Last Saturday, May 23, about 20 members and interested folks gathered above Swall Meadows for a hike through the the Wheeler Ridge Round Valley mule deer migration corridor led by our executive director Karen Ferrell-Ingram.
We toured around the corridor looking at bugs, plants, wildlife, vistas (and thunderclouds!).
The location was particularly good for illustrating what a narrow region the many deer and other wildlife must travel through (roughly a mile wide here) in order to access the higher summer ranges of the Sierra above. We walked from Sky Meadow Road down through rocky canyons where we admired Jeffrey pine, penstemon, and thick pads of tiny buckwheat before gazing down into the depths of Lower Rock Creek canyon. This canyon poses an exceptionally steep vertical descent to the east, while the impressive Wheeler Crest rises abruptly to the west, helping us visualize why it is so important to maintain a safe passage for our local wildlife (they have nowhere else to go!).
Later we headed to Witcher creek, walking through the remains of the Birch Creek fire 0f 2002 and a whole different assemblage of plants. A brief but enjoyable downpour politely accompanied our return to the cars before the group headed to the Ingram Conservation Easement for lemonade and snacks. A great treat to have so many of our members turn up to this event and share their knowledge of natural history with us on such a beautiful day!
Please come out to one of our gatherings or events in June!