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.

DSLR Spring Trip 821

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…

DSLR Spring Trip 822

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….

Spring Trip 2010 2257

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…

Spring Trip 2010 2258

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

Spring Trip 2010 2261

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

Spring Trip 2010 2262

Wild Strawberries….

Spring Trip 2010 1906

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.

Spring Trip 2010 1908

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.

Spring Trip 2010 2267

Here is some more of that ‘Spring Gold’

Spring Trip 2010 2269

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!

Spring Trip 2010 1903

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…

Spring Trip 2010 2285

These yellow violets are ‘Round leaf Yellow Violets’…

Spring Trip 2010 2279

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

Spring Trip 2010 2280

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…

Spring Trip 2010 2283

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!

Spring Trip 2010 2284

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….

Spring Trip 2010 1927

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.

Spring Trip 2010 2289

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

Spring Trip 2010 2290

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

Spring Trip 2010 2293

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

Spring Trip 2010 2298

There is another Ground Squirrel den under this fallen log…

Spring Trip 2010 2301

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!

Spring Trip 2010 1911

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…

Spring Trip 2010 1909

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

Spring Trip 2010 1912

and this is Kinnickinnick….

Spring Trip 2010 1913

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

DSLR Spring Trip 850

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

DSLR Spring Trip 846

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.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spring Trip 2010 – Day 39 – Kettle River Provincial Park

Sunday, May 30th we woke up to sunshine.  Spent the day just wandering and looking for birds and anything else of interest.  Birds were obviously in the middle of nesting, so quiet and secretive, but even so, by the end of the day we’d complied a pretty good list….so in no greatly organize order, here we go…

Spring Trip 2010 2237

Here is a section of the trail that runs along the river….this section would be directly behind the spot we were camped in…

Spring Trip 2010 2239

there is a Spotted Sandpiper on that log….there were a number of Spotted Sandpiper all along the river…

Spring Trip 2010 2240

here is another section of the trail….this is closer to the bridge…you can see that a section of it has collapsed into the river…

Spring Trip 2010 2244

Some more of those ‘Canada Violets’…

Spring Trip 2010 2246

and in more forested areas….Early Blue Violets….

Spring Trip 2010 2247

also in the more forested areas, this white wild flower is Baneberry ~ this plant will sport bright red berries later in the summer ~ not to be eaten though as they are extremely poisonous!

Spring Trip 2010 2248

Growing in the same damp, forested area is this green flower, known as Black Sanicle – don’t ask me why!

Spring Trip 2010 1894

Apart from a couple of junco, this area had been very ‘bird less’, hence the flower pictures….and this little guy….a one eared Chipmunk.  If you’ve ever watched these cute little critters interact at times, it isn’t surprising that occasionally someone looses an ear!

DSLR Spring Trip 759

another walk took us down to the south side of the bridge…

DSLR Spring Trip 760

this picture is looking down the river from the day use picnic site….

DSLR Spring Trip 762

found some Red Columbine in flower in the picnic area….

DSLR Spring Trip 764

Sometimes this is a very ‘birdy’ area, but not on this particular day.  Did spot this little guy that I think is a ‘Hammond’s Flycatcher’ ~ came to that conclusion after pouring over ‘flycatchers’ in my ‘Sibleys’

DSLR Spring Trip 765

some Red-breasted Nuthatch too, this one was looking for creepy crawlies on the undersides of the leaves….no doubt taking them back to a nest of youngsters….

DSLR Spring Trip 772

Most of the bird activity was concentrated right around the campground side of the bridge….here a pair of Violet Green Swallows (male on left, female on right) were perched on part of the bridge itself….these swallows nest on the bridge…

DSLR Spring Trip 776

this robin obviously had a hungry brood somewhere close by as well….

DSLR Spring Trip 780

and here we go, another Swainson’s Thrush….the ones here were acting a bit more like I expect Swainson’s Thrush to behave….sneaking about in the denser parts of the forest….

DSLR Spring Trip 782

hard to see, both here and then, is this hummingbird.  I have no idea what kind…I suspect it is a young one….

DSLR Spring Trip 797

a flash of red and yellow….again, right by the bridge….led us to spotting this male Western Tanager….

DSLR Spring Trip 799

he was heading down to this sheltered back eddy in the river, to have a bath.

DSLR Spring Trip 812

a Warbling Vireo in the choke cherry bushes….

DSLR Spring Trip 792

and remember that pair of Red breasted Nuthatch we saw nest excavating, when we were here a month or so ago?  well they were now busy feeding fledglings….here is one of them at the nest hole (not the one on the right, the occupied hole is behind the bird…

DSLR Spring Trip 795

there was it’s mate, coming home with a mouthful of food…..

DSLR Spring Trip 817

Out on the river, if you look really closely at a branch coming up from that log pile….

DSLR Spring Trip 788

You’ll see a pair of Belted Kingfisher.  I wish I could have got a better picture because I have never seen a pair of Kingfisher together before.  The male is on the left, while it is the female with the rust coloured ‘belt’ that gives these birds their name, on the right.

DSLR Spring Trip 819

another species, busy at it’s nest, was this Mountain Chickadee…in this case, doing a bit of house cleaning….kids' are messy you know! and not house broken.

Spring Trip 2010 1896

One final evening walk….

Spring Trip 2010 1897

with the shadows lengthening but the sun still shining on the hill across the river….

Spring Trip 2010 1899

and one final bird glimpsed….in this case, a Pileated Woodpecker, working away up in one of the massive Poplar trees.

So would this be the last day of our trip?  Would we be home tomorrow?  stay tuned!