Summer in the Sierras Day 1 – Parker Lake

Before we get to nitty-gritty let me once again plug this amazing field guide by John Muir Laws.  Every picture hand-rendered, an indispensible companion not only in the Sierras, it does a pretty darn good job down here.

Smoke blowing over the Sierras from the fire on the west side will not keep us from bringing you the very best of the June Lake region.  We dove right in and did the low-moderately difficult Parker Lake hike.

The first mile is a climb through sagebrush (Artemisia tridentada) scrublands.  Besides sagebrush the hill is a tangle of Sulfur buckwheat (left) and Rabbit brush (right)

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The only discernible wildflower in any abundance is the hoary aster

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And then, its snow in the summer.. Entire hillsides of this local cousin to our Birch-leaf mahogany

Curl-leaf mahogany

Curl-leaf mahogany

Starting to see more bitterbrush, snowberry, and wax currant

Wax currant

Wax currant

As we level off we start to see more aspens, as well as Lodgepole and Jeffrey pines

Jeffrey and Luke

Jeffrey and Luke

Lodgepole is the only pine in the Sierras who’s leaves are in bunches of two, so easy to identify.  Meandering streams give Luke a chance for a drink and a greater diversity of wildflowers.  We were too late for most lilies and irises but Elisa caught sight of these beauties

Larkspur

Larkspur

And I just loved these odd fuzzballs

Ranger's buttons

Ranger’s buttons

Caught sight of a few cool new birds…

Green tailed towhee

Green tailed towhee

Cassin's finch

Cassin’s finch

Finally arrive at Parker lake, maybe 2 miles from the trail head

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Sides of the lake are carpets of lupine and pennyroyal

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As well as Indian paintbrush

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Truly awe-inspiring…. join us next time as we head for Lee Vining….

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This entry was posted in birds, Hiking Trail, Sierras and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Summer in the Sierras Day 1 – Parker Lake

  1. oh so pretty, I miss it already!

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