Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2007: From my summer in the sierras!

Me standing inside a burn scar of a sequoia. They get much bigger!

During the summer of 2007 I worked in Sequoia National Forest/Monument, as a forestry technician, primarily doing vegetation sampling in a large area that had been burned by the McNally wildfire in 2001.

I lived at an elevation of 7300' at a remote forest service work center. My days off I spent exploring the forests. I saw three mountain lions that summer, I found it to be very humbling to work in an environment where a large predator such as that roamed.

Below are a few photos from that awesome summer. The majority of these photos I took while exploring on my days off, a few work ones are in here as well as you will see.
I fell in love with the sierra nevada mountains that summer, it's an amazing area.

The tule river!

Sunset in the sierras.
This was the nearest "town." A small combination general store/cafe/bar/gas station and a few houses nestled in the mountains. In the winter, the snow roads are closes past this sign, in the other direction. It is about a 2 hr drive down into the valley to get groceries.

The world-famous Needles lookout tower. I was lucky to man the tower for a day, when the lady that works and lives in the tower needed to leave for a day. A truly wild place!

The stairs up to the tower. Not for the faint-of-heart.I lived close to a couple of beautiful sequoia groves, each of which don't receive too many visitors, especially compared to the national park.

Setting up a pheromone tussock moth trap, for monitoring.

The drive up the tule river canyon into the forest.
Above and below: One of the areas we surveyed that summer. We did about 1200 acres. Note all the standing burned and dead trees, it was dangerous when the wind picked up.

In the chaparral areas we worked it probably in the 90s every day, and often above 100. But it was very dry, completely unlike the very humid east coast.
The manzanita shrub has very smooth red bark, and like most montane and chaparral species it is fire-dependent. The mighty sequoia!

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