Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hiking to Bear Lake and running from a Badger.

On a day that was too windy to fly, Dr Paul took a few of us on a beautiful hike upto Bear Lake. We started off in a valley with small meadows littered with varieties of wildflowers. Most of which I had not seen before.

Scarlet Gilia or Bugler ?

In amongst the wildflowers were many butterflies and moths. Some kind of Fritillary.

Penstemon - nope, its a tall delphinium (relative to the larkspur).

Tiger moths, on horse mint. - I wonder what horses do with it. I've seen cats on cat mint.

A carpet of Columbine.

Following Bear creek.

Payette Penstemon.

Somewhere up behind Mt Invisible.

Swimming at 8840 feet above sea level. It was actually quite warm... 65'F ? Maybe geological heat.

The fitness of the group astounded me. Without word we all spontaneously ran down the mountain in 20 mins, a climb that took us just under 2 hours. (well we did stop and take few few pictures and smell the flowers).

I found a great spot to snap a picture of Bear Lake.


As I was taking pictures of the many views and lightings with the changing cloud shadows, something caught the corner of my eye. Something was coming toward me. I saw it again, it looked like a cross between a Racoon and an over size armadillo. I had no idea what it was perhaps a marmot? Anyway it was still coming toward me and I thought ah it hasn't seen me. So I crouched behind a rock when it passed behind a boulder, camera at the ready. I couldn't believe my luck it was coming really close. I snapped a couple of pictures and it disappeared.

I stood up uneasily, with the feeling in my stomach like the realisation that what was coming toward me was not an accident. Just then I saw the beast again and got another picture just before it came after me, snarling its teeth with a menacing growl jumping about 3 of the 15 feet toward me. I took off in a hurry wondering whether I would brake a leg bolder hopping, or just get one gnarled off! Turned out the vantage point I choose happened what was a badger's Den.

looking north from Bear Lake.

A lonesome tree.

Old seabed fossils at 9000 feet. Crinoids, a coral animal, sessil.
Dr Paul and Sharon.

And back down we all went at an impressive clip.


Anonymous said...

hey Ben, you're having too much fun.


great photos

Paul Allen said...

that was a great trip....and you did a great job depicting it