Five counties, a tumble, a hike, and a pair of long-sought lizards….

Inspired by Inaturalist and the proliferation of enthusiastic county birders, several years ago I decided to try and photodocument 250 species in each of California’s 58 counties. This pursuit has led me to places I never expected and pushed my interests and identification skills far beyond what I was focusing on before. Because of this project I’ve been impressed by the surprising botanical similarities and differences between central California’s coast ranges and the foothills of the Sierra. I’ve come to appreciate the weird, disjunct populations of typically Mojave species in parts of San Benito County’s Panoche Valley and have struggled through the identification of marine alga.

For my wife’s birthday we decided in June to backpack Humboldt County’s Lost Coast Trail. This trail is just under thirty miles long and runs from the Matolle River to Shelter Cove and much of it requires walking on soft beach sand or long stretches of unstable cobbles. Additionally, there are several stretches, each between three and five miles long, that are completely impassable at high tide as the waves crash against the seaside cliffs. The first day out I was thrilled to take pictures of dune wildflowers and saw a decent-sized haul out of Northern Elephant Seals. On the offshore rocks were Steller’s Sea Lions and over the four days of backpacking, at least five North American River Otters were observed in the tidepools, sunning on the cobbles, or swimming through the surf.

As anyone who knows me can testify, I have gazelle-like grace and balance. Admittedly, it is the grace and balance of a bumbling, easily distracted, drunken gazelle carrying a lopsided 45 lb. backpack. While crossing one of the first of many slippery, cobble-filled streams I took a tumble and bashed my camera on the rocks in the shallow creek. Water got into the camera and disengaged all the rings on the lens. Fortunately, the lens itself wasn’t cracked and after about 15 minutes of fiddling and coaxing and foul language I was able to get the lens working again. The camera itself was another matter. It wouldn’t allow me to change any of the settings or it would start scrolling through settings on its own. Sometimes it would allow me to erase pictures, other times it wouldn’t. Sometimes the autofocus would work, sometimes it wouldn’t. Still, I had a camera that while persnickety and damp, still worked well enough that I was able to add several lifers and quite a few new species to my Humboldt list. I was also able to take pictures of some of the most beautiful, isolated stretches of coastline I had ever seen. At times, we were the only people visible along miles of empty beach. We hiked along grassy, coastal bluffs and stepped over scattered whale bones while carefully traversing high piled plateaus of surf-round cobbles. We completed this portion of the trip over four days and three nights with plenty of time for lounging and exploring.

Next up, Fort Bragg and more Joshua Trees….

Anotado por rjadams55 rjadams55, viernes, 13 de julio de 2018 a las 04:43 PM

Observaciones

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Qué

Flor de Primavera de la Playa Camissoniopsis cheiranthifolia

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 09:37 AM PDT

Descripción

These flowers were common in the coastal dunes near the Mattole River mouth.

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 09:37 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 09:37 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 09:37 AM PDT

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Gorrión Sabanero Passerculus sandwichensis

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 09:37 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:04 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:04 AM PDT

Descripción

Based on this Lupine's exceptionally hairy stems, prostate structure, and location in northern California's coastal dunes, I believe this is one of two similar species; L. tidestromii or L. littoralis. Any advice or insights regarding the separation of these two species would be greatly appreciated!

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Frutilla Silvestre Fragaria chiloensis

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:04 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:04 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:04 AM PDT

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Flor de Mono Naranja Diplacus aurantiacus

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:26 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:26 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:26 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:26 AM PDT

Descripción

I especially like this photo because it shows both the smaller Sedum spathulifolium and a pair of larger, flowering Dudleya farinosa rosettes growing together in a crack in the coastal bluffs.

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:26 AM PDT

Descripción

I especially like this photo because it shows both the smaller Sedum spathulifolium and a pair of larger, flowering Dudleya farinosa rosettes growing together in a crack in the coastal bluffs.

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:37 AM PDT

Descripción

There were quite a few of these tall Angelica growing along along bluffs along the immediate coastline.

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

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Qué

Anémona Elegante Anthopleura elegantissima

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

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Alga Parda Boa Emplumada Egregia menziesii

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

Descripción

I have included a habitat shot to illustrate the richness of the area's marine algae composition.

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Qué

Percebe Ganso Pollicipes polymerus

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 10:41 AM PDT

Descripción

This individual is associated with Black Turban Snails (Tegula funebralis) and Gooseneck Barnacles (Pollicipes polymerus).

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Cuervo Común Corvus corax

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 11:59 AM PDT

Descripción

This individual was feeding on what appeared to be the mostly devoured remains of a young seal.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Elefante Marino Norteño Mirounga angustirostris

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 11:59 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 12:34 PM PDT

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León Marino de Steller Eumetopias jubatus

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 2018

Descripción

@gbentall , would you mind double checking this for any California Seal Lions mixed in the herd.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Nutria de Río Norteamericana Lontra canadensis

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 01:20 PM PDT

Descripción

Over the course of four days of backpacking along the Lost Coast Trail, we saw at least five North American River Otters among the cobbles and tide pools of the shore.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Bejori de Cerca Occidental Sceloporus occidentalis

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 01:36 PM PDT

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Qué

Maguey Blanco Agave americana

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 19, 2018 01:36 PM PDT

Descripción

While not native to California, there was a cluster of these large agaves along with numerous smaller ones on the bluffs near a collapsing, long abandoned cabin.

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Qué

Ostrero Negro Norteamericano Haematopus bachmani

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 09:19 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 11:46 AM PDT

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Liebre Cola Negra Lepus californicus

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 11:46 AM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 01:14 PM PDT

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Qué

Doradilla Diabrotica undecimpunctata

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 01:14 PM PDT

Descripción

Feeding in a Oregon Gumplant (Grindelia stricta).

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Qué

Huizapol Distichlis spicata

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 01:14 PM PDT

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Qué

Lagartija Espinosa de Pastizal Sceloporus graciosus

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 01:43 PM PDT

Descripción

These were by far the most common lizards seen over four days on the Lost Coast Trail.

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 03:56 PM PDT

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Qué

Roble Venenoso del Pacífico Toxicodendron diversilobum

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 03:56 PM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 20, 2018 03:56 PM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 21, 2018 08:36 AM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 21, 2018 08:36 AM PDT

Descripción

When I first found this flower growing in the sands just a few hundred feet in from the immediate shoreline I thought it was some kind of Phacelia. Later I saw that it had only four petals on the flower, ruling this genus out. I've tried running it through different filters on Calflora without success. Any suggestions would be very appreciated. @gbentall , @grnleaf , are either of you familiar with this plant?

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 21, 2018 08:36 AM PDT

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Qué

Golondrina Azulnegra Progne subis

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 21, 2018 05:57 PM PDT

Descripción

A flock of at least 20 Purple Martins, including begging young, were seen feeding over a coastal, stream-fed pond.

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Qué

Jilguerito Canario Spinus tristis

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 21, 2018 05:57 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 21, 2018 05:57 PM PDT

Descripción

This jumping spider was found on the beach just above the high tide line.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Venado Bura Odocoileus hemionus

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 21, 2018 05:57 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 21, 2018 05:57 PM PDT

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Qué

Rábano de Mar Cakile maritima

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 21, 2018 05:57 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Mariposa Cometa Golondrina Pálida Papilio eurymedon

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 22, 2018 11:09 AM PDT

Descripción

There were six of these swallowtails clustered around and drinking at a cliff-seep.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

León Marino de Steller Eumetopias jubatus

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 2018

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Qué

Foca Común Phoca vitulina

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 22, 2018 11:49 AM PDT

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Qué

Estrella de Mar Ocre Pisaster ochraceus

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 22, 2018 01:37 PM PDT

Descripción

After a period of seastar wasting disease, I was very happy to see several clusters of 10+ very large Ochre Sea Stars.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Percebe Techado Semibalanus cariosus

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 22, 2018 01:37 PM PDT

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Qué

Anémona Elegante Anthopleura elegantissima

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 22, 2018 01:37 PM PDT

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Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 22, 2018 01:37 PM PDT

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

rjadams55

Fecha

Junio 22, 2018 04:11 PM PDT

Descripción

This assassin bug was found on the beach cobbles just above the high tide line.

Comentarios

Cool spin on county birding. What a great idea!

Anotado por dpom hace cerca de 3 años (Advertencia)

Ouch! I recently bricked a camera body, in a far less inspiring setting... Glad you at least salvaged the lens!

Anotado por leptonia hace cerca de 3 años (Advertencia)

Thanks @dpom ! @leptonia , the funny thing is that once I got my camera down to Joshua Tree for a couple of days, it began working just fine again. I suspect that there was some residual moisture in the body causing the trouble that the dry desert air took care of.

Anotado por rjadams55 hace cerca de 3 años (Advertencia)

Holy crap that's awesome! I'm going to take all my broken equipment to Joshua Tree and hope it is resurrected.

Anotado por leptonia hace cerca de 3 años (Advertencia)

Oh, glad it sounds like your camera is working again!

That part of the coast is stunning, isn't it?

Anotado por misschiffonade hace cerca de 3 años (Advertencia)

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