the Newts had been so abundant before were now empty of water and considered this as a factor in their absence.

No sooner had the Newts vanished than the minnows appeared, small brown and spotted I observed them only a few times. The river was markedly lower at this point and more shaded and I considered how temperature would be effecting the animals of the creek.

In the weeks to come the frogs would sound their voices in the evening and the ever present water skimmers would be on the rise but the Newts were only a memory now. Even with the advent of more rain at the end of April the Newts were no where to be found though the minnows were getting larger. By the end of my study the dominant animal life was quickly becoming the insects as the flowers continued their cycle of blooming. Even in the creek itself the insects were primary with not an amphibian in sight.