I was fortunate enough to observe a Thick-billed Fox Sparrow (Passeralli iliac megarhynchaon) on a recent visit to Loon Lake in the Eldorado National Forest. This large sparrow is a fall to spring visitor in our area but not one that I have recognized before. So, it was a treat. Now that I Observed and identified it, maybe I’ll see some in this area.
Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution!
Today I am featuring some special trees: The The Great Basin Brisltecone Pine (Pinus longevea), the Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and the Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum). Most of the images are from California but one comes from Great Basin National Park in Nevada.
There are only 8 groves of the Giant Sequoia in the world. They are all located in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. These wonders grow more than 300 feet tall with diameters that exceed 50 feet. The branches on these trees are often bigger than the trunks of trees I see every day.
The Coastal Redwood is found only along the coasts of Northern California with just a slight incursion into Oregon. These trees are the tallest in the world, reaching heights in excess of 375 feet and diameters in excess of 30 feet. Many of these trees are over 600 years old with the oldest known tree 2,200 years old.
The Bristlecone pines are small, gnarled, ancient trees some of which have lived more than 5,000 years. They grow at high altitudes and like poor soil conditions. They are tough old buggers.
Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution
Today I am sharing images of various mountain peaks we see as we travel along US Route 395 in eastern California. Highway 395 extends from the US-Canada border to its southern terminus in the Mojave Desert at I-15 near Hiperia. Much of its way through California it traverses desert valleys sandwiched between the Sierra Nevada mountains and the White-Inyo mountains. It is absolutely stunning scenic drive. For the adventurous, there is mountain hiking and climbing and fishing. There are back road drives into the mountains to scenic lakes and great vistas. There are attractions like Mono Lake with its Tufa, the Ghost Town Bodie, The Ancient Bristle Cone Pine Forest, the museum and remains of the Manzanar Internment Center from World War 2 and the Movie Museum in Lone Pine. If you’ve never explored this area, I strongly recommend you check it out.
Note: Please click on caption to see image at higher resolution.