Monday, July 27, 2009

Creatures Large and Small

Below Yosemite, at Mono Lake, we saw evidence of nature's diversity and adaptation to its surroundings.

We found wildlife in and around our campground in Yosemite, too, sometimes easy to spot, sometimes less so; wildlife was both large and small, from deer to dragonfly larva.

The amount of life, in its variety, in and around such a relatively small area -Tuolumne Meadows - is staggering.

- Eastern Brook Trout (Silvelius fontinalis) in the Lyle Fork of the Tuolumne River.

- A California Gull (Larus Californicus) scoops up black alkaline flies (Ephydra Hians). The flies were also an important food source for Native Americans who lived in the area around Mono Lake, the Kutzadika'a.

- Butterfly - perhaps a Zerene Fritillary? - at the edge of Tuolumne Meadows, sitting on an alpine goldenrod.

- A Belding's Ground Squirrel (Seprmphilus beldingi). The little squirrel stood watch over Tuolumne Meadows, ignoring my presence. I sat quietly across a small creek from it until the squirrel accepted me as a non-threatening part of the landscape.

- A Pacific Chorus Frog, also known as the treefrog (Pseudacris regilla) - sits on the palm of a hand of a homo sapien, at Soda Springs, just above Tuolumne Meadows.

- A Columbian Black-tailed Deer (Odecoileus hemionus coumbianus) - actually a pair of young males - wandered through the campground early in the morning.

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