Above Blossom Lake, up the trail nearly a mile, is Upper Blossom Lake. It is a smaller but quite similar lake at a bit higher elevation and it even had a small snow bank at the far side. The foliage up there is lush and beautiful and it gets far fewer visitors.
I hear many more than I see, and unfortunately I can’t identify most of them. Usually grouse are around and above the hillsides that have open meadows inhabited by ground squirrels there are hawks and eagles in the air. In the more dense parts of the forest especially where there is a stream I hear thousands of calls from a single species of bird that I have never been able to identify. It has a single tone trill that lasts nearly 3 seconds, a very pleasant and haunting call. I believe it comes from a small gray bird a little larger than a wren but they are very shy and I get only glimpses of them. Oddly, at the trail head here there were about a dozen crows flying around, for what reason I don’t know.
That’s relatively untouched country, the way it has always been, affected very little by our species. I’m so glad there is still some places like that left and hopr we will have the good sense and will to preserve them.
I always carry a pistol, not especially for the bears but in case of other things like mountain lions. Ironically, the pistol has saved me and several bears a lot of grief (without actually having to shoot one) and I’ve never had an altercation with a lion. When in Grizzly country I also carry a canister of Counter Assault attached to my pack strap.
Ah, good to know… We need to get some repellant for outside hikes. We have a large knife/machete (no pistol) we carry along with us, as well. Don’t know how well that would do with a large kitty, though…
I was going to say the squirrel shot was lucky, but most of luck is putting yourself in the right place at the right time, isn’t it? The shot of the sawn logs reminds me how much easier travel in the mountains is with trails that are maintained (especially in this age of relentless fires and beetle kill).
Exactly, Kim. The more time you spend in the back country the more chances there will be for shots like that. Yes, I appreciate the work of the trail crews very much. I worked on one as a volunteer a few years back myself. Unfortunately, the trail crews in this region are not being supported by the ranger district (due to money problems they say) and some of the trails are not in very good condition. This one had been sawed out as far as the Upper Blossom Lake, but there were trees across the trail from there to Pear Lake. On a recent hike to Thompson Peak I noticed that that trail has had no attention for several years now (it goes through a big fire area) and if I had not been there before I would not have been able to follow it. These old pack trails that have been maintained since the 1930′s are real treasures and I hope they are not ever lost!
Yes, that water is ice cold. The ice hasn’t been gone from the lake for too long now and the stream that exits the lake has a good flow rate. That part of our watershed is still in very good condition. Squirrels sure are acrobats and entertainers as well! Their presence adds a lot to the woods in my opinion!
This time my timing wasn’t right for them, but on other trips I saw that there were large amounts of pink spiraea along the lake shore as well as large numbers of white violets. The stream area where it leaves the lake was also just full of various blooming plants. I’ll bet that is where the name came from. The next lake up the trail, Pear Lake is exactly in the configuration of a pear, and that’s where it got its name.
That’s a beautiful little flower but I’m not familiar with it. I left you a comment with a possible ID that I found at the Burke Museum site but I don’t have a high confidence that it’s the one. I will watch for it!
The yellow flowers by the squirrel are a nice touch. That’s part of what amazes me about this country – the flowers are everywhere, even if only a few scattered about. The color is so nice against all the greens and browns.