A Side Trip to the High Desert

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April 14th 2008
Published: April 15th 2008
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The colors of Nevada are a complete reversal of expectations created by six weeks in California. We crossed into Nevada east of Donner Pass and the miles of evergreen trees and snow gave way to chaparral and the subtle colors of sage and tumbleweed. Much to our surprise, we learned that tumbleweed is a foreign invasive species! It’s a part of our western legends…”_See them tumbling down... Read Full Entry

Photos are below
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Upper Alkali LakeUpper Alkali Lake
Upper Alkali Lake

This section of the valley contained water. The snow-capped mountains in Nevada are visible and snow was on the ground at road level. The lake was about 4500 ft above sea level, about the same as Reno.
Peter and Trudy BrussardPeter and Trudy Brussard
Peter and Trudy Brussard

This is the Brussard's beautiful vacation home in the Ft. Bidwell in the Surprise Valley with our Moxie (hard to see in snow), and their labs, Modoc and Katie.
Complete with Trailer Pad.Complete with Trailer Pad.
Complete with Trailer Pad.

The Brussards vacation home comes complete with an RV pad with full hookups!
On the Front DeckOn the Front Deck
On the Front Deck

Peter, Trudy, Lynn, Katie, Modoc, and Moxie on the front deck of their vacation home. At the feeders we saw many mountain chickadees, Oregon-style juncos, and both Stellar and western scrub jays. In a nearby tree, Peter and Jon found a red-naped sapsucker (a first for Jon).
Peter and Trudy's StreamPeter and Trudy's Stream
Peter and Trudy's Stream

This stream runs through their property and is a good place to see dippers. Jon watched for them extensively but didn't see them. Thankfully, we did see them a lot in the Big Sur.
Sandhill CranesSandhill Cranes
Sandhill Cranes

Much to our surprise, Surprise Valley is a breeding location for sandhill cranes. (Peter Brussard--photo credit)
Annie's LakeAnnie's Lake
Annie's Lake

We took all the dogs to Annies Lake so they could exercise and we could see the wildlife. Among the birds, we saw a Golden Eagle and most of the expected species of ducks for this area.
Handwriting of NatureHandwriting of Nature
Handwriting of Nature

Peter took this picture of lichen growth on a mountain side. For scale, this photo shows maybe 600 feet of a hill. It looks like a picture of a mountain goat on the left and the letters T and G. There were other "writings" on the hill but this one was the most suggestive. (Peter Brussard--photo credit)

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