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)
The only discernible wildflower in any abundance is the hoary aster
And then, its snow in the summer.. Entire hillsides of this local cousin to our Birch-leaf mahogany
Starting to see more bitterbrush, snowberry, and wax currant
As we level off we start to see more aspens, as well as Lodgepole and Jeffrey pines
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
And I just loved these odd fuzzballs
Caught sight of a few cool new birds…
Finally arrive at Parker lake, maybe 2 miles from the trail head
Sides of the lake are carpets of lupine and pennyroyal
As well as Indian paintbrush
Truly awe-inspiring…. join us next time as we head for Lee Vining….