20150528

It doesn't get much better than this! Wed 5/27/15


When the weather is perfect like today, hitting the trail just makes good sense.  As I mentioned yesterday, the Truckee/Tahoe area is fast becoming a favorite of ours, and that includes Sagehen Creek.  The daytime temp was forecast to be around 70 degrees, nice and warm, but with a cooling breeze.  (In the process of typing up my post this afternoon, everything just kind of quit, so I quit, too, w/o publishing ... but lo-and-behold, it published itself, and I didn't know it, till Judy left a comment about the Chickadee.  Too weird.  Maybe I can finish what I started now.)  Sagehen Creek is located off Hwy 89, about seven miles north of Truckee.  Limited parking is on the right.


Sagehen trail heads downstream thru the lush riparian habitat of Sagehen Creek, which (happily) has plenty of water in it moving down toward Stampede Reservoir.  The trail then moves into a mixed forest of Lodgepole and Jeffrey Pines and White Firs, ending in beautiful meadowlands.  Here in the Sierras, this is considered Upper Montane Zone (6,000 - 7,000 ft). The trail is pretty level and not strenuous.  It's fairly heavily used this time of year when spring wildflowers are blooming.  Spectacular scenery, be it spring, summer or fall.  The smells alone are worth a thousand bucks, fresh mountain air fragrant with blooming willows and vanilla-scented Jeffrey pines.


Aspens are beginning to leaf out in a dazzling spring green.


Entire hillsides are covered with the yellow flowers of Woolly Mule's Ears (Wyethia mollis), just one of the many reasons people like this trail.  I can't begin to describe all the wildflowers we spotted, many of them yellow, which is curious, or purple.  Lupines and Paintbrush and Baker's Violets (yellow), and the list goes on and on ....


Spring thunderstorms the past couple of weeks may have felled this tree blocking the path.  According to other footprints, it's not a problem -- simply go around, till the forest service has a chance to cut it away, which we did.


We spotted several areas of puddling by tiny Anna's Blue Butterfly.


Birds were chirping and flitting about, including this Mountain Chickadee, which makes for a cheerful walk.


Mahala Mat Manzanita (Ceanothus prostratus) -- very interesting name.  Some call it Squaw Blanket.  Low growing ground cover, liberally plastering the hillsides with purple.  Pretty.


We saw the beaver in this pond last year when we hiked the trail with my sister, Nannie.  Obviously, the beaver is still active, but we didn't see it this year.


The meadow is only beginning to flower.  Western Bistort (Polygonum bistortoides) and Purple Meadow Penstamon were starting to put on a show.


 I call Bistort Q-tips.  This one has a visitor.


Clumps of Sierra Shooting Star (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) and Water Plantain buttercup dotted the moist areas and rivulets feeding into the Creek.


Lunch time!  (The Creek is off to the right in this picture)



Because we wandered further on the path toward the reservoir than previously, we saw this cement foundation of an old sheepherder's place, now overgrown with Aspens and sage.  We hadn't been this far before.  Apparently this area (Truckee) was once teeming with sheep.  The herders picked some fantastic spots to live.


Stampede Reservoir is so low that you can't see it from this point.  We turned around here to head back.  Look at that sky!


I was surprised to see a Western Tanager in the pine.  It's probably a recent migrant.  Gorgeous colors.


Now we're back at the pond.  We heard the Osprey long before we spied it.  I took a picture, but the Osprey was too far away for my little point-n-shoot.  Yellow Warblers zipped from tree to tree and woodpeckers were havin' a go at the dead trees.  Perhaps you can see why we enjoy this so much; we spent the better part of the afternoon Out and About.  Loved it all.


Oh, I almost forgot to include a photo of Pussy Paws (Calyptridium), the last picture of the day.  The flowers are soft and they feel like and remind me of chenille.  This one is for you, Nannie!

When we returned to Tergel, sitting pretty in her own right on the Truckee River, we showered and got tidied up, so we could drive into town for a PIZZA.  Figured we deserved pizza after the miles we put on our feet today.  We ordered two medium pizzas (one for me and one for Jimmy) at Pizza Bar and polished off most of both.  Mine was half Mixed/half Herbavore, and Jimmy always orders the Meatlovers.  They were delicious, and we brought home enough pizza for tomorrow night!  Aw, heck, sorry I forgot to take a Food Picture!

4 comments:

  1. I've never seen a mountain chickadee. I'm envious!

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  2. And here I was expecting you to go to the hotel for dinner. But pizza sounds good to me, too. I think I need to go nag Mui into making a pizza for dinner tonight.

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    Replies
    1. Nope, we'll wait for a special night to eat at the hotel, perhaps a weekend when they have live jazz. We're trying new eateries in Truckee and Pizza Bar was on the menu, so to speak, and it fulfilled our expectations!! (I've never had arugula on pizza before)

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  3. Aw, thanks for the pussy paws! What a wonderful hike we had, seeing all the flowers. Loved it! Thanks for showing it to me again!

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