Basin and Range

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dbhguru
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Basin and Range

Post by dbhguru » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:30 pm

WNTS/ENTS

Yesterday Monica, Don, and I held our first WNTS event by going up the Gibson Jack trail that starts a few miles from my daughter’s house. Gibson Jack winds its way up to the top of a small mountain range in the Pocatello vicinity. The starting elevation of the trail is 5,080 feet at a small stream. The trailhead is a meeting place for hikers, mountain bikers, dirt bikers, and ATV users. From my brief observation, all seem to coexist – a good thing.

From the trailhead, we climbed up a long ridge and eventually to an altitude of 6,500 feet before calling it quits. We had panoramic views all the way. Our specific objective was to document the plant communities and enjoy the scenery, along the trail. There are lots of Douglas Fir in the gulches and ravines in the surrounding area. However, none are of exceptional size on or near the trail we chose. This was a disappointment, but so it was to be.

What was exceptional about yesterday’s walk was the range of visual impressions. We enjoyed an array of subtle colors. The light greens of the meadows, aspens, and distant fields were visibly differentiated and punctuated by the darker greens of the conifers, snaking their way up the ravines. Up close, there was mountain mahogany, and unknown shrub, and some very old junipers to look at. We have no way of knowing their ages, but 400+ years seems reasonable for several of the trees we saw. The first two images show what we believe to be several centuries-old junipers.
image001.jpg

image003.jpg


Dirt bikers use the trail we were on, so it has lots of loose gravel, making for difficult walking. However, it is well worn. You could follow it in the dark. In the next image, the trail is visible going up 6,775-foot Gibson Jack Mountain. Don and Monica gaze contemplatively at the trail in what was a rapidly rising temperature. We had donned rain gear under cloudy skies at the outset, but the clouds were rapidly dissipating and we were heating up in a brightening sun.
image005.jpg


In the next image we see Don and Monica resting in the shade. We had reached an altitude of 6,440 feet, courtesy of my Garmin GPS. Monica went on for about 0.2 miles farther for the view while Don and I languished under a mountain mahogany contemplating the compelling features of the western landscape. The clear air, the sweeping vistas, the sharp range of colors, the fresh feel of the land, the pioneer spirit, etc. We triumphantly ticked off the appealing features. We were westerners in spirit – Don a born westerner, and I an honorary recruit.

When Monica returned, it was my turn to amble around looking for photo ops. However, while taking images, I had a need to introduce myself to a novel use of the young leaves of the arrow leaf balsamroot. I won’t be indiscreet and describe the use given the leaves, leaving that to the imagination, but I highly recommend this prolific plant. It has versatility for many bodily requirements.
image007.jpg
An indispensable feature of the West are its distant vistas. The long view is emphasized even in western movies that concentrate on the social aspects of the West. The West is about space. In fact, it is inconceivable to me to travel toward western horizons without developing a deep appreciation for the expansiveness of the landscape and absorbing its grandness through its broad color pallet, the juxtaposition of contrasting colors, the sound of the wind, the sheer scale of the physical features. Standing beneath a lone juniper, I attempted to capture some of the feel of western expansiveness in the next three images.
image009.jpg
image011.jpg
image013.jpg


I will present two final images, with a preface. Even the most ardent tree or big landscape enthusiast will not overlook the abundant wildflowers as a subject of photography. We had many choices.

Indian paintbrush is one of my favorite species. I like both its name and appearance. I could have concentrated exclusively on wildflowers. There was no shortage of subjects: arrow leaf balsamroot in abundance, larkspur, Indian paintbrush, wild geranium, scarlet gilia, yarrow, blue penstemon, harebell, elderberry, sego lily, a couple of unidentified purple flowers, prickly pear cactus, to name a few.
image015.jpg
image017.jpg
I will now turn the podium over to Don, who will add his own thoughts about yesterday’s experience in a future posting.

Bob





WNTSRendezvous.docx
(1.21 MiB) Downloaded 124 times
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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Larry Tucei
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Re: Basin and Range

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:59 pm

Bob, That Juniper looks very old, awesome looking place. Where's the Mule Deer? Larry

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dbhguru
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Re: Basin and Range

Post by dbhguru » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:13 pm

WNTS-ENTS

Here are two more images from Gibson Jack. Emphasis is on the old junipers.
GJ-Old Junipers.jpg
GJ-Monica.jpg
Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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dbhguru
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Re: Basin and Range

Post by dbhguru » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:15 pm

Larry,

There are plenty of mule deer and moose and mountain lions. No shortage of wild life, but the critters had enough sense to stay out of the hot sun. On the other hand, the humans .....

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: Basin and Range

Post by James Parton » Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:35 am

Those old junipers remind me so much of the Eastern Red Cedars here in NC. But the ERC is in fact a type of juniper itself.

Monica really highlights that photo, Bob!
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

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dbhguru
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Re: Basin and Range

Post by dbhguru » Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:11 am

James,

Thanks. Today, we all head back to the Tetons. I'll be silent for a few days.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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James Parton
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Re: Basin and Range

Post by James Parton » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:42 am

Bob, You and Monica enjoy yourselves. I know you will!
James E Parton
Ovate Course Graduate - Druid Student
Bardic Mentor
New Order of Druids

http://www.druidcircle.org/nod/index.ph ... Itemid=145

boise-tree-service
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Re: Basin and Range

Post by boise-tree-service » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:30 pm

Wow that's a great shot of Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/). I was looking for a half-dozen or so good views of it for a trail guide I'm putting together... the Word docx came in handy too.
thanks!

JP


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Justin Parker
http://www.parkertreeservice.net

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