On July 8 the Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) took a field trip to the northern Bodie Hills. About 20 of us drove the loop from Bridgeport up to the Masonic Mountain area, then south to the top of Aurora Canyon and back to Bridgeport, with stops along the way, of course, to look at plants. The first stop was at the seasonal pond I’ll henceforth call Chemung Lake (because it’s near Chemung Mine). It had filled nicely during the wet winter and supported a healthy 6 acres of spike-rush (Eleocharis macrostachya).
We proceeded around the north side of Masonic Mountain to Lakeview Spring, with its ring of Nebraska sedge (Carex nebrascensis) within a large grove of aspen (Populus tremuloides).
We inspected the population of Brown’s peony (Paeonia brownii) near Lakeview Spring. This may be the southernmost population of this species east of the Sierra Nevada.
We found Leichtlin’s mariposa-lily (Calochortus leichtlinii), near Lakeview Spring (surrounded here by grass leaves).
Lunch beside the aspens and meadow at Masonic Lower Town.
Ann explains a grass.
The caravan stops along a drainage southeast of Masonic Mountain.
Pronghorn crossing the road ahead!
Ten members of the Bodie Hills herd of Pronghorn.
Thanks to Ann Howald (CNPS) and April Sall (Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership) for arranging and leading this outing, and to all the other participants for their interest in the Bodie Hills!
A few more botanical notes:
Plants seen on this trip that will be added to the next edition of the Plants of the Bodie Hills checklist:
Asteraceae: Tragopogon dubius Scop. Yellow salsify. Near Lakeview Spring, among aspens and with Paeonia brownii.
Asteraceae: Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten. Bull thistle. At Lakeview Spring, and Ann Howald reports having seen it in Rattlesnake Gulch and at Mormon Meadow.
Cyperaceae: Cyperus squarrosus L. Bearded flatsedge. Tiny plants, easily overlooked, near the southwest shore of Chemung Lake.
Juncaceae: Juncus tiehmii Ertter. Tiehm’s rush. Possibly seen at Chemung Lake (confirmation pending), but apparently this tiny annual rush was collected on Dry Lakes Plateau way back in 1983, and so should have been in the checklist from the beginning.
Copyright © Tim Messick 2017. All rights reserved.
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