Friday, January 6, 2012

Back to the Dempster 2011 – Part 5

This would be the day when we finally made it into Yukon.  Until you’ve driven it, you really have no concept of how big this province is…especially when you have started from the very bottom corner!

French Creek Rec. Site

Before we made it to the border…Ernie had to drive in and investigate French Creek Recreation Site (and no, not the French Creek on Vancouver Island!)…it was a nice enough spot…

High Bush Cranberry

Was pleased to see that the foliage of the High Bush Cranberries was starting to turn…I was still sure we were about 2 weeks too early…

Scenery along the highway

Reached the Alaska Highway, there is a rustic RV park complete with dump station, restaurant and fuel at the junction of the Stewart Cassiar and Alaska Highway, so we made use of all but the restaurant and then headed west…this is just a scene from along the highway….our destination some where up ahead.

Rancheria Falls Rec. Site

Stopped at Rancheria Falls to make some lunch and go for a walk….

The boardwalk again

This Rec. site, miles from any major center, has the most incredible board walk system through the boreal forest…that is Ernie and Shantz up ahead..

The falls

The falls themselves aren’t all that spectacular…

more of the river

here is another section of the river…

Toadstools pushing up

what was spectacular were the fungi pushing up all over.  I think these are a type of ‘Bolete’ Mushroom…they were 4 or 5 inches across.  The habitat here, and all along this part of the highway, is boreal forest, with small, closely spaced trees but virtually no undergrowth…just lichen and plants such as Kinnikinnick and, at this time of the year, hundreds and hundreds of these mushrooms!

Spruce Grouse on the trail

heading back to the parking lot…a family of Spruce Grouse were on the path (Ernie took this of me taking pictures of the birds)

Great look

there is one of the many pictures I took!


Pushing on, we reached the village of Teslin….everyone who drives this way takes this picture…there is a large viewpoint here…maybe one day I’ll actually get to take the picture with blue sky and sunshine!


and on to Teslin Lake Territorial Campsite…and no, this time not in the same spot – but only because the sites we consider ‘prime’ were already taken.  Note the yellow tinge to the Aspen – still worrying about that fall colour!

Close up of sign

This is one of the reasons for a number of the campsites being taken.  The Banding Station operates from, I think, April and May and then again from August to the end of September.

weather to the west

went for a wander….this is the west part of Teslin Lake – it is a good size lake…there was weather in the distance…

Mist nets

the mist nets were rolled up as they are only let down when banding is actually being done…which happens in the morning…

Young Blackpoll Warbler

I found a young Blackburnian Warbler…unfortunately not a clear picture, but since it is the only one I have of this species…it is a keeper, at least for now..

another look

A very co-operative Red Squirrel – still the only ‘wildlife’ we’d seen!

Ruffed grouse tippy toeing

not quite so co-operative Ruffed Grouse family…in fact was trying to get pictures of them when I spotted the Squirrel…

marshy area

this was one of the marshy areas between the lake and the campsite – the campsite is actually up on a hill ….there was 1 Solitary Sandpiper here…

Juvenile Dark Eyed Junco

Lots of Juncos around…mainly of the slate variety and lots of young ones like this guy who seems to have mistaken a piece of bark for something that might be edible!

the other direction

In the evening we went for a walk along the lakeshore…this is looking east, the village of Teslin would be tucked in way back in those hills…

Juvenile Spotted Sandpiper with bugs

There were several young Spotted Sandpiper on the shore…notice the bugs?  Mayflies I think.  The Sandpiper were actually leaping up and catching the bugs..

leaping for bugs

This one was either just taking off or just landing.  The parents were long gone, headed back south, but it looked like it would be a little while yet before these guys would be ready to follow…

stormy looking sky

and a last look of the evening sky in the western direction…the direction we would be heading in the morning.

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