Day 4 – June 12, 2015 [by Riva Madan]
Today was our trip to the higher elevations, reaching about 11,000 ft. It is an easy drive to the trail head at Wheeler Peak Campground and from there we hiked to Teresa Lake. Along the way up the trail, we collected beetles near the melting edges of the snow patches. We were expecting to find Bembidion and Trachypachus here, but at first we didn’t find any beetles at all and started to get worried. As we continued to get to higher elevation and Frank started to get dizzy from lower oxygen (lol, noob), we started to find the beetles we were looking for. Being so small and fast, it was difficult for me to catch them at first even with an aspirator (aka pooter). Luckily, I quickly got the hang of it and started to find many beetles under the rocks by the lake.
In the stream running into the lake, we found some interesting cold water beetles that Frank and I hadn’t seen before. After having picnic lunch by the lake, we headed back down to the park maintenance headquarters and washed up in the first and only shower for the trip.
That afternoon we rested, took silly pictures, and ate dinner in camp.
Once the sun set, we went to Snake Creek and set up a mercury vapor light sheet and do hand collecting. We were again finding many scarabs and Tenebrionidae, but we did get a few interesting things; Kip and I each collected handsome Carabus taedatus. Some Amara, small harpalines and a some usual Bembidion and Pterostichus were found in the mostly dry creek bed. Though the collecting was slow, our list of species was growing.
Next blog: Our final (long) day in GBNP.