Monday, October 25, 2010

Tunkwa Lake PP. – July 2nd, 2010

In real time it is the 25th day of October and it is POURING with rain….best to go back …can it be almost 4 months already?! to July 2nd at Tunkwa…..

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Morning that day dawned bright and sunny so we decided to do the walk over to Leighton Lake then up to June lake, circling back past the aspen groves…  Here is an over view of Leighton….

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once more the over whelming theme is how ‘green’ everything is.  Water levels are pretty high too.

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wildflowers abound in those green grasslands….here a close up of a Gaillardia

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and here, in a dryer area, Trailing Daisy.

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we’ve veered away from the lake now, this is a view looking back…Tunkwa is on the far side of that bluff.

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more flowers in the grasslands…

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These Cut-leaf Anemone being predominant…

Tunkwa July'10 SLR 073 Tall Blue Larkspur as well.

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Mustn’t forget the birds….here one very scruffy looking Mountain Chickadee…showing the effects of having raised a family!

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June Lake is never the most picturesque place….but this time the wildflowers made it so.

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These yellow daisies are Meadow Arnica

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Here is a close up

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Stonecrop was in flower in the dryer, barren areas closer to the lake itself.

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after skirting the lake, where there were a few Killdeer but nothing else in the way of birds visible, we took a look back at June Lake and then headed through the forested area….

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The route was uneventful…that is we didn’t find any wild horses like we had at Easter, but mosquitoes were thick….finally reached the aspen grove but didn’t linger….by now those bugs were getting to me!  I’d forgotten about them so no insect repellent with us.

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back to the open country about as fast as we could walk….

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and as we skirted the lake on our way back to the campsite, you could see a definite change in the weather, although as so often happens at Tunkwa, nothing major came of it as systems just seem to pass over or skirt around…

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The rest of the day was just spent hanging around in the campground area….this is one of the many fledgling Savannah Sparrows that were in the bushy area to the back and side of our campsite.

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Even the campground itself was a sea of flowers.   Not so long ago (8 or 10 years at most) this whole area was pine forest….then the pine beetle arrived, the trees all had the life sucked out of them and the parks department cleared all the dead trees out of the campground…it looked pretty rough for a couple of years….but has resulted in views like this.

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more of that Meadow Arnica as well as other wildflowers, up along the very back of the campground area.

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Look carefully at the base of this pit toilet and you’ll see two young Yellow Bellied Marmot….these marmots find pit toilets a wonderful home base!

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Here is a pair of them in a more suitable and picturesque setting!

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and for a final picture for the day I’ll throw in this one of a male Lesser Scaup, going out of his breeding plumage.  There is a female Barrow’s Goldeneye to the right….these guys were on a rock at the foot of the bluff the marmots were lounging on.

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