25 March 2020
Lab 7: Independent Field Excursion and Species Account
Date of Excursion: March 21, 2020
Location: La Quinta Cove to Lake Cahuilla Trail
*Approximately 6.60 miles*
About the Site: This hiking trail is located in La Quinta, California (near my home). The landscape is a desert biome. The landscape mixes both flat land and slopes. There are lots of rocks and gravel. The general habitat is a desert biome.
Species #1: Desert Bighorn Sheep, Ovis canadensis nelson
A medium/medium-large mammal, ranging from 52-127kg (iNaturalist), and had tan/brown color hair/wool. The Desert Big Horn Sheep was on the top of a mountain/clearing looking around the landscape. This was the only Desert Big Horn Sheep that I saw in on the trail.
The time of year that I went on my hike, it was mating season, so half of the trail was closed off. I looked around for another Big Horn Sheep because a friend told me that typically when there is one, there is another nearby. However, I did not see another Big Horn Sheep. We saw the sheep about halfway through our hike. It is important to note “both genders develop horns soon after birth, with horn growth continuing throughout life” (iNatrualist). Mating practices include “males fighting to determine who is dominant and who will gain access to the ewes (females)” (iNatrualist).
*Below is a photo of the Desert Bighorn Sheep from the internet as I was not able to take a good, clear photo of the Desert Bighorn Sheep that I saw*
Species #2: Adam’s Tree, Fouquieria diguetti
Species #3: Notch-Leaf-Scorpion Weed, Phacelia crenulate
Species #4: Gander’s Cholla, Cylindropuntia gander
Species #5: Creosote Bush, Larrea tridentate
Narrative: My family and I went for a hike on the La Quinta Cove to Lake Cahuilla Trail on Saturday, March 21 around 11:00 am. We completed the 6.60-mile hike of the trail and that took just shy of 3 hours. The weather was sunny with no clouds in the sky and the temperature was around 75 degrees Fahrenheit, or 24 degrees Celsius. There were no notable events that occurred during our hike. I was, however, was very surprised at how many different types of desert plants there were along our trail. This may have been due in part to the large amounts of rain that we have been receiving down here in Southern California. Overall, this was a good hike.
Binkly, Gail. “Public Comment Period Open for Desert Bighorn Sheep Management Plan Near Dolores River.” ksjd.org, 27 Nov. 2017, www.ksjd.org/post/ public-comment-period-open-desert-bighorn-sheep-management-plan-near-dolores-river#stream/0. Accessed 25 Mar. 2020.
“Desert Bighorn Sheep.” inaturalist.com, www.inaturalist.org/taxa/145539-Ovis-canadensis-nelsoni.
Accessed 25 Mar. 2020.