Sunday, March 6, 2016

Southern Sierra Ramble

So, what Bob didn't tell you all after our epic Death Valley hikes is that I injured myself.  Unfortunately, it wasn't some heroic sorta injury, it was tendentious caused by shoelaces.  Yes, in a couple of miles of walking with my laces rubbing against the tendon on the top of my ankle I had molten lead being pored from my knee to my ankle pain on every step.  Sigh.  I spent a day using the proven Susan ankle and foot injury cure which involves a bucket of ice water and Advil.  Then I needed a small hike to see if I could hike, or if I needed more ice bucket time.

Off we headed into the Southern Sierra.  I choose the location as we could fill an ebird data gap and we did end up with 16 species of birds with our most interesting sighting being 16 sage thrashers.  They are on the move north to their breeding grounds.  I was not expecting flowers or anything much to look at. Fortunately, I was disappointed in my boring hike expectations.

We had a hillside of coreopsis to greet us when we got out of the car and my plan to walk up the dirt road was out the window.  We were heading into the brush to bushwhack over to see the flowers.

Coreopsis hillside

Coreopsis up close
They were lovely.  They smelled nice.  I had a good time.

We continued up the wash and came upon an amazing sight, or perhaps I should say site.  It was a historic Indian acorn grinding hole.  As we were admiring it, we noticed the rock by it looked like a mortar.  Wow!  We hardly ever see the combination.  A few steps away we were treated to an even bigger surprise -- more grinding holes, another mortar, and what I can only describe as sitting rocks for the grinding holes.  We were quite tickled and awed.

Mortar and grinding hole

Sitting rocks 

We stopped for lunch at a view spot of more coreopsis and then headed back to the car.  We did about 7 miles and my leg didn't feel too bad. I was back in hiking mode.  Yay for me!

Fremont's Gold Syntrichopappus fremontii



Indian Paintbrush Castilleja applegatei ssp. martinii
Martin's paintbrush or Wavyleaf indian paintbrush
Broad-flowered Gila Gilia latiflora ssp. davyi

Complete bird list:

Mountain Quail  1
Chukar  5
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Say's Phoebe  2
Loggerhead Shrike  1
Common Raven  6
Horned Lark  12
Rock Wren  4
Cactus Wren  2
Sage Thrasher  16
Black-throated Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)  10
White-crowned Sparrow (Gambel's)  60
Bell's Sparrow  10
California Towhee  2
House Finch  10

1 comment:

  1. Flower id's. Syntrichopappus fremontii
    Fremont's Gold and corrections - Gilia latiflora ssp. davyi
    Broad-flowered Gilia and Castilleja applegatei ssp. martinii
    Martin's paintbrush or Wavyleaf Indian paintbrush.