My last day hike in the JMW was up to Cirque Lake: a cirque is a glacial carved, amphitheater like depression, typically characterized by a moraine, or a pile of glacial debris piled up at the base of the glacier. This is not really a textbook cirque, but it is, none the less a lake caused by glacial cirque.
Heart shaped tree scar with a T-rex head in the middle: a design that could melt the heart of a romantic paleontologist.
Emergent Bristlecone pine cones with their diagnostic blueish, bristly, bract tips. One can also make out the five needles to a bundle(fascicle), also diagnostic for the species.
Juvenile Harrier, coursing over the wetlands at the edge of Cirque Lake, probably hunting for rodents. I observed a number of chipmunks, and ground squirrels in this area scurrying about. Harriers fly a somewhat random pattern, relatively close to the ground using sound for locating prey: they have facial discs, similar to owls to locate prey.
Cute Yellow-bellied Marmots(Marmota flaviventris) were frequently seen near the alpine lakes that I visited in the JMW. It is one of fourteen species of marmots, and is native to mountainous regions of southwestern Canada, and western US including the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. They live at elevations between 5,400′-14,000′, and are “harem-polygynous” in which the male reproduces with two or three females.
Probably in the genus Chlorophyllum, but I’m not sure.
This adult female Mallard was very busy diving for its meals. Normally, Mallards feed at the surface but this individual, and several other mallards were diving at all of the lakes that I visited.
The wet meadows near all of the lakes had an abundance of low growing Sierra Gentians. Growing at the top of its published elevation range(11,000′), this species must be blooming at, or near the end of their growing season.
Another very small wildflower, unidentified(as yet), in the wet soil near Cirque Lake.