Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Preamble to Summer

Mountain Goats on Sleeping Beauty
Finally, summer begins at 4:09 p.m. tomorrow, at least for two days, before more rain on the weekend.  Nevertheless, I’m doing a pretty good job of enjoying what I can when I can, despite a fairly heavy workload.  The picture on top was from Saturday’s hike with Dale.   Four mountain goats we saw up there.  More pictures here.

Friday, I had the Buck Creek trail entirely to myself.  The variety of conifers is pretty remarkable.  Western Red Cedar with Ponderosa Pines plus a variety of firs.  The trail, like most of the area, seems to be on the knife-edge of the wet and dry climate. More photos here. 

Friday morning, I had my coffee on the “lake” in Trout Lake.  Once again, I had the space all to myself: smooth water that reflected the snow-capped mountain, the sounds of birds, and the feel of warm sun, even at 7:00 am. 

In all three of the above spots and times, it was a pleasure to just sit and let nature come to me.  On the lake, one snipe, then another, flew past.  On the Buck Creek hike, I paused for a while, and a small Rufous Hummingbird directed my attention to a single flower on a bunch of Indian Paintbrush.  It looked like a weed whacker had ripped off the other flowers - probably bitten off by deer.  And, of course, it was wonderful to view and ponder the presence of the mountain goats.  This must be the place to have their kids: very defensible from any predators because of the sheer cliffs and multiple crevices to hide behind.  I suppose they stand on top to watch out.  After awhile, they got uncomfortable with the stare down between them and us.  Mama and baby scampered down as the biggest one watched us.  After awhile, he worked his way down, too.  When other people arrived, we scampered down, too.  

Speaking of deer, a couple of them decided to eat at the bird feeder Saturday morning.  

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