After our morning exploring the Petrified Sand Dunes, we left Luke to nap and Rachel and Jeff to have some time by their selves.
Or to put it another way...Bernie wanted to go fishing at a nearby stream he had read about.
We drove about 20 minutes away to this pretty little quiet stream.
Bernie got his fishing rod all set up while I scouted the area.
The trees were just leafing out.
Hmmm...trees that are just starting to put out leaves shouldn't also be dropping their leaves, and any leaves that by chance do happen to drop definitely should not be yellow.
Yellow heart shaped leaves are really pretty though.
I like their scalloped edges-so fancy.
I wandered about picking up leaves until I noticed this.
Busy beavers must be close by.
Maybe I would get to see one in action!
Sure enough, right on the edge of the stream:
(I think I first learned that animal foot prints are called spore from reading Born Free where they were always looking for lion spore in Africa.)
Another beaver attacked tree.
No beavers to be seen.
Gnaw, gnaw, gnaw.
And yet there really wasn't much in the way of a beaver dam and no beaver hut or lodge to be found either.
That was as good as a dam as could be found.
It was only about two feet high.
Where on earth were the beavers planning on putting the massive trees?
And why bother?
The stream was barely six inches deep for the most part.
Aside from this one rocky out crop the area could have been a stream just about anywhere.
I walked up the stream a bit and then back down, looking for more spore, fish, butterflies, what ever might be fodder for my camera shots.
I almost missed seeing Mr. Toad all cozy in a big old cow track.
Or at least I think it was a cattle hoof print.
At any rate, it was the perfect size for a toad.
He sat still, obviously deciding to hope I really wasn't seeing him.
After a few minutes and my camera being shoved nearly into his face, he finally got up and walked away.
"Oh drat...just when I was taking a nap a blogger would have to come along..."
Just one solitary toad was all I saw.
It must be a lonely life there for a hapless toad.
Next I saw bird tracks.
(Birds do have tracks right? Not called spores, surely.)
Check out how big this bird's foot must have been.
What kind of a bird was it anyway?
He/she had walked steadily along the stream bed.
Even paces, the foot sinking into the silt mud with step.
Couldn't have been an easy walk sinking in that much.
A million or two years from now these tracks could be fossils, right?I like these photo that have the tree reflections in the upper part of the picture.
The bird waded in the water for quite awhile too.
I could see the track clearly and the slowness of the stream meant that the tracts were not going to wash away any time soon.
Can you read the smoke signals?
Ok, they are really just clouds...just practicing punking grandkids someday.
While I was disturbing toads and following bird tracks Bernie was fishing away.
And some more just upstream from the beaver dam.
No fish were caught, no fish even nibbled I think.
I kept looking at the lava ridge across the way.
Can't you just picture Indians on horses lining up there with staffs and fluttering feathers in their hair?
(I think all of us Boomers saw that sort of scene in television shows and movies growing up a lot.)
Someone had nailed up a bird house pretty high up in the tree.
I wondered about that.
Seems to me there was plenty of bird nesting materials/places naturally occurring in the area.
Perhaps it was just placed there to be artistic?
The plus of a slow moving stream is having lots of reflections to work with while composing one's shots.
Adding a person in the distance with lines angling from the corners leading to the person is a recommend picture design.
That is one huge tree.
What on earth are those beavers going to do with that tree if they ever get it to fall over?
There was hardly a tree in the area that the beavers hadn't taking a shot at.
It wasn't until we were walking back out and back to the car that I noticed that we were walking over several large dry river beds.
Perhaps the beavers remember when the river ran strong and massively in the area.
Perhaps they are just planning ahead in case the Global Warming threat doesn't really pan out the way everyone keeps saying it will.
Who really knows about such stuff anyway.
My money would be on the beavers I think.
I imaging the many, many, many generations of beavers in the area have seen it all: flood and drought, fire and volcanic eruptions.
They just keep prepping to build dams.
Seems like a good plan for them.
Driving back to camp we wind through a Reservation.
The tribe name was one that just about everyone would know so I didn't take a picture figuring I would remember.
Of course I forgot.
The homes on the reservation may be humble but the view is spectacular.
As I learned years ago: One may always remodel a house but one can never remodel a view.
The view in winter with snow, in fall with color change, in storms and sunsets...wow.
A cow came over to photo bomb this picture.
I didn't even notice the cow until after I took the picture.
A little bit up the road was a tee pee'd Indian reenactment center that looked pretty authentic.
Nothing was going on there; the gate was locked.
We drove on and passed the "The Biggest Loser" television show compound.
Large passenger vans with the shows logo were parked in a parking lot in front a campus of nice looking buildings.
Again, I should of taken a picture but we were driving a long and by the time it registered what I had just seen we were up the road and there really wasn't any place to make a U turn.
I was my turn to make dinner any way and it was getting close to dinner time.
Shrimp spring rolls with peanut sauce and sweet red chili sauce for dipping.
No cooking required; I had prepped all the fixings at home.
Good thing I hadn't counted on fish!