14 May 2016: Elder Creek

Author: Julian Perez

CA: Mendocino County: Angelo Coast Range Reserve: Elder Creek

Our spirits are high, our heads full of knowledge, and our hearts are full of love for this place. I asked around and it seems a consensus. If we already loved this place, check, if any of us were on the fence, Elder creek won us over.

EPT Index (photo by: Eric Engles)
Some sat and watched the dragon fly molt for 2 hours! (photo by: Teague Corning)
Jeanette with a rough skinned newt (photo by: Eric Engles)
Pacific Giant Salamander Larva! (photo by: Ryan Carle) 

Elder creek. Oh my! So much to say! The water was either crystal clear or majestic blue. We had some fantastic presentations on river ecology, and the EPT index. We found calypso orchids, keyed mushrooms, and caught a juvenile Pacific Giant Salamander. There were so many things crawling around in the water, as well. We found a megalopteran that earned its name very much, and found not a single diptera.

Pacific Giant Salamander (photo by: Morgan O’Reilly)

Upon our return, Phil the fish biologist offered to lead a night hike. The mission: find an adult Pacific Salamander, eyes were spotted on the hillside. Two students guided him to the target. Phil pounced, and Bam! Salamander. They brought the specimen back to base camp to share with the class, so everybody got a chance to see.

The day: c’est magnificent.

Elder Creek Falls (photo: Liz Martinez)