Posts Tagged ‘sierras’

bear trails

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

a walk in the snow

The walking trail of a black bear (ursus americanus) near Yuba Pass, one of the passes over the sierra that highway 49 uses.  This particular trail was less than forty five minutes old, likely minutes old. Sun was melting the snow pretty fast that day and these tracks were crisp. Plus he walked right on top of my trail that i had made forty five minutes earlier.

It was a stunning walk. All the snow reflecting the light like some kind of brilliantly lit lab room. I walked in the slush for a few miles out then turned around and came back the way i came only to find the sign of this wandering omnivore. He broke into a run just a few feet up from the photo above. I was singing pretty loudly on my return walk and i wondered if that is what scared him. I am saying him just cause of the size of the tracks. Not actually sure of the sex.

little one

Here’s a smaller one that crossed the trail earlier on my walk. That’s an AA battery for size comparison. I wonder how old this guy was and why he/she was alone.

Back in Business

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Okaaaay! In our last episode our hero stood in horror as his camera sunk to the bottom of a river high in the Sierras.

Got it back! horray. Some difficulties presented themselves however. I took my waterlogged camera into best buy to take advantage of the warranty that it had on it. However the repair folks deemed it too expensive of a fix to actually repair it. So they said I should just receive a new camera of a similar model. One problem. Their new “upgrade”, the canon 120 is not as nice as their older model the 100, the one I had. Unfortunate. I tried to persuade the service people at the store to give me my camera back, but they didn’t want to. Very sad.  The picture quality seems to be just as good though, which i guess is the most important thing. The actual camera though just is not an upgrade. for some reason they have used cheaper parts in a newer model.  I feel unsatisfied. oh well.

So anyways here are some pictures when i got here to grass valley a month ago!

Black Oak (quercus kelloggi)

In the Sierra Foothills so black oak and ponderosa or yellow pine are the prdominant tree species. Here is a small branch of the black oak just leafing out. Also notice the beautifully colored catkins hanging below.  Of course all of the leaves are actually full size now but its been a pleasure watching them grow and grow.

black-tailed deer (odocoileus hemionus)

There are many deer here. Here is one of their trails, a flurry of hard edged hoofs imprinted in the  soil.

black-tailed deer (odocoileus hemionus)

These two lovelys were part of a herd of eighteen deer! At I met them on a logging road. They kept trying to pass me. They would walk carefully up to me very close, almost pass me, then get spooked and turn around and run away. they kept doing this over and over again, about six times. I was in no rush so i just stood there and watched them. took some pictures. the community here has lived on this land for thirty years and has not allowed hunting of any kind for all that time. So the deer herd up in huge flocks and you can walk right up to them like at a national park.

These are the black tailed or mule deer. More bulky and less skittish than the eastern white tailed. In general you can get much closer to them.

Close up of the beautiful Black tail.

Robin (turdus migratorious)

Some robin tracks in the vibrant orange soil found in the sierra foothills.

black-tailed jackrabbit ( lepus californicus )

The tracks of the black-tailed jackrabbit. Notice the brilliant orange soil and little gold flakes saturating the soil. These are mica but there is alot of gold in these parts, in some places the land being entirely stripped from goldminers in the early 1900’s.

The “football” or triangle shape of the track marks the passage of the rabbits. Rabbit tracks are often indistinct as their feet are entirely covered in fur.

gray fox (urocyon cinereoargentus)

The right front and hind tracks of the gray fox trotting alongside a deer.

wild turkey (meleagris gallopavo)

A walking trail of the wild turkey.

a track jumble

can you pick out the trotting trail of a gray fox through the entire length of this photo?