So, our President-Elect thinks the human factor in climate change is a hoax. Our VP-Elect thinks evolution is a hoax. They will probably fill their Cabinet with like-minded deniers of objective reality. Darker times are ahead for the land and biodiversity, I’m afraid. I just wish they could pull their heads out of the political filth and decompress for a while in a place like this . . . .
Middle Frog Lake and the crest of the Sierra Nevada.
Last month I returned to Virginia Lakes (Mono County, CA, west of Conway Summit) and hiked up beyond Cooney Lake to the next set of lakes — Frog Lakes. There are three lakes at Frog Lakes, without official names, as far as I can tell, so I’ll call them Upper, Middle, and Lower Frog Lakes. Surface elevations are approximately 10,371, 10,367, and 10,360 feet above sea level, respectively (according to Google Earth, which can be several yards off in elevations).
Upper Frog Lake.
Looking toward the headwaters of Virginia Creek.
Near treeline with mostly whitebark pines (Pinus albicaulis).
There are frogs (and toads) at Frog Lakes—lots of them. Down there, in the meadows around Middle Frog Lake, I saw Sierran treefrogs (Pseudacris sierra) and California toads (Anaxyrus boreas halophilus). They all thought I was a predator, though, and wouldn’t hold still long enough to be properly photographed.
Upper Frog Lake.
Grasses submerged near the shore of Upper Frog Lake, with floating leaves:
Weak manna grass, Torreyochloa pallida var. pauciflora.
Torreyochloa, one of many plants named for named for
19th-century American botanist John Torrey.
Lower Frog Lake. Across that ridge and a bit lower
in elevation is the Green Creek watershed.
Fall colors in dwarf bilberry (a wild blueberry), Vaccinium cespitosum.
Glacial striations on granite between Lower Frog Lake and Cooney Lake.
The lichen is, I think, “brown tile lichen,” Lecidea atrobrunnea,
which is common on Sierran granites.
An annotated aerial view, from Google Earth.