Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring on Split Mountain

Split Mountain, located in Dinosaur National Monument, makes a great spring ride. 
The above photo stitch marks the trailhead and the mountaintop.  Round trip, it's about 12 miles and 2200 feet altitude gain and loss. 
The horses had a nice grass break about halfway up. 
This twin bladderpod (physaria, of the mustard family)  camouflaged a butterfly so well that we almost missed it. 
Phlox was in bloom,
and a few barrel cactus sported their yellow flowers.
A couple of horned lizards scurried through the junipers.  We assumed they were a couple contemplating a spring fling.  Females are larger than the males in this species.
A lot of these pesky critters buzzed around us and sucked a little blood whenever they had a chance.  Unfortunately, we weren't expecting flies and didn't spray the horses beforehand.
At the top of Split Mountain, we paused to take in the panorama of Green River's path through a deep gorge directly below the peak to its lazy bends in the basin beyond.
On the way down, the expansive view encompasses the desert floor,  red hills, and the snow-covered Uinta Mountains, about 40 miles away.
 Daisy report: No dogs allowed in the monument :(  And since there was no water on the ride, she couldn't have made the distance anyway.

29 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Those horned lizards are awesome! I've never seen so many spikes.

Barb said...

What spectacular photos, Janie! Love the butterfly and the toads. I'm coming into UT with Mary in May - probably Zion area.

Stephanie Reed said...

Beautiful as always! Thanks for letting us ride along. Love the butterfly photo.

jabblog said...

Fabulous:-) So many beautiful photos. The butterfly is gorgeous and the horned lizards are extraordinary.

Heather said...

wow, such incredible views!

troutbirder said...

Wonderful pictures, that's for sure. Returning a few years back from a Sept flyfishing trip to Teton N.P. we drove through this country on the way home. A local ranger told us how great trout fishing was in the Green....

NCmountainwoman said...

What a gorgeous and mysterious place! Too bad about those bloodsuckers though.

Oh, and congratulations on the new grandchild. What a cutie.

Diane AZ said...

Beautiful views, bladderpod with butterfly, phlox and I love the horned lizards!

George said...

Although Daisy couldn't make the trip, I'm glad you took us along with you. The view of the mountain, and the view from the mountain, are spectacular. I like the flowers of the barrel cactus as well.

Carol said...

Beautiful photos. The flowers are pretty and in such a dry place. The last photo is awesome. Congrats on your new grandson! So sweet.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

You have outdone yourself with the photos both of the landscape but I love the horned lizards.

And I laughed because you've learned if you don't explain daisy's absence your readers are going to ask.

Gaelyn said...

Poor Daisy.

Sure looking like spring there. That butterfly is a camo beauty and those horny toads look fat and happy. Nice ride.

Sylvia K said...

I don't know how I lost your blog, Janie, but now that I've found it again I'll be visiting more often! Love you captures as always! Poor Daisy! I did wonder where she was!! The cactus and flowers are so lovely! Always enjoy the rides you take us on and I have missed them! Hope you have a great weekend!

Sylvia

Martha Z said...

I love that forever view and of course, the blooms of the desert spring.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Poor Daisy!!! Bet she was sad having to stay at home...The picture of the horses made me smile. They both look like they are saying "Come ON ---we're ready to go".... ha ha

Love your photos... The flowers are great --and I love the view of the Uinta Mtns.... Wow!!!!

Thanks for taking us along.
Have a good weekend.
Hugs,
Betsy

Pam said...

It must be thrilling to sit atop the mountain and gaze out over such magnificent lands.
Beautiful flowers and butterfly.. missed Miss Daisy not resting beside the horses.
Thanks for yet another wonderful ride, Janie.

Merri said...

thanks for yet another beautiful ride. Love the horny toads!
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Ruth said...

What a beautiful butterfly and flowers! I have never heard of a horned lizard and can see why they are also called horny toads. They are quite chunky.

psychelyn said...

Oh this is totally great, meeting the spring atop those mountains. You got great finds, like totally cool. I would love to have the same experience :)

Haddock said...

Wow.... those desert plants are great. (some are colourful too)

EG CameraGirl said...

So sad Daisy wasn't allowed but since there was no water it turned out for the best. Those pesky flies must have been a pain! The flora is wonderful already.

Robert Sobczak said...

Beautiful, but -- wow -- that looks like rugged country, too. I wouldn't want to get lost or otherwise detoured. Then again, you are probably sort of prepared for that.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Stunning views and I love love love all the pretty flowers.
The horned lizards? I could do without them. :)
xo

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Lovely pics of the desert & prickly desert flowers. The horned lizards are fascinating !

JDS said...

I love those desert flowers, and there is something about that last photo - something about the snowy mountain rising over the dry western country - that makes me yearn to make it out west again.

Our daughter recently said she wants to "pick the next vacation." We did not tell her she could, but I am sure she won't give up so maybe I should start telling her how awesome Utah would be!

Denise said...

Fabulous photos Janie and your header is absolutely stunning.

kaye said...

and a beautiful spring day it was. the horned toads made me smile. I haven't held one since I was a kid. We used to dig them up all the time.

katney said...

Beautiful territory. You always have such great rides. I would love to be able to hike there, but would certainly not make the distance either. Need a stop at Dinosaur again someday, though.

Lindy MacDuff said...

I'm glad I decided to click on the images - they are even more spectacular when enlarged! I'm drooling over the panorama of Green River's path and the image below it.

The colors of the butterfly are gorgeous. What an interesting plant it is investigating.

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