Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Manning Park, June 27, 2010 – Part two

Time to get back to posting the rest of our day trip to Manning Park on June 27th….I’ve adjusted the live writer saving to automatically save postings so that won’t happen again!  Loosing the whole posting because the computer froze up! that is.

So after leaving Rhododendron Flats we decided to head up to the alpine meadows….

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The road to the meadows is paved until the look out, then continues on as gravel, very wash boardy I might add, to the meadows.   On this day the gate was still across, blocking access as the road is only opened when completely thawed out and dry.  We parked at the gate and walked up the road.  This being a view off towards the west.

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This Chipmunk was out and about and watched us go by…

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The road itself, in this case we’re looking back the way we’d come…

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Here is a close up of some of that Moss Phlox growing on the bank….remember when we had been here in early June on the way back from our big trip, this same plant was in full flower in the lower level campground.

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Beside’s the Phlox there were lots of wildflowers in bloom, this one is called ‘Ball head Water leaf’…

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The shrill call alerted us to this obviously nursing mother Yellow Bellied Marmot….she was down in the rocks on the lower side of the road.

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Avalanche lilies carpeted the area in spots.  If all conditions fall just right and the road opens right to the meadows at exactly the right time when the Avalanche Lilies are in full bloom, it is a sight to behold….unfortunately, usually by the time the road opens the lilies are over.  We’ve only managed to see them in all  their glory once.

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Here is a close up…Avalanche Lilies, by the way, are a favorite food of Black Bears, so always be ‘bear aware’ when you are in areas where they are in flower.

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One thinks of Violets as being delicate little flowers but look at these guys growing in a crack in rock and obviously thriving!

From the meadows road we headed back down and over to the Beaver Pond…

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Like Rhododendron Flats, this is another road side attraction with a short trail from a parking lot down to the pond itself.  We always check it out because you just never know what you’ll see here.

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This Sticky Geranium Flower was growing right beside the trail…

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Then we spotted these ducklings…..Goldeneyes for sure…I think Barrow’s Goldeneye…one of the ‘cutest’ of the ducklings.

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Here is a closer look ~ the others were buzzing around on the water like little wind up toys!

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There’s mom…

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She was more concerned about keeping this male Mallard away….this guy is loosing his heads bright green breeding color and going into his ‘eclipse’ plumage.

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On the way back to the car we spotted this older duckling….obviously from a different clutch.

By now the day had clouded over and rain threatened but we headed to Strawberry Flats for the last walk of the day…

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Strawberry flats is located just off of the road that leads to the ski hill…in winter this trail forms part of the cross country ski trail network and in summer is the starting point for a number of more lengthy hikes.

The area has changed a lot over the years as the trees get larger there are less open areas but even so there is still an abundance of wildflowers…

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These ‘Chocolate’ or ‘Checkered’ Lily were a great find this day.

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Here a patch of Indian Paintbrush with an understory of Wild Strawberries that gives the are it’s name…

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Lots of these Early Blue Violets mixed in with the Strawberries as well.

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Here is a shot with the violets, strawberries and one of those Chocolate Lilies.

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Heading back to the car, the floor in the denser part of the forest was carpeted with Yellow Violets..

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And finally, as we head for home, this Mule Deer was browsing on the fresh leafs.  Thus bringing to a conclusion another day at Manning Park ~ a place that never seems to disappoint.

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