An excerpt from the zoological text The Hunter’s Encyclopedia of Animals (First Edition).

CHAPTER V: An overview of the white kirin

The kirin (Psevdaisthisi chaetes) is an electrogenic ungulate, and one of two species in the genus Psevdaisthisi. The commonly used term white kirin collectively refers to the three recognized subspecies. Despite numerous references to it being an equid, the kirin is not a true horse, but rather a phylogenetic relative belonging to the suborder Hippomorpha. While horses and their immediate relatives adapted to grasslands, the kirin diverged away from the equid lineage, instead retaining its ancestral traits for woodland dwelling. A combination of folivorous dentition and leg morphology allowed the kirin to flourish in forest ecosystems. To date, the kirin’s range includes the jungles, temperate forests, and taiga of Goldorolis. Wide distribution across several biogeographic realms has resulted in many genetically diverse subpopulations. Proximity to the equator, ecotone habitation, and climatic conditions influence exaggeration of phenotypes, and greatly restrict polymorphism. An adult kirin can measure from 494 to 676 centimeters in length and weigh between 317 to 476 kilograms (roughly 700 to 1050 pounds), depending on the subpopulation. Both sexes can live between 30 to 34 years of age.

Because the jaw morphology is suited for non-graminoid mastication, kirins primarily eat soft plant matter. Subtropical and temperate kirins consume 60% fruit and 25% leaves. The remaining 15% includes a combination of seeds, shoots, flowers, and nuts. Kirins found 40° N of the equator depend almost exclusively on the foliage of deciduous trees, perennial herbaceous plants, and berries endemic to middle boreal forests. Kirins live in small nuclear families year-round that consist of the parents and biological offspring. Largescale aggregation only occurs in the early spring, when kirin natal herds and bachelor herds convene in one location to reform their seasonal breeding herd. Reformation of the breeding herd begins in the spring, and coincides with the onset of the female’s estrous cycle. Herd dissimilation back into separate family units occurs at the beginning of autumn, when anestrus begins.

Remarkably among mammals, the kirin is bioelectrogenic, capable of discharging up to 600 V from the apex of its horn. The only other mammal to share this feature with P. chaetes is the rajang (Rakshasa pugilis). The eastern jinouga (Hoplycan orientalis)—once thought to be another electrogenic mammal—was found to rely on a symbiotic relationship with fulgurbugs (Lampyris tonans). The kirin’s silverhorn serves a secondary function as a defense mechanism for goring predators. Because of the horn’s value in traditional medicine and as part of religious ceremonies, there was a sharp population decline 125 years ago. Management efforts through the CDIHG in the last twenty years have restored the species’ numbers to an estimated 300,000 individuals globally. Although classified as near threatened, hunting is still legal during the fall and winter. Hunting bans are placed on kirins during the reformation of the breeding herd, in order to limit human casualties and avoid disruptions to their reproduction.

Unlike other so-called “elder dragons,” the kirin isn’t widely associated with malignant characteristics. It’s often regarded as a symbol of luck, wit, and merciful judgment, and has strong ties to alchemy. Body parts are used in a range of products, from braided kinhair jewelry, to alicorn-fashioned hunting equipment, to even home decor.

Keep reading


Magenta Paintbrush (Castilleja Parviflora) adds rich color to alpine and subalpine meadows in the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington. In some areas such as the North Cascades, the brushes are white (middle right photo) instead of the rose pink and magenta coloration seen elsewhere. The colorful brush is actually the leafy bracts that surround the greenish tubular flowers.


Segundo encuentro con Echeveria subalpina

subalpina’ se refiere a la región subalpina del Pico de Orizaba, Veracruz donde fue inicialmente fue colectada.

Se distribuye en los estados de Puebla y Veracruz, México.

Second chance with Echeveria subalpia

sbubalpina’ refers to the subalpine region of Pico de Orizaba, Veracruz where it was initially collected.

It is distributed in the states of Puebla and Veracruz, Mexico.


The Pine Forest Range, in northern Nevada’s Great Basin, is a rare and exceptional area of abundant streams and clear, cold subalpine lakes. Nestled in a cirque and fed by snowmelt and springs, these lakes are not only visually stunning but also possess an excellent trout fishery. The lakes are surrounded by a rare population of white bark and limber pines; stands of aspen and mountain mahogany are also found throughout the area. Fall brings out colors found in few other places in northern Nevada.  

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM.

jacob and i hiked the lost hunter trail today up through an alpine forest!

we found subalpine prickly currants, a bunch of horny toad lizards, and now we ordered a large pizza, cheesesticks, dessert and are indulging in whiskey and cokes. <3

Delphinium nuttallianum is in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. Commonly known as twolobed larkspur, it is native to much of western North America. Twolobed larkspur is a herbaceous perennial found in meadows and forest openings in montane and subalpine habitats. Compared to other species of larkspur, twolobed larkspur is often found at higher elevations, generally above 7,000 feet. This species produces pairs of finely dissected leaves close to the ground, while the inflorescence can grow up to 2 feet tall and hold many vibrant blue flowers that open during the early spring.

Landscape Language

Bicolor (adj) – having two colors

“Avalanche lilies are white and glacier lilies are yellow” is a common statement in the park this time of year. For quick identification it is true enough. Glacier lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum) are yellow. Avalanche lilies (Erythronium montanum) are mostly white. However, avalanche lilies are actually bicolor! Their petals have two colors – primarily white but yellow at the base. Avalanche lilies are currently blooming in abundance throughout the subalpine regions of the park.

NPS photo of avalanche lilies in Paradise, 7/11/17. Description: A cluster of flowers with white petals and yellow centers. ~kl


Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Northern Colorado. May 2017.

RMNP spans 415 square miles, and having only one day to sample some of what this spectacular park has to offer was downright agonizing. We hiked montane and subalpine ecosystems, relishing the spruce and fir forests. Pictured here are Sprague Lake and its surrounding trails, as well as views of the Rockies & wildlife encountered near the south central park entrance. Having traveled at the beginning of the spring season, most campgrounds and facilities we stumbled upon were still deserted. Above: a Lincoln’s sparrow, and juvenile male elk.