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RStonejr posted a photo:

Lone Pine Peak Through Whitney Portal Arch @ Dawn

Whitney Portal Arch is my new favorite arch in the Alabama Hills. It?s really out of the way and off the beaten path. So you are not likely to run into any tourists ? and you will have the arch all to yourself.

Jim Morefield posted a photo:

whitebark pine, Pinus albicaulis

whitebark pine, Pinus albicaulis, California, Sierra Nevada, Rock Creek Basin, East Fork, Rock Creek - Owens Valley drainage, elevation 3100 m (10170 ft).

Finally finished up 2016 with some whitebark pine research. This western North American endemic is currently a candidate for Endangered Species listing, because of widespread declines and mortality from white pine blister rust and pine beetles. Most of the mortality has been in the main part of its range in the northern Rocky Mountains. I have been helping to survey less impacted populations near the southern edge of its range.

whitebark pine is unique among North American white pines in having cones that remain closed until torn apart by animals, or falling apart on their own. The animals (mostly Clark's Nutcracker and various small mammals) are very efficient at this, and if you aren't there while cones are still on the tree, often all you find is a litter of disarticulated cones scales on the ground. The species depends almost entirely on Clark's Nutcracker to disperse its seeds. Vegetatively the species is virtually identical to limber pine (Pinus flexilis), which causes ID problems where they grow together, unless cones are present.

Here was a "typical" blackish-purple whitebark pine cone from the Sierra Nevada, conveniently dropped along the trail by a small mammal and not yet chewed apart.

sky_hlv posted a photo:

Sierra Nevada-Granada(Spain)

Pictures provided by Flickr under the creative commons license via RSS flickr.com  


The Sierra Nevada, meaning "snowy range" in Spanish, is a mountain range in the region of Andalusia in Spain. It contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén at 3,479 m.It is a popular tourist destination, as its high peaks make skiing possible in Europe's most southern ski resort in an area along the Mediterranean Sea predominantly known for its warm temperatures and abundant sunshine. At its foothills is found the city of Granada and, a little farther, Málaga and Almería.Parts of the range have been included in the Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada. The range has also been declared a biosphere reserve. The Sierra Nevada Observatory is located on the northern slopes at 2800 m.


The Sierra Nevada were formed during the Alpine Orogeny, a mountain-building event that also formed the European Alps to the east and the Atlas Mountains of northern Africa across the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Sierra as observed today formed during the Tertiary Period (65 to 1.8 million years ago) from the collision of the African and Eurasian continental plates.

See also

  • Alpujarras
  • Geography of Spain

External links



  • Francisco Pérez Raya, Joaquín Molero Mesa, Francisco Valle Tendero, 1992: "Parque Natural de Sierra Nevada. Paisaje, fauna, flora, itinerarios". Ed. Rueda. Madrid. ISBN 84-7207-067-0 (spanish)
  • "Flora de la Tundra de Sierra Nevada". Pablo Prieto Fernández, Ed. Universidad de Granada. ISBN ISBN 84-60018105 (spanish)
  • "Sierra Nevada: Guía de Montaña". Aurelio del Castillo y Antonio del Castillo. Ed. Penibética, 2003. ISBN 84-932022-3-1 (spanish)