You are hereLiving Things

Living Things


Descriptions, experiences, pictures and videos of Living Things in the Sierras.

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The Ancient, Mighty Tick sticky icon

 

 HEALTH, FITNESS, MOUNTAIN SAFETY & TICKS

The Ancient, Mighty Tick

Distribution of Western Black Legged Tick...Today
Geographic distribution of ticks that bite humans, Western Blacklegged Tick, credit to RRLash, CDC.
Geographic distribution of ticks that bite humans
, Western Blacklegged Tick, Credit to RRLash of the CDC.


Tick Alert-Tick Alert!

As Spring and Summer Approach, We Think about How Wild the Ticks are on the Coast, and their Potential for Climbing Mountains with the returning Deer during Spring & Summer

UC research shows ticks are even tougher and nastier than you thought,
University of Cincinnati, September 25, 2017. 

MAIN POINTS

Full Time Vectors
"They can transmit the disease at any stage of their life if they get infected. It's much more common to be bitten by an adult around here. But they can pick up the disease as a larvae or a nymph as well."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019 Tree Mortality Report: Forest Succession Underway, Continuing Through 2018 sticky icon

FOREST, TREES, & CLIMATE

Great Swaths of Ultra-Dry Death Cut the Sierra Forests
 UC Merced
Many trees in the Sierra have died in the past few years because of drought. From, Can our forests survive the next drought? Credit: UC Merced.

 

Forest Succession Underway, Continuing

Survey Finds 18 Million Trees Died in California in 2018,
US Forest Service, Feburary 11, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Tree Mortality Continues
“The USDA Forest Service announced today that an additional 18 million trees, mostly conifers, died in California since fall 2017.”

California Count
“Over 147 million trees have died across 9.7 million acres of federal, state, local and private lands in California since the drought began in 2010.”

Over, but Extreme Weather Continues...
“While the 2016-2017 winter officially ended California’s drought, below-average precipitation recorded in 2017-2018 slowed the recovery of the state’s surviving trees.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Northwestern Forest Succession Underway Under Our Changing Climate sticky icon

PLANTS, FOREST, & TREES

 Northwest Pacific Forest Composition to Radically Change

 The Coastal Range in Central Oregon
Forest from the top of Marys Peak, the highest point on Oregon’s Coast Range, Credit to OSU & Lessa Clayton
View of conifer forest from the top of Marys Peak, the highest point on Oregon’s Coast Range, Credit to OSU & Lessa Clayton for the photo.

 

This Tears the Hundred Year Plan to Shreds...

Climate modeling shows significant shifts in 21st century Pacific Northwest coastal forests,
Oregon State University, February 6, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

“...changing climate in the 21st century will significantly alter the coastal forests of the Pacific Northwest.”

“Vegetation is projected to change from predominantly conifer to predominantly mixed conifer and hardwood forests.”

Happening Around the World
“...the current forests can be expected to eventually be replaced by trees better adapted to future conditions.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

TREE & PLANT NEWS: The Winter & Spring of 2019 sticky icon

 

All Tree News
Generally Covering the Plant World

 

 TREE & PLANT
NEWS

Winter & Spring
of
2019

 

Previously
2015 through 2018 Tree News

 

All
High Sierra Fire and Smoke Information

High Sierra Tree Identification Resources

Tree Forum

 


The Brethren

FERGUSON FIRE

Updated

Previously
2015 through 2018 Tree News

Top

February
2019

 

February 12

FOREST, TREES, & CLIMATE

2019 Tree Mortality Report: Forest Succession Underway, Continuing

Alex Wierbinski's picture

News of Fish, Water, Oceans, Ice, & People, 2018 sticky icon

News of Fish, Water, Oceans, Ice, & People, 2018

This is the High Sierra
Fish, Oceans, Ice, Sealife, & Water News



The Fish News has been stretching into Fish & River News, now into covering Water Issues generally. We cover water as it stands, pools, flows, freezes, and precipitates. A step further, we cover how water affects the things that most directly depend on it, the things that grow, swim, drink, ship, & store water.

 

NOAA West Coast Fisheries

All Sierra Snow

All Sierra Precip

 

Next Fish, Oceans, Ice, & Water News
2019

Previous Water News
2015-17 Fish, Ice, Oceans, WATER, & People NEWS & RESEARCH

 

 

2018

 

Last 2018
Update

 

December 21

 

OCEANS, ICE, WATER, & MAN

Alex Wierbinski's picture

All BUGS, SPIDERS & Other Mountain INSECT NEWS sticky icon

The World of Insects and the Spiders that Eat Them

We've got worlds of wonder in the High Sierra looking in any direction. The ground and sky are full of vibrant insect communities. Some, like the mosquitoes, are winged devils. Others are winged delights. On the ground we find spiders trying to catch and eat them all.

This forum started out as the Spider Forum, but has been expanded to include the various insects we encounter that are not Bees, Butterflies, and Mosquitoes, which have their own dedicated pages.

Spiders
&
Other
High Sierra Insects

IDENTIFICATION

 

Greg Lasley
SPIDERS

 

Greg Lasley
INSECTS

 

Insect Societies

Spider Sites Index
arachnology.be


SpiderIdentification.org

American Arachnological Society

 

How Ticks Work

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Bee News sticky icon

Bee News 

BEE WORRIED

Insect Identification

Latest All Bug News

 

BEE NEWS

THE BUZZ

Updated

2019

February 10

THE BUZZ

Bee More Understanding

How bees Say Cool on Hot Summer Days

 

 

 

2018

 November 9

 

THE BUZZ

Nicotine-Based Poisons affecting the Home Lives of Bees

Bees on the brink

 

 

 

October 30

 

BEES IN THE UK: NEW SCORECARD

2 of 25 Species Extinct, 8 Endangered

UK bumblebee population trends

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Mammals Reference-Identification sticky icon

High Sierra Small Mammals Forum, Identification, and References 

 

 

References

Mammals, identification, Greg Lasley Photography.

Mammals of Yosemite National Park, (1952) by Harry C. Parker.

For more links about animal, plant, geology, and astronomy information for backpackers see the High Sierra Backpacking links page on the trail guide.

 

 

MAMMAL NEWS

 

 Last Update

 

May 9, 2018

SMALL MAMMALS IN HIGH PLACES

Hope for the Pikas?

American pikas tolerate climate change better than expected

 

 

 

May 5

 

AMAZING LIFE

Observing Torture is Torture

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Cold Blooded Guides & News sticky icon

High Sierra
&
General
Frog & Reptile
News and Information

I've got to gather all the frog news here, which is spread out over the monthly news reports.

In the meantime, signed-in members can review previous Frog reports using the site search feature.

 

Goal
Identify and understand the frogs, lizards, and snakes we encounter.

 

Field Notes
The Frog, Reptile, & Snake Forum

 

The mountain yellow-legged frog Site
 MyFrog.info

 

Links from MyFrog & to
frog and reptile resources

 

 

Frog Identification

Guides
The Best of Breed

MyHerps.com:
A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of California

California Frogs Photo Idenification

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Sierra Nevada Hiking and backpacking with Dogs sticky icon

Hiking Dogs in the High Sierra

 

High Sierra Hiking Dog News,
below, & Links

 

Introduction

I consider dogs an integral part of High Sierra Trail Culture, and have met some fine canines along the long trails. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Synchronized Hive Ventilation: How bees Stay Cool on Hot Summer Days

THE BUZZ

The Wing-Beat of Bees
When it gets hot inside the nest, bees use their wings as fans to draw hot air out and allow cooler air to move in, Video courtesy of Jacob Peters/Harvard SEAS.
When it gets hot inside the nest, bees use their wings as fans to draw hot air out and allow cooler air to move in, Video courtesy of Jacob Peters/Harvard SEAS.

Bee More Understanding

How bees stay cool on hot summer days,
Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, February 8, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

What
“When it gets hot inside the nest, a group of bees crawl to the entrance and use their wings as fans to draw hot air out and allow cooler air to move in. The question is, how do bees self-organize into these living ventilating units?”

Environmental Adaptation
The Social Solution to Physical Problems
“Over millennia, social insects such as bees have evolved to harness and exploit flows and forces and collectively solve physiological problems such as mechanical stabilization, thermoregulation and ventilation on scales much larger than the individual.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Mountain Lion Attack Repelled, Lion Killed in Colorado

 

MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Mountain Lion Attack Repelled in Colorado

 North American Cougar
(Puma concolor couguar)
North American cougar (Puma concolor couguar) in Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. By the National Park Service.
Glacier National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. National Park Service

 

A Mountain Lion Attacked a Runner. He Choked It to Death and Escaped.
NY Times, February 5, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

“A man running along a trail in Colorado who was attacked by a young mountain lion this week managed to choke it to death and escape...”

“The body of the mountain lion, which officials said was less than a year old and weighed under 70 pounds, was found on the trail near some of the man’s possessions and was taken to a lab for examination.”

“The man, who had been running along the West Ridge Trail at Horsetooth Mountain Open Space — about 65 miles north of Denver...heard “something behind him on the trail,” and when he turned around to see what it was, the lion lunged at him and bit his face and wrist.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Elevation Keys Diverse Pika Population Responses to Changing Climate

SMALL SIERRA NEVADA MAMMALS

American Pika
American Pika, Ecological Society of America, Photo credit to, courtesy of, Shana Weber.
 With their sensitivity to overheating, pikas are an indicator species for how climate change may affect mountain-dwelling wildlife.
Ecological Society of America, Photo credit to, courtesy of, Shana Weber.

 

Elevation Keys Diverse Pika Population Responses to Changing Climate

Pika Survival Rates Dry Up with Low Moisture,
Ecological Society of America, February 4, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Pacific Northwest Forest 100 Year Plan in Trouble

PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOREST HEALTH "100 YEAR PLAN"

 

Oregon Old Growth
Oregon Old Growth, OSU College of Forestry.
What needs to be saved: Old Growth Forest. OSU College of Forestry.

 

Human Growth Drives Climate & Weather Changing Too Quickly for Ecosystems

NW Forest Plan 25 Years Later: Wildfire Losses Up, Bird Populations Down,
Oregon State University, February 4, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

100 Year Plan
“Twenty-five years into a 100-year federal strategy to protect older forests in the Pacific Northwest, forest losses to wildfire are up and declines in bird populations have not been reversed.”

Old Forests
“...importance of continuing to prioritize the safeguarding of older forests...forests characterized by a complex structure that includes multiple canopy layers, large trees, downed wood and snags.”

Old Trees require Long Plan
"Douglas-fir can live to be more than 800 years old and grow to be more than 100 meters tall, so it shouldn't be surprising that it is hard to 'restore' this forest type, and that any plan to do so will take a long time.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

DEET Resistance Aids Transmission of West Nile Virus

SKEETER REALITY CHANGING

DEET Resistance Aids Transmission of West Nile Virus

Aedes Aegypti
Aedes aegypti feeding in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, By Muhammad Mahdi Karim.
Aedes aegypti feeding in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. "...Originally found in tropical and subtropical zones, but now found on all continents except Antarctica, " WikiImage by Muhammad Mahdi Karim.

 

Insecticide resistance genes affect vector competence for West Nile virus,
Institut Pasteur, January 31, 2019.

Main Points

Skeeter Resistance Rising
"...the overuse of insecticides leads to the selection of mosquitoes with insecticide resistance genes. Insecticide resistance has been reported to affect interactions between mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019: Gray Wolves Protection Confirmed in California

RETURN of the WOLVES

Gray Wolves in California

OR-7 Leads the Way
Gray wolf OR7. CDFW photo by Richard Shinn.
Gray wolf OR7. CDFW photo by Richard Shinn.

Judge upholds protection for gray wolves in California,
AP, January 28, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Protections Upheld
“A California judge on Monday upheld protection for gray wolves under the state’s Endangered Species Act, rejecting a legal challenge from ranchers and farmers who fear the predators will threaten their livestock.”

“...California was right to list the wolves as endangered in 2014.”

“...California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Cattlemen’s Association argued the listing was arbitrary because there are so few wolves in the state.”

OR-7
“A wolf known as OR-7 made headlines in 2011 when it traveled south from Oregon — making it the first known wolf in California since 1924.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

The Sad Present & Future Status of the Mountain-Dwelling Cascades Frog

MOUNTAIN FROG NEWS

The Mountain-Dwelling Cascades Frog
The mountain-dwelling Cascades frog thrives in extreme climatic conditions. SFU, Simon Fraser University.
The mountain-dwelling Cascades frog thrives in extreme climatic conditions. Credit to Simon Fraser University.

 

Drier mountains pose a double whammy for cold-adapted amphibians, says SFU study,
Simon Fraser University, January 25, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Extreme Frog
“The mountain-dwelling Cascades frog thrives in extreme climatic conditions, ranging from dozens of feet of snow in winter to temperatures in excess of 90°F in summer.”

“...explosive breeders and their role as predators of flying insects is critical to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.”

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Innovative Study Links Satellite & Climate Data to Water-Stunted Tree Growth

FORESTS, TREES, PLANTS & OUR CHANGING CLIMATE

Forest Trees Respond to 20th Century Temperature Change
Forest Trees Respond to 20th Century Temperature Change, Graphic Credit to Flurin Babst, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zurich.
Caption & Key. Graphic Credit to Flurin Babst, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zurich.

 

Innovative Study Links Satellite & Climate Data with Tree Growth

Water, not temperature, limits global forest growth as climate warms,
University of Arizona, January 16, 2018.

MAIN POINTS

“The growth of forest trees all over the world is becoming more water-limited as the climate warms...”

“The effect is most evident in northern climates and at high altitudes where the primary limitation on tree growth had been cold temperatures...”

"Our study shows that across the vast majority of the land surface, trees are becoming more limited by water..."

"This is the first time that anybody has projected the tree growth responses to climate at a near-global scale."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

BIRDS & INSECTS, A Shared Decline

BIRDS & INSECTS
UPDATE

A Shared Decline

Bugs Go, Birds Follow...

Original article, below, Oct 17, '18:

Swallow decline linked to Climate & Bugs

 

Latest Update
January 15, ‘19:

Puerto Rico Insect Collapse

Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems,’
Guardian, January 15, 2019.

"Scientist Brad Lister returned to Puerto Rican rainforest after 35 years to find 98% of ground insects had vanished."

“We are essentially destroying the very life support systems that allow us to sustain our existence on the planet, along with all the other life on the planet,” Lister said. “It is just horrifying to watch us decimate the natural world like this.”

 

Previous Reporting
October 19, '18:

Ecosystems Failing

Puerto Rico Insect Collapse

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019 Water Research: Can our Forests Survive the Next Drought?

FORESTS, TREES, PLANTS, & PEOPLE

Bleak Current Status of Sierra Tree Mortality
Dead Trees Everywhere
 UC Merced.
Many trees in the Sierra have died in the past few years because of drought. Photo & Caption Credit: UC Merced.

 

Understanding Tree Mortality

Can our forests survive the next drought?
UC Merced, January 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Understanding Tree Mortality

“Each year our forests, grasslands and shrublands depend on water stored underground to survive the dry summers, but during multiyear dry periods there is not enough precipitation in the wet winter season to replenish that supply.”

“If the drought is long enough and especially hot, as was the case from fall 2011 through 2015, large numbers of trees run out of water and die.”

Goal
“...delved into data from sites across the semi-arid West to determine the amount of water storage available in the root zones of different areas.”

“...how dependent different areas in the West are on that subsurface water storage and how many dry years the plants can survive.”

Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system

Search

Latest News: RSS FEED

Syndicate content

Support Tahoe to Whitney

The Tahoe to Whitney Trail Guide and Magazine are walked, written, funded, and supported by my efforts, with the help of kindred spirits and my sister.

We offer valuable Trail Guide, Skills, Weather, News and Analysis.

My goal is to get you out to see your natural and social potential. Help me keep this unique resource accessible and expanding towards its potential. We've a lot of miles to cover ahead...

I NEED HELP!
If you feel these efforts are valuable, I'm cordially inviting you to support them, here:

 

 

I am currently working towards publishing the completed guide between Tahoe & Yosemite as an e-book, while converting this "blog" to a fine magazine format. You will like the results! Help Tahoe to Whitney reach its potential!

 

Why Support Tahoe to Whitney?
Mission Statement