Monday, February 18, 2013

A healthy way to end the week

          This weekend was a good one. I went camping in the Sierra Foothills Friday through Saturday and was able to refill my soul with joy and peacefulness. Not cheesy on purpose, that's just the best was to put it.

I went with my uncle (Sam Wells) and because it was mainly a trip for a boy scout pack, so we arrived at camp a couple hours later than planned. Sam is one of the leaders for the group but I got lucky and was able to just tag along and do my own thing, (with all due respect, of course).

 A sight that I love waking up to.

I didn't get to really see the area until morning, but it was the kind of place worth visiting for an entomologist. There were plenty of Oak with scattered Grey Pine and rolling hills in any direction. I grabbed my camera and took a little walk around as soon as I crawled out of bed.

I soon came to a moist ravine with some logs at the bottom and decided to flip them over in hopes of ground beetles, but instead two mice plopped out onto the ground from their winter nest in the hollow of the log. I felt bad for disturbing the little guys, but I was glad to get some pictures of them and a mushroom growing on the underside of the log.

Bewildered, these mice are gathering their wits after an
accidental awakening.

I looked through my Mammals of California book in hopes of getting a name for this post, but by just looking at the pictures I wasn't very successful... Maybe a reader will recognize this species. My best guess is some kind of Pocket Mice is the genus Perognathus or Chaetodipus, but this is hardly an educated guess. The locality is near Auberry in Fresno County; east of Fresno.

Shroom likely in the Agarics group. (I didn't collect this or any
other Fungi on this trip so identification is likely impossible).

By the time I got back to camp breakfast was ready (courtesy of the scouts) and the sun was well into the cloudless sky. I saw another log a stones throw away and headed over to it when I was finished eating. This ended up being the best micro-habitat I found.

Melanotus sp. (Click Beetle)

Tenebrionidae (Darkling Beetles)

Nyctoporis vandykei, (Blaisdell, 1931)
(Darkling Beetles)

Another nice bug that is pretty common around the Sierra is the True Bugs in the family Largidae. There were an overwhelming amount of these flying around on the sunny afternoon.

Largus sp.

I hope the relatively little taxonomy wasn't a let down to anyone. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and read anyway.

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