June 26, 2013

Strawberry Fields

The area north of Strawberry Reservoir has some of the prettiest views and wildflowers anywhere in Utah. 
We competed in the Strawberry Fields Endurance Ride this year, a privilege and a pleasure.  Above is our new corral system for camping with the horses.  They liked the freedom compared to the old school method of  being tied to the trailer or to a highline. 
Steve and I both rode 25 miles on Day 1.  Here's a pic from the mid-ride vet check.  Steve was gobbling a granola bar, which seems to be his standard pose.  We finished in the first 25%, not pushing the horses at all.  In fact, most of our effort was in trying to contain their zeal.  Seeing so many horses moving out really got their adrenaline flowing.
On Day 3, Steve and Coco went another 25 miles, sans me and Boss.  Here are the first of the riders (of a group of 25 or so) starting down the trail to the tune of - - what else?  The Beatles' Strawberry Fields. 
While Steve rode, Daisy and I stayed around camp, taking photos of the many beautiful wildflowers:

Leafy Jacob's Ladder
When the first rider came in, I figured Steve couldn't be far behind.  He was the next rider to show up. 
Daisy and I were watching the trail, and Daisy recognized him immediately.
Oh, the joy of running with her pack!  What a great place for dogs, horses and people to come together and have fun. 

June 18, 2013

Flowers and Butterfly Love

Besides a great place to meet the kids and go for a hike, Daniel's Pass has beautiful wildflowers this time of year. Above is a field behind the lodge, covered with Mule's Ears, daisy-like yellow flowers, so named because the shiny leaves are shaped like a mule's long ears. 
Common Camas  Camassia quamash

Camas is a member of the lily family.  These flowers bloom densely in moist ground.  From a distance, an entire meadow has a faint blue-violet color, as you may be able to see in the photo above.  Native Americans pit-roasted the bulbs, bland in flavor, and also boiled them to yield a tasty syrup. 

Douglas' Triteleia  Triteleia douglasii
Triteleia are also of the Lily family.  We saw them on the same walk.  They grow on drier ground, among the sage or in pine forests.
Apollo Butterflies
Where flowers grow, butterflies flit.  This pair seems to be embracing.  Steve spotted them fly together in the air, then flutter softly to the ground as one.  Such is love in the land of wildflowers.

June 17, 2013

A Family Hike

Daniel's Summit Lodge makes a good place to meet up with our Salt Lake kids and grandkids for a Sunday afternoon hike. 
The visiting is fun.
Riding on Papa's shoulders is always interesting.
 There are plenty of insects to be found,
Some of us needed a walking stick.
Then there's rock chunking, with plenty of opportunity to get good and muddy.
And when the exploring's over, there's a tailgate picnic,
and some good relaxation time.
Ah, this is the life!

June 11, 2013

The Joy of Water

There's nothing so sweet as fetching in a lake,
or splashing in a lake,
or shaking in a lake. 
Or swimming in a pond. 
Actually, a cow trough might do. 
Yes, indeed, that's fine.
And if water and trees are in short supply, a Daisy can always rely on a horse friend for shade.

June 10, 2013

Paradise Found

Steve and Coco on Jay Point, between Lake Mt. and Mosby Mt.
Early summer in the mountains is paradise, or as close to it as earth dwellers are likely to experience. 
At 8000 feet, sun illuminates the white blooms of the serviceberry along the Lake Mountain trail. 
At Bear Wallow Spring, the new green seems to glow.
Milkvetch and Balsamroot on Middle Mountain

Wild Iris

Wildflowers are everywhere. 
Gull Lake reflects Marsh Peak's snowfields
and looms behind the fields of flowers. 
Paradise?  Maybe not, but for those of us not ready for Prime Time Heaven, these sights come pretty close.

June 6, 2013

Tworoose Pass Trail

This scenic Utah trailhead is close to home
Starting at 8500 feet, we ride along a rocky trail lined with serviceberry,
with plenty of balsamroot and Indian paintbrush in bloom,
These unknown yellow flowers set off the view.
Cliff-rose are also in bloom. 
Much of the trail is shaded by aspen, dressed in spring green.
A forest service sign points out the Tworoose Pass trail.
When we reach 10,500, we can gaze across a mile-long meadow toward the base of Duck Peak (11,500 ft) .  
A deep snowdrift still remains where spruce shades the ground. 
Miniature bluebells bloom in the high meadow. 
This bittercress is also tiny, but perfect, and blooming profusely in the sub-alpine terrain.


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