Abel Creek Pass Loop

I’m eager to see more of the Santa Rosa-Paradise Peak wilderness, and another volunteer named Mike offers to join me. I warn him that I’m considering some bushwhacking, and he tackles it gamely, even when it turns out to be a LOT of bushwhacking.

Our first climb to a ridge up a steep sage-covered slope goes well.

Mike on our first ridge

After that we encounter more vegetation. It’s harder to hike through, but interesting to look at! We see blue elderberry, snowberry (I think), and a couple of hardy limber pines that I wondered about from afar yesterday. There are also a lot of red mound ant hills.

Blue Elderberry

Snowberry?

Limber Pine

Red Mound Ants

We climb a lot, passing a lone spring.

Steep Hiking

Spring

Finally the ridge evens out, and the last stretch to Abel Pass is easier, with great views.

View west from Abel pass

View northwest from Abel pass

If anyone can tell me what this wingless hopping insect is, I’d love to know. It moves its antennae, but doesn’t move otherwise. Is it molting?

No idea what this is

The descent is thankfully easier, following the route we used yesterday. Lots of dried buckwheat and blooming rubber rabbit brush on this ridge.

Striped stems

Rubber Rabbitbrush

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6 thoughts on “Abel Creek Pass Loop

  1. Thanks BioBob! I couldn’t find a picture that looks like mine, but I have a feeling I found this critter in an unusual place or stage of life…

  2. Ok, I thought that was crazy talk, but then I started looking more closely at the photo and saw something growing out of the cricket’s head:
    Cricket Head Growth
    and something fuzzy under the abdomen:
    Cricket Abdomen Growth
    Now I’m kicking myself for not looking closer when I saw it!

  3. I did not notice that myself but it appears this is a female and her ovipositor is deployed into the ground just to the left of that fuzzy stuff. Wierd.

    It just goes to show you, the more we know, the more nature is stranger than we know.

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