Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spring Trip 2010 – the last day – Manning Park

Sometime during the night, back at Kettle River, it started to rain, and the rain continued into the morning.  Whether that or all the walking done the day before, we all slept in….really slept in…so didn’t get anywhere near the early start we had planned on.

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back on the road and headed west, stopped at a different look out on Anarchist hill to get a view of the highway as it descends into the town of Osoyoos…

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here is another look, for all you ‘flat landers’.  Stopped in Osoyoos for the last fuel up of the trip, then carried on to Keremeos where we stopped for my favorite Saskatoon Berry honey, then a late lunch in Princeton and on to Manning Park….Spring Trip 2010 2255

It was now mid afternoon, we were less than 2 hours from home, but since the weather was the best we’d encountered that day i.e. dry, and since Manning Park, and especially Cold Spring Campground in Manning are one of our favorite spots…we decided to pull in and spend one more night, that way we’d get home early in the morning (well not too early ~ knowing us), and we’d have the rest of the day to unpack and get back to life at home instead of on the road. And, of course, there was lots to see….

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the ground was a carpet of wildflowers.  This campground used to be very forested….but the pine beetle took care of that…so now there are wide expanses of open areas and the native plants have taken them over nicely…

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Here is some Creeping Phlox with some ‘Spring Gold’ ~ a variety of Desert Parsley, in the background.

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That Creeping Phlox comes in a variety of shades from white to quite a deep mauve.

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Wild Strawberries….

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This Shrub, which is called ‘Utah Honeysuckle’ was in full flower, smelled wonderful and was full of Hummingbirds!  Not that I could get a picture of one.

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Here is a close up of the individual flower….Manning is interesting in that the plants that grow there are a curious mix of those found on the coast and some, like this shrub, normally found in the interior of the province.

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Here is some more of that ‘Spring Gold’

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We had no sooner parked the truck when we were visited by a pair of Raven…..Spring Trip 2010 2274

this very vocal pair were our constant companions for the duration of the visit….you don’t realize just how big these birds are until they are only a few feet away from you!

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We had the campground pretty much to ourselves, at least until late evening when a couple of units pulled in.  There is Ernie and Shantz taking some pictures of something….and the truck at the site…

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These yellow violets are ‘Round leaf Yellow Violets’…

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and of course, there were Ground Squirrels…our familiar Columbian Ground squirrels….

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this one obviously had a den down in the roots of this stump….by the way, the stump gives an indication of the size of some of the trees that were in here prior to the pine beetle invasion…

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This little wildflower was new to me…it is ‘Three leaf Anemone’ for obvious reasons – sometimes plant names make perfect sense and other times they make no sense at all!

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I’ve mentioned all the trees that were removed from this campground….well it has been replanted…every one of those white plastic things is actually a little greenhouse containing a tree…mainly young Aspens which are quick growing….

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I had to take a peek in them and pretty much all of them were thriving….many having already grown well above the protective shelter.

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there were other birds here besides the Raven….I was surprised to see Chestnutbacked Chickadees …

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on the other hand, I expect to see Dark Eyed Junco here…

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and Townsend’s Warblers are usually found in coniferous forests like this…

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There is another Ground Squirrel den under this fallen log…

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and there is one of those Raven again….Spring Trip 2010 1905

the river, which runs around the back of the campground was quite high with melt water….in fact when we talked to the park attendant, this campground, on the May long weekend, had also been ‘under snow’ ~ although not a foot and a half of it!

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This part of the campground is called the ‘dog leg’ and is only open during the busy season.  We will actually stay here come August….Spring Trip 2010 1910

Going to throw in a few more ‘shrub’ pictures….these are Dwarf Blueberries and they were in full flower…

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here is a close up of those delicate little pink flowers….

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and this is Kinnickinnick….

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just for contrast…I thought the colour of these young cones was gorgeous!

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and finally, what would be a stop at Manning without a few Gray Jays…..

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and so concludes this years big trip.  Forty days on the road…not going exactly as planned but still a pleasure.

This, in real time, now being past the middle of August, we’ve already done a few weekend trips, with a few more planned, and perhaps 10 days or so in late September….so there will be more posts coming.  Next big trip won’t be for almost a year….the plan is to head north again, but this time, to see the fall colors.

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