|A bit of searching revealed some Paintbrush on the trail above the river.|
the Alpha), and today we were witnessing the end (the Omega).
It isn't just the flowers that can be rare and unique. This arid landscape also hosts an endangered vertebrate species as well, and it's a surprise. It's a fish. That's extraordinary, knowing how hot and dry this place becomes in the summer. Somehow, the Red Hills Roach (Lavinia symmetricus) survives in a few small spring-fed pools in some of the creeks in the preserve. There were some serious concerns about whether they could survive the extended drought, but they did okay. I got some clumsy pictures on our earlier trip (below).
|The Red Hills Roach, an endemic fish found only in this part of the Sierra Mother Lode|
There isn't much time left before the flowers begin to fade away for another hot summer. All is not lost of course, as the wildflower season will probably last all summer and into the fall, since it is going to take about that long to melt all the snow that has fallen this year. If you want to see flowers in the coming months, just head higher into the mountains! But stop by the Red Hills for a few moments to see rocks that began their journey many tens of miles, maybe hundreds of miles down in the crust and mantle of Planet Earth. They are fascinating.