Monday, May 11, 2009

A Welcomed Challenge

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Today I was presented with an opportunity to go skiing…well, kind of. I was asked to come along with a group that was going skiing, but I was not offered skis. I decided to go hiking here in the St. Mary Valley instead.

I started off hiking down the Red Eagle trail, which leads to either the Beaver Pond loop, Red Eagle Lake, or Cut Bank valley via Triple Divide Pass. I took the trail to the junction of the Beaver Pond loop, maybe 1.7 miles. This took a considerable amount of time because of the snow and because I was shutter-happy. I walked through a “river” on the beginning of the trail and then on snow packed (deep) through the marshy area before the lake (and the former site of St. Mary Chalet).

The marshy area near the site of the St. Mary Chalet.
The trail traverses the right side of the photo!

I passed a couple that looked like they didn’t hike very much, and the kind gentleman said, “There’s still a lot of snow up there.” I just said, “Great! Sounds good!” He must have thought I was crazy. But I guess that was kinda the point. Sometimes people don’t think positively about things like snow. They see it as a barrier to their “easy hike.” Or a barrier to their dry shoes!

I welcomed the challenge and was happy to get the workout. I was able to observe everything around me because I was walking so slow through the snow. I saw bear tracks, moose tracks, deer or elk (I wasn’t sure), pasque flowers blooming, black-backed woodpeckers, western grebes, an American coot (maybe), Barrow’s Golden-eye, and Mountain blue birds on the way back. It was a nice hike and I enjoyed the exercise and fresh mountain air!

Western Grebes, and an American Coot (right side of the photo),
I wasn't sure it was a coot or not.
This is the best photo I got. They were pretty far out on the lake.

Pasqueflower with some fertilizer! Elk poo! Or are those Whoppers? Mmmm.

These are bear tracks, it was traveling from left to right. The left track shows it's skinny heel, and the right shows some toes. It was probably a black bear, they weren't that big.

The best photo I got of the Black-backed Woodpecker.
I saw both male and female and probably 4 or 5 total.
I took 104 pics of these woodpeckers! It was all worth it!

Moose tracks.
You could even see their dewclaws poking out the back.

I won’t go into much detail, but, I ate at Serrano’s, in East Glacier and it was awesome! I only ate a third of the “Serrano’s Burrito,” and had 2 margaritas on the rocks. It was a good day!

Weather: Mostly cloudy, afternoon showers (that I missed totally!) Upper 50’s

1 comment:

  1. Nice bog picture. That's one of my favorite birding spots.


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