Life in the mountain shrub community

Another hike, a bunch more fun photos. One of the big reasons I like walking is because I go slow enough to see interesting things.

Side-blotched lizard maybe 3

Side-blotched lizard.

If I’d know blotchiness on the side of the lizard would be diagnostic, I would have tried to get a shot.

Side-blotched lizard maybe 1

The slit on the lizard’s head is not a gill, as I keep thinking it is, even though I know better. Reptiles don’t have gills, they have nostrils and breath air.  The slit is the lizard’s ear.

 

Yellow brested chat

Yellow-breasted chat.

Yellow-breasted Chats look like lemon-breasted robins. But instead, they are overgrown wood-warblers, a family that includes birds like the Virginia warbler or Wilson’s warbler. Don’t recognize the names? That’s because they are too small to see easily, usually around 5 inches long, or smaller, and they prefer denser forest. Yellow-breasted chats, on the other hand, are around 7 1/4 inches long — robin-sized — and live in open shrubland.

mountain gentian-1

Fremont geranium

Fremont geraniums were all along the trail. Very nice.