Lake Tahoe Basin

I expected this expedition to be depauperate of biota due to the snow and cold of the season, but i was pleasantly surprised to prove my prejudice wrong. A plethora of organisms greeted me, especially in niches other than the overrated forest habitat. The conifer forests are magnificent, but offer less biodiversity than the grasslands and shrublands that actually comprise about a quarter of the basin's cover. In searching for lichens, i found the best hunting grounds were the boulders exceeding two meters in height; apparently this is a reason able height for them to have access to the atmosphere even in moderately heavy snow. The firedot and wolf lichens were especially rewarding to see, and my better luck was climbing to higher elevation than the basin floor.

Another wondrous feature were the grass species, much more numerous than i expected, protruding from the snowpack. Even many herbs were identifiable, as they were present in their seed form, still showy above the snow level. Temperatures were lower than historic for my November trip, and i still saw numerous deer foraging in the snow. Trips like this are humbling, in that patience and looking carefully overcomes our human hubris, that our conventional wisdom can tell us when best to travel.

Lähettänyt c_michael_hogan c_michael_hogan, 27. marraskuuta 2016 16:40

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Takkujäkälä (Letharia vulpina)

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c_michael_hogan

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Marraskuu 24, 2016 03:41 PM PST

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Moss on living fir tree bark at about seven thousand feet elevation.

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c_michael_hogan

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Marraskuu 25, 2016 07:01 PM PST

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Growing on a steep slope not far from Highway Fifty

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c_michael_hogan

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Marraskuu 24, 2016 08:12 PM PST

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Kanadanvehniö (Elymus canadensis)

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c_michael_hogan

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Marraskuu 24, 2016 12:14 PM PST

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c_michael_hogan

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Marraskuu 24, 2016

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