This mini-post is for @geotripper and his great birding blog. Laura and I took 25 students and several chaperones to the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest on Saturday. We love using the Burst Rock hike from the Gianelli Trailhead to gently introduce students to wilderness ethics and wilderness hiking. The tremendous views and gentle climb over two miles puts the reward to effort ratio at an amazing 10-1.
On this day, however, my students would get to witness more than just the weathering granitic rocks and weathered old trees. We lucked upon three separate grouse(s?). After several minutes of admiration from a respectful distance we continued on our way and let the grouse go theirs. It was a special encounter!