June 30, 2010

Moon Lake Trail

Moon Lake, located just south of the High Uintas Wilderness area, was a natural alpine lake (8000 feet in altitude) until dam construction on Lake Fork in 1938 enlarged it into a reservoir, now covering 768 acres and holding about 36,000 acre-feet of water when filled to capacity.
On its shores, you'll find a campground,
cabins for rent, plus opportunities for fishing, swimming, boating, and, of course, fetching:
Last week we hiked one of the numerous trails in the area.  This one followed along the west shore of the lake.
We saw this cute ground squirrel:
When I got too close with the camera, he dove into his hole:
We saw columbines:
alpine phacelia, also called purple fringe:
bearberry (kinnikinnick):
and strawberry flowers, one with a big fly lapping up the pollen:
The trail was easy to
 follow and nicely shaded,

a great short hike for a warm day.

June 28, 2010

Finding Spring

On the drive down from the Leidy Peak trailhead at 11,000 feet, we left the snow and began to see more wildflowers. 
At 9500 feet, there was a profusion of yellow, mostly mountain dandelions and a sprinkling of buttercups.
At 8500 feet, the grass was taller and the flowers were more diverse.  (This view shows Marsh Peak, 12,200, in the distance.)
There were sunrays,
a few scarlet gilia, also called skyrocket,
and an abundance of phlox.
and chokecherry were in full blossom.
Lupine bloomed along the road.
Here is Red Mountain, 7700 feet at the top.  The trailhead at the bottom of the mountain is only about 6600 feet.  There, spring is past.  Summer has arrived.
For views from many fascinating worlds, click here.

June 27, 2010

Leidy's Snow

Leidy Peak, 12,000 feet at the summit, still has a lot of snow. 
We drove up to the 11,000 foot Leidy trailhead without encountering much snow on the road.  Daisy found some in the shadows as soon as we started hiking.
Usually we follow a trail over the shoulder of the mountain to Lakeshore Basin, but this time most of that route was buried.  Snowfall this winter was about average, but an unusually cool spring delayed the melting.
We found marsh marigolds growing in and around icy puddles,
a few buttercups
tiny violets
and diminutive phlox.
Daisy enjoyed a dip in this rivulet that came straight out of a snowbank.
The views were nice, but we'll have to come back in a couple of weeks to get past all the snow.

June 25, 2010

Guard Dog

Well, if the human's going to nap, somebody's got to be in charge of trail security. 
For more cute critters, click here.
Many thanks to Everyday Goddess for choosing this post for this week's Goddess Award!

June 24, 2010

Daniel's Summit

For the last couple of months, we had only seen this grandbaby on webcam:
So, to remedy that sad situation, we met the Munchkin and her parents at Daniel's Summit Lodge for a hike and some serious grandbaby visiting:
The scenery was grand: 
The company was grander:
A western tanager wanted to join the party:
The glacier lilies danced:
The springbeauties smiled:
After a little complaining about the new baby backpack carrier, all was well in Munchkinland, even if the sunscreen was applied a little thick and the sunglasses didn't fit:   

June 21, 2010

The Hills are Alive...

Sand hills, that is.
In the afternoon heat, most critters are hanging out in the shade, but we see signs of them everywhere.
Lizard tracks (the line is from their dragging tails),
beetle tracks (These prints look like mini-bicycle tire tracks, don't they?)
and rabbit tracks.
These arcs look like a critter traveled in circles, but the effect is from wind swirling the grass blades through the sand.
The ants are out and busy, storing supplies for a rainy day (fat chance in the desert!) or maybe for the winter's chill.

June 19, 2010

Flowers in the Sand

The high desert is in bloom, full of prickly pear cactus blossoms,
and yellow.
Sunflowers reach for the sky,
chicory provides a bit of blue,
and the yucca plants get fancy.
The delicate sego lily, Utah's state flower is yet another special treat.   (Those are little bugs on it.  I guess they wanted a treat, too!)


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