Cucamonga Dec 2018
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Brief Cucamonga Road Trip
W.P. Armstrong, December 2018
Cameras Used On This Trip: Nikon D-3200, Sony HX-60, Sony T-10, iPhone 6
The purpose of this very short road trip to the metropolis of Cucamonga, California was exercise for my foot drop & weakened left leg. The exercise included Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, the beautiful campus of Pomona College, & numerous walks to the 6th floor of the Best Western Motel on Foothill Blvd.
Views From 6th Floor Of Best Western

Early morning view of Cucamonga Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains. At 8,862 ft. it is one of the highest peaks in this range. It is surpassed by Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy) at 10,064 ft. The San Gabriel Mountains are part of the Tranverse Ranges Geomorphic Province. They are separated from The San Bernardido Mountains by Cajon Pass. The latter mountains include 11,500 ft. Mt. San Gorgonio, highest mountain in southern California.

Early morning & evening views looking east and west from 6th floor.

Cucamonga Peak From Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Although these mountains overlook densely populated cities in Los Angeles & San Bernardino Counties, they actually support a small population of San Gabriel Mountains bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni). A survey in March 2018 recorded 39 of these magnificent animals. I once hiked to the summit of nearby Lookout Mountain and saw 7 bighorn sheep. At almost 7,000 ft. this rugged peak also has a population of the rare rock creek broomrape (Orobanche valida ssp. valida) which was once listed as "presumed extinct" until I rediscovered it in the late 1900s.

San Gabriel Mountains Bighorn Sheep On Lookout Mountain (June 1982)

There are at least three bighorn sheep in this old scanned Kodachrome transparency taken in June 1982. I counted 7 bighorn sheep running down the steep talus slope. See following enlarged image. Encountering the San Gabriel Mountains bighorn sheep and the rare Rock Creek broomrape on the same day was exhilarating!

Three bighorn sheep (red arrows) can be identified in this image. Unfortunately, the image quality of this old enlargement is poor.

Rare Rock Creek Broomrape On Lookout Mountain

Left: Lookout Mountain in the San Gabriel Mountains west of Mt. Baldy. The rare Orobanche valida ssp. valida grows on a steep talus (scree) slope near the summit. Note: According to the Jepson Manual Of California Plants, the genus Orobanche has been changed to Aphyllon and the rock creek broomrape is now Aphyllon validum ssp. validum.

Mt. San Antonio (Baldy) From Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Mt. San Antonio, also known as Mt. Baldy, is the snow-covered summit in background. At 10,064 ft it is highest mountain in the San Gabriel Mountains.

San Bernardino Mtns With Highest Summit In Transverse Ranges

View of the San Bernardino Mountains from Twin Oaks Valley in San Diego County. Mt. San Gorgonio (Old Greyback) is on the right. At 11,503 ft. it is the highest mountain in the Transverse Ranges and the highest mountain in southern California. Although it appears close, these mountains are at least a 2 hour drive from my home in Twin Oaks Valley.

Reflection In Benjamin Pond At Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Taken
With iPhone 6 & Nikon D-3200: Can You Tell Which One Is The iPhone?

This pond is dedicated to Dr. Richard K. Benjamin, internationally acclaimed research scientist and mycologist. In fact, a number of very famous botanists are associated with Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. I am honored to have met some of them during my teaching career.

Reference Book Purchased At Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Scholarly reference book published by Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. It includes the fascinating cladogram for duckweeds in the subfamily Lemnoideae within the arum family Araceae. Some of the paired sister clades are very similar morphologically and difficult to distinguish with traditional dichotomous keys.

Common Harvester Ant In Cucamonga & Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex californicus) photographed with my old trusty Sony T-10 along Foothill Blvd in Cucamonga, CA. They were slow-moving due to cold weather, but really enjoyed the muffins from nearby Best Western. Other ants found on this trip include the native fire ant (Solenopsis xyloni) and the ubiquitous Argentine ant (Linepithema humile). I could not find the honeypot ant nest (Myrmecocystus) that I found at this exact site four years ago. During my retirement years I have turned my biological concentration from plants to ants, my childhood passion.

My First Love Affair With Ants During The Early 1950s
  Honeypot Ant That I Found At This Exact Location in 2014  

Ice-covered lodgepole pine on Mt. Baldy.