12 de julio de 2017

Carpenter Ant Research at James Reserve, San Jacinto Mountains

During the second section of my field biology quarter at UCLA, I spent two weeks conducting research at James Reserve in the San Jacinto Mountains. Two other students and I studied the behavior of two species of carpenter ants. Our paper (unpublished) is linked below.



Publicado el julio 12, 2017 03:44 MAÑANA por cedric_lee cedric_lee | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

15 de septiembre de 2015

Mt. Wilson Trail Via E Mira Monte Ave, Sierra Madre

This is the longest and most difficult hike I've completed thus far. Round trip will take about 14 miles with an elevation gain of over 4000 feet. I had to come on two separate days to map the vegetation along the trail since my phone battery would not last the entire hike. I will probably do the same for future hikes of more or less the same distance, at least until I buy a portable charger. I finished mapping half of the trail on August 11 and the other half four days later. If you plan on completing this hike in 90+ degree weather, you will need ALOT of water. I drank about 4 liters in total, most of which was converted to sweat. The good thing is that there's a water fountain and small cafe at the peak of Mt. Wilson so you can refill your water and eat there. The hike took me about 9 hours. I would say 25% of the time, I was either taking pictures or a break.

A neat thing about the elevation gain is that you can actually see a change in vegetation as you go higher. One of the more obvious would be the transition of an oak dominant forest to that of pines. I haven't been this high up in the Angeles National Forest before so I observed several plants for the first time. This hike gave me clarity on the identification of two pairs of commonly misidentified plants (added observations below):
Pseudognaphalium beneolens and P. microcephalum
Eriodictyon trichocalyx and E. crassifolium
As mentioned by Tom Chester on his website http://tchester.org/plants/index.html/, the leaves of P. beneolens are greenish compared to the white leaves of P. microcephalum.The leaves of E. trichocalyx are sticky unlike that of E. crassifolium.

As for animals, one of the more notable observations was Sceloporus graciosus vandenburgianus. I give thanks to Greg Pauly for correcting my ID. This is the first time I've seen this lizard in the wild. At first glance, it looked like Uta stansburiana. Now I know to pay more attention to the size of the scales in order to separate the two.

Here's some photos I took from Mt. Wilson. The view was breathtaking. I didn't realize how close downtown LA was to the ocean.

A link to an interesting challenge http://socalhiker.net/a-six-pack-of-peaks/
The route I took isn't exactly the same as the one shown for Mt. Wilson on the website. I'll probably map the new course sometime in the future.

Publicado el septiembre 15, 2015 03:01 MAÑANA por cedric_lee cedric_lee | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario