Αρχεία Ημερολογίου για Οκτώβριος 2017

Οκτώβριος 28, 2017

Looking for Lewisia leeana in 2016

This was not a great year for exploration. I spent a total of less than two weeks in the field. The only trip I took to a new area was a disappointment. Even though we had better than normal precipitation, the mountains were still dry after the previous three years of drought.

13-14 June My first trip was a bust because the first night out, I realized that our wedding anniversary was two days away. I failed to see any Lewisia leeana on the trip.

See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2016/6/13

12-15 July The second trip in mid-July to Woodchuck Lake was productive. I went down the creek toward Upper Box, climbed the hill north of the lake and explored the ridge east of it. I made 49 observations of L. leeana. See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2016/7/12

27-28 July The third trip in late July was to an area I had never visited. I originally planned to hike to Bear Mountain. After crossing from Nelson Lakes to Chinquapin Lakes I changed my mind. It was so dry, barely anything was still in bloom. I saw no L. leeana at the higher elevations which was very discouraging. I turned around after one night and went home. See:https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2016/7/27

24-27 August My last trip was a return to Spanish Mountain. I explored the area surrounding Upper Geraldine Lake. L. leeana was not in bloom and the plants were very dry. A highlight of the trip was a climb up Spanish Mountain where I saw one of the densest stands of L. leeana I have ever seen. Unfortunately, they were not blooming. I made 36 observations of L. leeana. Not a single plant was blooming.
See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2016/8/24

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Duck Lake 17-18 July 2017

With a huge snowpack, my first trip to Sierra National Forest where I am studying the distribution of Lewisia leeana was delayed until mid-July. The trip was not disappointing. The ridge east of Duck Lake hosts the densest stand of L. leeana I have ever seen. The plants were healthy and in full bloom.1

1 https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2017/7/18

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Geraldine Lakes 25-27 July 2017

In 2016, I observed the densest stand of Lewisia leeana I had ever seen.1 It was on the north flank of Spanish Mountain and the purpose of this trip was to revisit it in hopes I could see it in bloom. It wasn't in bloom because the snow had recently melted off of it. The gully to the west was choked with snow and an easy way up Spanish Mountain was not evident. I saw western anemone nearby which I had seen in fruit a year earlier. I returned north and walked on the north side of the divide between Geraldine Lake and the Rancheria Creek Drainage, making a number of observations in the process.2

1 https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3991112
2 https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2017/7/26

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Scepter Lake 2-3 August 2017

I planned a five day trip to the Blackcap Basin which was aborted due to mosquito density. My destination for the day was Scepter Lake via Chuck Pass. I went cross country from the Little Rancheria/Woodchuck divide and passed through prime Lewisia leeana country to Chuck Pass. At the pass, I contoured around the ridge to the north, finding no L. leeana and eventually being turned down slope by massive talus piles. Eventually, I found my way back to the trail and hiked on to Scepter Lake. Heeding the advice of a couple of hikers I had met west of the Duck Lake turnoff that morning, I set up my tent. They suggested I pitch my tent to avoid being drenched by afternoon showers. Almost as soon as my tent was up I was in it and protected from a massive deluge which lasted a couple of hours. Mosquitoes were out as soon as the rain stopped and I wondered if I would be able to continue on.

The next morning, the mosquitoes continued to plague me and I decided to return home. My modified route took me past Crown Lake to Crown Pass and to the summit of the ridge east of Woodchuck Lake. I made numerous observations of L. leeana on the ridge and on my way back to trail. Showers and mosquitoes convinced be to get home as soon as I could. Even though I was turned back by rain and mosquitoes, I made 41 observations of L. leeana and two species new to me, shaggy lupine and giant red Indian paintbrush. See: https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2017/8/2

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Bear Mountain 16-18 August 2017

Was it Bald Mountain or Bear Mountain?

Three years ago, I wrote in my journal on iNaturalist about a trip up Bald Mountain.1 I was inspired to go up Bald Mountain by an observation of Lewisia leeana made by Hall and Chandler in 1900.2 I found no L. leeana up there and the environment did not look suitable for it. The summit of Bald Mountain (7,826) is almost 1,000 feet lower than than the lowest known elevation for L. leeana anywhere else in Fresno County (8,713'GPS, 8,720'map).3 It is more than eight miles west of Dinkey Lakes, where the nearest other observations of L. leeana have been made. In her comment to that journal post, Belinda Lo, aka belinda on iNaturalist, noticed that Hall and Chandler recorded an elevation of 9,000 feet for their observation and she wondered if it was possible they could have recorded the wrong name. She pointed out that the nearest peak with close to that elevation was Bear Peak [actually Bear Mountain]. I thought, Bear is similar to Bare, could be possible.

In 2016, I headed into new territory. I had never used the Cliff Lake Trailhead and I was going to try to get to Bear Mountain from there. I went to Nelson Lakes and crossed the divide to their west, and stayed at Chinquapin Lakes. Despite decent snow fall the previous winter and spring, the Chinquapin Lake area was extremely dry. There was no hint of L. leeana in the area and nothing else was blooming. I was so discouraged, I turned around and came home the next day without even attempting to continue to Bear Mountain.

On 16 August 2017, I decide to try for Bear Mountain again. The way was familiar to Chinquapin Lakes but became more difficult to follow after that. Finally, I made it to Sportsman Lake where I set up camp. There was plenty of light left after finishing dinner, so I went up the slope north of camp where there were plenty of plants in view. I made several observations on the way to the top of the ridge and crossed over to the other side. To my delight, I spotted L. leeana and recorded three observations of it.5

The next day, I headed for Bear Mountain. I stayed near the top of the ridge west of Sportsman Lake and managed to make several more observations on the ridge's north flank before reaching the Swamp Lake four wheel drive trail. I continued westward and saw many more L. leeana plants until I stopping halfway up Bear Mountain.6 Without seeing Hall and Chandler's field notes, I'm convinced that this is where they found L. leeana, not Bald Mountain.

1 https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/sekihiker/3298-day-on-bald-mountain
2 http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_consort.pl?taxon_name=Lewisia+leeana&county=06019
3 https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/819752
Since then lowered to 8,640 feet, see: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1818140
4 http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/819752
5 https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2017/8/16
6 https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2017/8/17

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Dinkey Lakes 23-25 August 2017

This was my second trip out of Cliff Lake Trailhead this year and it turned out to be as fruitful as the first. It was my first trip beyond the Nelson Lake turnoff. The trail remains heavily forested to Cliff Lake and to the pass leading to Dinkey Lakes. The purpose of my hikes for the past several years has been to document the areal extent of Lewisia leeana and this was one of the most fruitful I have taken.

During the hike to Cliff Lake, I was distracted by 18 plants and one amphibian. Three of them were new to me. They included bud saxifrage (Micranthes bryophora), muskflower (Mimulus moschatus)and a Sierran treefrog (Pseudacris sierra).

A little before noon as I approched Cliff Lake, I made my first observation of Lewisia leeana. I wasn't expecting to see it because it had never been reported in the area. Near the inlet stream at the north end of Cliff Lake, I observed L. leeana in the wettest environment I have ever seen it and it was surrounded by moss. During the hike to the divide, I made a total of 13 observations of L. leeana. L. leeana was not as abundant on the north side of the divide until I got to Rock Lake. During the remainder of 23 August, I made eight more observations of L. leeana.
See : https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2017/8/23

On 24 August I divided my time between two areas in Dinkey Lakes. During the morning, I hiked from my camp at Second Dinkey Lake to Island Lake down to Fingerbowl Lake and back to Island Lake via a different route. The granite ridge north of the trail between Second Dinkey and Island was barren of L. leeana and I didn't see any of it until I crossed the Island Lake outlet stream. The slopes between Island Lake and Fingerbowl Lake were a different matter - I made 20 observations in that area. Returning to Second Dinkey I walked the ridge south of it, returning via a more westerly route. I made 20 more observations of L. leeana on that circuit.
See : https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2017/8/24

I decided to return home on 25 August. I made a couple of more observations of L. leeana north of the divide. South of the divide I took the Bullfrog Lake trail and made an additional 25 observations of L. leeana on the way to the trailhead. In addition, I made my first observation of ballhead sandwort (Eremogone congesta).
See : https://www.inaturalist.org/calendar/sekihiker/2017/8/25

The Dinkey Lakes area has more observations of L. leeana in the Calflora database and iNaturalist than anywhere else in Fresno County. It is heavily visited because of its beauty and more recently due to its easy access. I visited about half the area and the density of L. leeana was at least equal to anywhere I've been.

Αναρτήθηκε στις Οκτώβριος 28, 2017 0311 ΠΜ από sekihiker sekihiker | 2σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο