Blue Lakes Pt. 2 – Views and Lichen

This is the second of three installments from the Blue Lakes area of Alpine county. The area is about 45 minutes south of Tahoe.  During my hike up to Granite Lake and the nearby boulders, I got some outstanding views. Also, closer up, the small algae-fungi partnership that is lichen, which live for eons on the rocks.

On the road (highway 89)

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Getting into the basin

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This is Upper Blue Lake, an alpine lake used for power generation

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Siting at 8,500 feet, in summer the level shows these boulders. Don’t you just want to swim around them

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I hiked over this ridge, which is just above the picture above

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And to the right (north), a small snowbank survives by clinging to a north-facing slope

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The dam

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A mountain stream, likely 10,000 feet up

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So many colors coming out of this one

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Green whisps with uplift-generated clouds

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Do you see the two waves like I did?

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Storms to the southeast

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This mountain was called ‘the nipple’. I wish they had figured out a more family-friendly name

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To the east, towards Nevada

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This lone ranger didn’t make it, but will watch over the valley for a long time to come

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Looking up the valley from the Granite Lake ridge, Upper Blue Lake is beyond the rocks on the left

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Nevada in the distance

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These ‘plants’ actually are a symbiosis between single-celled plants and fungus, which gives it structure. Lichens are very interesting and can live for thousands of years. These were fuzzy

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This black stuff covered some rocks

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Here it is closer up, like crocodile skin

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I really liked this green one coming off the other one

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But the show-stopper was this red one, which could be a couple years old, or hundreds, see it spreading?

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Nice contrast, this flower was eeking out a living

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Granite Lake, looking west (it gets bigger)

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Sunset, I wish it had been more vibrant

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Next time, flowers from the meadows and mushrooms

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