Sunday, June 2, 2013

Home Mountain

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There was a play going on at the Mountain Theater today, so the area around Rock Spring was quite busy. I noticed the gate at West Ridgecrest had opened early, so I took advantage of the opportunity to drive out that way before the usual 9 a.m. opening time. The light was pretty good, but the most excellent thing was being visited by a fawn. I heard its footsteps nearby as I composed the shot above, but I figured the steps were not really as close as they sounded. When I turned around to pack up my camera gear I startled the spotted fawn, who quickly turned and pranced away into the woods. The only other time a fawn came so close to check me out was years ago in the Yolla-Bolly Wilderness.



When I walked over the way the fawn had gone I found this apparent burial site, hopefully for someone's pet. I did not dig it up to find out, but I was surprised a coyote hadn't already done so. Just before I reached the Jeep I spotted a coyote walking sprightly along the road. He kept an eye on me as he passed but didn't change his lightly bouncing gait. I watched him continue quite a ways down the road before he finally turned onto a game trail and disappeared. 



One of these days I'm going to find out what this grass species is called. (Spoke too soon. Doreen Smith just let me know it's Cynosurus echinatus, Crested Dogtail Grass.)



The spittlebugs are usually massed in a hard-to-photograph spot, so I took advantage of this chance to catch them in the open. These nymph froghoppers squeeze the spittle out their hind ends to keep them covered while they feed on their host plant, then emerge as adults to continue feeding on plants.



Lady ferns down by Cataract Creek.




Creekside denizens.



Banana slug on its way . . . somewhere.



On the way back up to the Jeep I found the most perfect dandelion puff and couldn't resist. I dragged it back down into the woods to be in the shade, but it was still kind of windy even under the Douglas firs. After I finally got it photographed I let it be. It was just too perfect an orb to blow to smithereens.

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6 comments:

  1. Someone asked me this week what the little blue butterflies were doing and I told him to look up "mud-puddling" on the internet. He told me I should warn him next time when I send him on x-rated assignments. Hey, it's just biology. The fawns are getting old enough to frolic and be curious - a treat.

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    1. Thanks, Cindy, for letting me know that behavior has a name! So I guess they're probably all males, saving up salts/metals to pass along to their mates to make their eggs good 'n strong. And here I'd figured it was about the water. Interesting!

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  2. Ah, John. I'm always a little sad when you clear out your blog of old posts. I hope you keep a record for yourself.

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    1. Thanks, Katie. I was keeping a record for myself for a while and doing print-on-demand projects with them, but it was a lot of extra work so I discontinued the practice. I'm glad I still have a few from the beginning days, though.

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  3. I wondered about your above mention of the pet grave and see it here. Curious as to why someone would choose that spot. Hope it is just a pet and not a missing person. Wonderful photos as always, especially the Banana Slug.

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    1. It's a nice spot, being under an oak tree near fine vistas, easy to find, and close to parking. Definitely doesn't belong there, though.

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