Santa Barbara Sequoia NP 2

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Santa Barbara & Sequoia National Park Road Trip October 2018
© W.P. Armstrong 18 March 2018
      Part 1 Santa Barbara         Part 2 Sequoia National Park  
  The purpose of this trip was two-fold: (1) To visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History to see my fig beetle image on display in the "Santa Barbara Gallery." (2) To visit Sequoia National Park, primarily the "Giant Forest" grove of giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum). [This was also a reconnaissance trip for a future family field trip in June of 2019.] My images & captions appear on two pages (Part 1 & Part 2).
Cameras Used On This Current October 2018 Trip: Nikon D-3200, Sony HX-60
Cameras Used On Memory Lane Trips: Nikon D-40x, Sony HX-20, Sony T-9, Sony T-10
Part 2 Sequoia National Park

Steep, Winding Road From Three Rivers To Sequoia National Park

On 11 October 2018 the clouds made scenic views along the many turns and switchbacks.

Roadside Ants Were The Same Species As Owens Peak, San Diego County

Black harvester ant (Veromessor andrei) at Buckeye Flats: After giving the colony fig bars and cashews (which they seemed to enjoy), they still went ahead and bit the hand that fed them. One crawled up to my neck and bit me. This actually made me happy because I could readily verify that it wasn't a red harvester ant (Pogonomyrmex) that have a potent sting that can last for hours. Other roadside ants included odorous house ants (Tapinoma), big-headed ants (Pheidole), and pyramid ants (Dorymyrmex). In fact, most of them are also found on Owens Peak and the Wayne's Word residence in Twin Oaks Valley. [Note: Image taken on Owens Peak definitely not as painful as neck-biting harvester ants at Buckeye Flats!]

Native fire ant (Solenopsis xyloni) in Three Rivers: This attractive little ant can bite and sting.

  Ants On Owens Peak, San Diego County  

Shady Switchbacks & On Narrow Road To Park Entrance

Some of the steep switchbacks on road to Sequoia National Park pass by moss-covered boulders beneath dense California black oaks.

Giant Forest Near Entrance To Sequoia National Park

The giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) literally dwarfs the other species of conifers in Giant Forest. This includes white fir, incense cedar and pondersosa pine. Other species in nearby areas are red fir, Jeffrey pine, sugar pine, lodgepole pine and western white pine. On the alpine slopes near timberline is the majestic foxtail pine. Over the years I have seen and photographed all of these cone-bearing trees.

In this image taken by Elaine, I am truly dwarfed by a massive giant sequoia!

Memory Lane: Giant Forest With Elaine & Sarah In 2004

Sarah and huge giant sequoia in Sequoia Nationl Park (2004).
Sarah is not unusually small, these trees are unusually massive!

Memories In Sequoia National Park With Elaine & Sarah
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 2004
  Pinnacles & Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks 2010  
[Including A Lichen That Lives On Rabbit Droppings!]

Forest Understory With Golden Bracken Ferns

The lovely bracken ferns were turning from green to golden yellow.

Unusual Red Fir In Sequoia National Park

Seed cones of the red fir (Abies magnifica var. magnifica). The cone is composed of overlapping scales each bearing 2 winged seeds on its upper side. Each scale is subtended by a small bract (on its lower side) that is not exerted. Unlike other cone-bearing trees of California, the cones disintegrate at maturity in the fall months. I.e. the scales fall from the cone axis (right image). Hence, you don't typically find intact cones beneath the trees. I took this image in August 1964, 54 years before today's date (2018)! What makes the following Shasta red fir interesting is that the bracts subtending scales are conspicuously exerted and reflexed.

Shasta Red Fir In Sequoia National Park Near Wuksachi Lodge!

The cone scale bracts of typical red fir (Abies magnifica var. magnifica) are included beneath the cone scales (see prvious image). The bracts of the Shasta red fir (A. magnifica var. shastensis) are conspicuously exerted like the noble fir (A. procera) of northern California and Oregon. Previous to this trip I had only seen the Shasta red fir on the slopes of Mt. Shasta in the Cascade Range of northern California. In fact, I climbed to the top of one tree to collect a perfect cone for a photograph!

  Noble Fir At Crater Lake, Oregon (October 2010)  

Six Pine Species In Vicinity Of Wuksachi Lodge!

Twenty (18 depending on latest reference) of the more than 100 species of Pinus on earth. All of these pines are native to the state of California. 1. Monterey Pine (P. radiata), 2. Bishop Pine (P. muricata), 3. Santa Cruz Island Pine (P. remorata), 4. Whitebark Pine (P. albicaulis), 5. Limber Pine (P. flexilis), 6. Beach Pine (P. contorta), 7. Lodgepole Pine (P. murrayana), 8. Western White Pine (P. monticola), 9. Knobcone Pine (P. attenuata), 10. Bristlecone Pine (P. longaeva), 11. Foxtail Pine (P. balfouriana), 12. Four-Leaf Pinyon (P. quadrifolia), 13. Two-Leaf Pinyon (P. edulis), 14. One-Leaf Pinyon (P. monophylla), 15. Ponderosa Pine (P. ponderosa), 16. Coulter Pine (P. coulteri), 17. Digger Pine (P. sabiniana), 18. Torrey Pine (P. torreyana), 19. Jeffrey Pine (P. jeffreyi), 20. Sugar Pine (P. lambertiana). Note: This image is scanned from a Kodachrome 35mm color transparency taken in 1974. Taxonomic changes have been made on some of these species.

Note: In the Jepson Flora of California 2nd Edition (2012), Pinus remorata is now considered a synonym of P. muricata. Another species (left image) called the Washoe pine (P. washoensis), with cones similar to a miniature Jeffrey pine, is now recognized as a variety of the ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa). In addition, the beach and lodgepole pines are now recognized as subspecies of P. contorta, rather than separate species. This gives a grand total of 18 species, 7 subspecies and 3 varieties.

Return Trip Through Tehachapi Instead Of Los Angeles

Tehachapi is a marvelous place for freight train watching and photography. These two images were taken at sunset and early evening.

  Tehachapi Freight Trains (One of Two)  
  Tehachapi Freight Trains (Two of Two)  

A Fabulous Tehachapi Sunset!

    Back To Part 1 Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History  

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