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Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks / Giant Sequoia National Monument

Hmm, observation selection is kind of broken.

August 5-7, 2012.

I guess I'd heard "high Sierras" in the parks' descriptions and gotten the impression that the whole area was up over 7000 feet and would have perfect weather midsummer, but that was not the case! The foothills and canyon were blazingly hot. I went in the (lovely green, breathakingly cold) Kings River and within two minutes of getting out was completely air-dried. Also surprisingly populated for a weekday trip; all the reserveable campsites were completely full and I slept "dispersed" in the conveniently-adjacent national forest.

Particularly nice:
Star-filled night sky.
View from Moro Rock.
White-throated swifts shooting noisily past at approx. mach 3.

Caddisfly cases?
Leavis Flat campground by a creek.

Posted by sea-kangaroo sea-kangaroo, August 11, 2012 23:04

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

California Quail Callipepla californica

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 5, 2012

Description

A good-sized group of immature quail with little crests under an oak tree. Not that the photo turned out at all.

Photos / Sounds

What

Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 5, 2012

Description

Lots and lots of these all along the roads up in here, though they mostly eluded my camera.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Leavis Flat Campground.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Tuberculated Crab Spider Tmarus angulatus

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Leavis Flat Campground.

Small. When resting (didn't get a photo), held its legs bunched together and straight out, in a sort of T or X (I forget).

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Brewer's Angelica Angelica breweri

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Leavis Flat Campground.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Caddisflies Order Trichoptera

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Leavis Flat Campground.

I guess these are caddisfly larva cases? They seem kind of square, though. They were pretty small, stuck on securely, and had no discernible openings. They were on boulders in the creek, both above and below the water line.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Gray Squirrel Sciurus griseus

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Saw several.

Photos / Sounds

What

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel Callospermophilus lateralis

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Saw lots, including a couple groups of juveniles/immatures. (the photo is an adult, though)

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Lodgepole Chipmunk Neotamias speciosus

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Photo isn't great, but there were a lot of these guys and I got a pretty good look at most of them. All quite small, lots of white on the backs of the ears and behind the ears, stripes dark brown/bright white, tails reddish with black tips.

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant Sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Photos / Sounds

What

Groundsmoke Genus Gayophytum

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Columbine Aquilegia formosa

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

California Incense-Cedar Calocedrus decurrens

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Photos / Sounds

What

Crackling Forest Grasshopper Trimerotropis verruculata ssp. suffusa

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Yellow wings, blue on the "calf" of the jumping legs, sometimes but not always made sounds when flying away.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Manzanita Leafgall Aphid Tamalia coweni

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

I think this is the aphid and not the fungus (Exobasidium vaccini) because of the two different gall shapes, and because I don't recall the flatter ones being convex on the reverse side.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Fleabanes and Horseweeds Genus Erigeron

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Didn't get a photo of the leaves.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Just past Trail of 100 Giants/Redwood Meadow Campground.

Slithering rather slowly and awkwardly. Not sure if it was having trouble getting purchase on the road, if it was trying to keep on eye on me and escape at the same time, or if rattlesnakes are naturally kinda dopey (hadn't seen one actually moving before, usually they just sit).

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Egret Ardea alba

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Photos / Sounds

What

Sacred Datura Datura wrightii

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Devil's Trumpets Genus Datura

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Several species here, but I mean this for the orange one.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Crescent Meadow.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

American Black Bear Ursus americanus

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Evening in the Crescent Meadow area.

Only one cub. Saw a different mother/single cub pair farther west along the road, too.

Photos / Sounds

What

Douglas' Squirrel Tamiasciurus douglasii

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Crescent Meadow area.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

White-throated Swift Aeronautes saxatalis

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Lots of them hunting and twittering over Moro Rock.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Moro Rock.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Ascomycete Fungi Phylum Ascomycota

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Lots of this brilliant yellow lichen (also in Kings Canyon, I assume the same kind). Streaks of it visible from the main road far below.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

California Coneflower Rudbeckia californica

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Next to the road in a little meadowlet somewhere between Giant Forest Museum and Wolverton Road.

Only Rudbeckia on the NPS checklist.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant Sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

General Sherman.

Photos / Sounds

What

Fireweed Chamaenerion angustifolium

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Near Big Meadow.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Robin Turdus migratorius

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Big Meadow Campground unit 4.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red-breasted Nuthatch Sitta canadensis

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Big Meadow Campground unit 4.

Photos / Sounds

What

Brown Creeper Certhia americana

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 6, 2012

Description

Trail of 100 Giants.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

American Coot Fulica americana

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Photos / Sounds

What

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Just starting to get mature plumage.

Photos / Sounds

What

Chinese Mystery Snail Cipangopaludina chinensis

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Big fat dark snail on the lake edge. Opening sealed up tight by the snail inside.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Twelve-spotted Skimmer Libellula pulchella

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Not 100% sure, but seems like a good fit-- three dark areas on each wing, fat skimmer-like body.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

An incessant swarm on the feeders at Kings Canyon Lodge. "Tzippity-zippity-zip!"

Allen's or Rufous, not sure which. There were a whole lot of them of all different maturities and sexes, constantly switching places and running each other off, plus they tended to be either backlit or reflective. Definitely did not see any with all-rufous backs, though of course that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Brown Trout Salmo trutta

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Zumwelt Meadow area.

Black spots all over the back.

Photos / Sounds

What

Broad-leaved Cattail Typha latifolia

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Zumwelt Meadow.

Photos / Sounds

What

Roses Genus Rosa

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Zumwelt Meadow.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant Sequoia Sequoiadendron giganteum

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Photos / Sounds

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Photos / Sounds

What

Butterflies and Moths Order Lepidoptera

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Cocoon.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Lodgepole Chipmunk Neotamias speciosus

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

Red tail with black tip, lots of white behind ears/on backs of ears, brown/white stripes.

Photos / Sounds

What

Naked Buckwheat Eriogonum nudum

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Sierra Lessingia Lessingia leptoclada

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 7, 2012

Description

A sort of a purple cloud lining the road.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Western Jumping Mouse Zapus princeps

Observer

sea-kangaroo

Date

August 5, 2012

Description

Tiny little kangaroo rat-type thing bouncing across a mountain road at night. Didn't get a good look beyond that and the fact that it was brown, but this is the only hopping mouse species in range. (jumps were all very short and shallow, like a dropped ping pong ball just before it stops)

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