Friday, July 29, 2011

Hikes and what I saw

When it gets hot we have a way to beat the heat without turning up the ac: we simply drive about four miles, up the canyon by our house where at the top the air is usually about 15-20 degrees cooler.
A picnic dinner besides a running stream makes for a great way to beat the heat.
The white columbines are blooming up there; they are as big as my hand and have the appearance of angels that have settled into the  mountain greenery.

White violets with lavender marking still bloom up there too.

And these sweet pea look alike too.

There's a trail up there that leads to Dog Lake.  On this trip we only managed to hike half way there, about a mile and a half on a rather steep trail.
Judging from all the wet dogs we passed on the trail, it must be just the lake for taking a dog for a cool off swim.
The people with the dogs gave no hint that they had indulged in a swim.  We've never actually taken the three mile hike all the way to the lake so we have no idea of human swimming is allowed or even a desirable option.

The orange peel mushrooms and morrel mushrooms were no where to be found, and I don't know if the current mushrooms appearing in the area are eatable.
I wish I knew...

My hiking uniform: The orange shirt is UV/bug resistant and is vented across the back to keep me cool.
The color makes me easy to find if I go a bit off trail.

The mushroom variety was limited but interesting to see.

A less shady, much warmer outing to the Weber river: Don't you love the patch work effect on the hillsides?
And the misty bit from the field being watered?

The Cedar Wax Wings were in the area, landing in specific spots over and over again.
They used to show up in Houston whenever the temperature got really cold there.  They would land in massive flocks in our holly bushes and strip the bush bare of berries in minutes, then move on to the next bush in the area.
They must winter in Texas... and summer in Utah I guess.

The way they would lift the feathers on the top of their heads made me smile.
The dab of red on their wing feathers and yellow tipping on their tail feathers made me think God had fun designing and making this particular bird.

Sweet blue damsel flies...

And rusty orange dragonflies darted about the sluggish stream bed.
That little dot on the edge of each transparent wing was a nice design touch too.
There were also the black and white winged dragonflies, the kind that are currently hatching and swarming in our neighborhood each evening.
I just don't ever get tired of seeing dragonflies.

This is the exact same place that I photographed in the dead of winter covered with snow.
I can hardly believe it is the same, it all looks totally different covered in lush green instead of pristine white

As I "blazed" trails through the shoulder high grasses, I recalled what it like breaking trails through knee high snow back in January.
It was pretty warm now and I wished I could have had a bit of that winter chill from before.

The thunderheads kept building...

Yet all around me the light winds barely moved the drying grass stalks.
(I could have spent hours just photographing all the kinds of grasses that were growing in that field!)

The bees enjoyed the lacy white flowers growing aside the Weber River stream bed.
Many colors were to be found on each thistle blooming in the sunshine.

Down the road away we passed three rams grazing in a field.

They kept their noses tight to the grass, cropping and gnawing mouthfuls, moving a foot or so every few minutes.

Their eyes looked so meek and gentle, their horns suggested a more combative soul.
I know nothing about male sheep: are rams gentle or an animal to watch out for, like a male goat; likely to take a charge at you for no reason at any time?
I secretly would have liked to have been able to stroke their curly horns and patted their soft looking noses.
They didn't seem to smell like billy goats always do.
Next time I meet a sheep rancher, I guess I will have to ask a few question to find out the truth about the rams.

And that's what I saw on a couple of rambles about this warm summer week.
How was your week?
Did you see anything that left you with unanswered questions?


Vicki said...

Hmmmm...I'm thinking how much I'd enjoy a picnic dinner beside a running stream...

Vee said...

Are you known for going off the trail, Jill? I think a picnic beside the stream halfway up the mountain sounds like a bit of heaven on earth. Are you planning to finish the hike someday just to see what kind of a lake it is up there? Perhaps you'll want to go for a swim...

Judy said...

It's so much more fun hiking with a camera...and documenting along the way! Great pic's.