Saturday, August 25, 2012

I found heaven in the Sierra's of California

North Fork of Kings River

          Early this month, Sam, Bailey Winter and I had the pleasure to enjoy the weekend by Wishon Reservoir. With us, though, we carried an entomological mind set so it wasn't your typical "drive to the edge of the Reservoir, get back in truck and head out later that night." As you may suspect, we were stopping and hiking at many places to more genuinely enjoy our time in the mountains.

Intimidated by the cold bite of the rivers water,
 we queasily laughed about jumping in.

After a night of light trapping in a shaded Pine Tree forest, we headed to the closest river for a nice refreshing bath. As it turns out, it was far more refreshing than nice. The water was about 40 degrees F, but it was a grand way to spent the afternoon. (Sam took the plunge first).

Me above the icy river, already frozen with fear.

As you can see by the picture, it really was a beautiful day but my facial expression after surfacing did not compliment the weather by any means. It did however, send a shock of life through my soul again which made it worth a second jump. Bailey was the next and last to take the jump of stupidity, but after all, it was a afternoon of lots of laughs and good times. We all made a splash.

Bailey bravely taking the leap of courage.

After all this, we agreed upon a last stop to collect and photograph a few more bugs. I had the idea of a meadow in mind, so we found a nice place on the side of the road to assemble our nets and stretch out our legs.

Xestoleptura crassicornis (Leconte)
Photographed by S.Wells 2012
This place was booming with Bycids! There were five to six species, all in great abundance, except an apparent Judolia species Sam found. It was incredible! There was Typocerus, Judolia, two or three species of Leptura and the most attractive, (in my opinion), Xestoleptura crassicornis. We were kids in a candy factory!

Xestoleptura crassicornis (LeConte)
Photographed by S.Wells 2012

To top it off, Sam found a great abundance of Bee's, which, he recently took interest in through a project he accepted at his work.

Bailey and I standing in a Cerambycid filled forest clearing.

Life rarely gets this wonderful for me. I've come to realize that my average happiness level is just below where I'd like it to be, but acknowledging this, I don't often have moments where I'm not optimistic toward the near future. The Outdoors is heaven on earth, especially when filled with friends, family and passion for nature.

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