Friday, May 30, 2008

Meadows Cabin

hanging on the porch

Rose River

ginseng -- the first time we've ever seen it in the wild

She's a little bigger this year!

Matt's wild edibles disciple learning about the wonders of tuliptree nectar

an indigo bunting in the front yard

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Early mornings in RMNP

Matt somehow convinced his wife and in-laws to go hiking at 6 AM in Rocky Mountain National Park. Not once, but twice.

What were they thinking, you ask? Animals.

The meadows were full of elk.

There was an unbelievable number of hummingbirds. On the first morning we saw one zooming high up into the sky and then diving almost to the ground, over and over. Apparently this is a mating ritual. After a bit we learned to find them from the sound they make as they fly -- which apparently comes from a slot in their wings as they beat up to 70 times a second.

We also watched a family of tree swallows nesting in this hole.

And as it warmed up, marmots came out to sun themselves.

Also spotted: ground squirrels, chipmunks, a grouse, woodpeckers, wrens, warblers, jays...and very few people.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Annual Ladyslipper/Trillium Pilgrimage

Every spring we try to go to Thompson Wildlife Management Area to see the trilliums and the ladyslipper orchids, both of which are extremely rare around here. This time we went with Matt's dad and his friend Dottie. It was good we had a big pancake breakfast at home first (with strawberries from our garden!) because the rain was just finishing when we got to the trail. The flowers were a little droopy, but the sun came out by the end of the day.

a trio of ladyslippers, with trilliums in the background

Elizabeth, Art, and Dottie in fields of trilliums

showy orchis

more trilliums

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Other Wonders of Scott's Run

We always debate whether we should make the extra drive when we can just go hiking in Rock Creek Park, but we always see wonderful things at Scott's Run.
Zebra swallowtail

and its host plant, the paw paw

carrion flower (stinky!)

fringe tree

and a cliff where you can sit and watch the canopy birds at eye level.

Baby Snapping Turtle

At Scott's Run on Wednesday Matt walked right by this little critter but Elizabeth spotted it in the trail. Possibly the only time we will get to hold a snapping turtle -- they can grow up to 35 lbs with an 18 in. shell and a powerful bite!