July 9, 2010

Subalpine Riparian Zone

When we hiked up Reader Creek last week, Steve and Daisy stopped to check out this pond.
 Steve saw no fish in the pond, but he did see lots of bugs.  This is a caddis larva in a pebble casing:
Most of the caddis in the pond had made homes in bits of grass, something we hadn't seen before:
Steve removed one from its home to identify it.
Later, when he put the larva back in the water, it immediately attacked another larva, trying to steal its grass home by crawling in and forcing the other guy to vacate:
Unless they decided to share, one of them had to build himself another grass casing.
On the walk back downstream, we saw this bird flying up off the ground, from almost under out feet:
She had apparently been sitting on a nest, which you can see hidden in the tall grass on the left in the photo above.  The eggs are shown below:
Any guesses on the bird's identity?  This bird resembled the mother, but I'm not sure it's the same species:
Reader Creek is a pretty little stream:
Looking down into its clear water, I spotted this trout.  From its markings (black spots and faint pars marks), it appears to be a native cutthroat, although I can't see the red line on its throat.
We didn't fish, but someone has been here before us.  Unfortunately, they left their garbage behind:


  1. Reader Creek looks so clear and pristine - I just can't understand why someone who loves to fish would think it's OK to leave garbage. I'm shaking my head! Great photos and post about the creatures you found.

  2. Love seeing Reader Creek... It looks so clean. Too bad people leave their garbage around. They do the same thing when we are on the trails checking for waterfalls.

    That is a great picture of the trout. I've never seen those caddis larva before.... Very interesting.. Thanks for sharing... AND thanks for taking us to Reader Creek with you.

  3. What a beautiful area Janie. I have not a clue on the bird species, but I am sure she was happy when you left the area.

    How horrible to leave trash behind...I will never understand that. Imagine how well they take care of their own home if that is the way they care for the earth.

  4. Reader Creek is a very interesting name! Wonder how it came to be called that? It's beautiful.

    Shame on those people for leaving their trash. I just don't get it...

  5. pretty stream...doesn't that make you mad when people leave their trash behind....

  6. I thoroughly enjoyed your hike along Reader's Creek. I was sorry to see that Utah has the same problem with careless outdoor enthusiasts that we have in Tennessee.

  7. I'm sure Daisy didn't care if there were fish in the pond. It is truly sad that people would go to such a beautiful place and leave trash behind.

  8. Reader Creek certainly is very pretty. I love the name 'cutthroat trout':-) It's remarkable how determined caddis larvae are about their domiciles ;-)

  9. Great little outing. I loved the picture of trout.

  10. I'd forgotten about how the caddis fly larva builds a home out of sand and pebbles. That is so cool. Yeah, never heard of them building one out of grass though. I can't believe you put him back and were able to actually catch a picture of him trying to steal another larva's home! Who knew these caddis flies lives were so action packed.

  11. Cool trout photo! I'm always amazed that people still litter. We found some garbage in one of the slot canyons in Canyonlands.

  12. Lovely photos and those are some very interesting looking eggs! Thanks for sharing the day!:)

  13. your blog is so educational . . . I like that.



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