Still up along the trail….
and Shantz spot’s something!
a rabbit (or more correctly, a Nuttall’s Cottontail). These rabbits are usually seen all over this park, but like I said shortly after we arrived, it had been a bit of a zoo over the long weekend and I think every thing was just starting to venture out of hiding.
a bit further along, it was our turn to spot these Mule Deer…..this is pretty much at the ‘turn around’ point of the trail.
Here is one of those deer giving us a good looking over ~ I guess, if I’d heard at this stage, about all those ‘attack’ deer in Cranbrook….I might have been more concerned that this one might have had a fawn hidden away and had been doing more than just watching….as it was, it was just a deer ~ I was more concerned about watching for Rattlesnakes since the day was warming up and they were liable to be crawling out into warm spots to warm up.
so now we are headed back….the deer would have been just off to the right of this spot….
We’ll toss in another wildflower now, This is ‘Butte Marigold’ ~ a bit more sensible name than the last few.
We’ve climbed back up on top…
Time for a breather, and a drink of water for everybody. You’ll note Shantz is on a short lead, that is partly due to the cactus and the already mentioned possibility of Rattlesnakes ~ which, fortunately, we never saw. I actually prefer it when there has been somebody ahead of us on the trail, figuring that they would have scared any away. As you who know me, know, I don’t like snakes of any sort. We have actually seen Rattlesnakes here. On our first trip there was a baby one right on the road leading into the campground, and the second trip, the park ‘snake lady’ had one in a cage….she had found it in one of the campsites…not too far down from the one we were presently camped in.
Back to more pleasant subjects, here is a Blue Flax flower…
and another view…..
There are a few tight spots on the trail where you wend your way between sandstone hoo doo’s…
Remember I mentioned Cactus? Well here is one of the Prickly Pear Cactus found all along the route….this one has flower buds just forming…..
There were more of these Yellow Prairie Violets, tucked in spots all along the trail….
Prairie Onion as well….
and of course, this showiest of the wildflowers….Smooth Blue Beardtongue
As we’re almost back to the campground, we’ll take a final look at the surroundings…..this view would be looking back the way we’d just come, which is pretty much looking westward.
and here we are looking ahead towards the campground (those green trees the other side of the rocks)
and this is looking across the top of the rocks, over towards the visitor’s center….just barely visible up there on the horizon….
this part of the trail actually has steps carved into the sandstone…..this is probably the steepest part
and here we are, back at the entrance of the campground. Those buildings are a shower room and a store.
So I think I’ll post this, and then get on with the last, and longest entry for this particular day.