18 May 2013

Springtime in the Rockies

Wild Turkey in the Woods
With a lovely day forecast, we headed for Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday.  Our first stop was Endo Valley.  We saw this wild turkey wandering among the trees.

Clear Waters
The creek flowing through Endo Valley is tinged golden with peat.  It's flowing fairly full with the snowmelt.  We were actually surprised at how little snow there was at this elevation.

Melting Snowbank
But as we headed up Trail Ridge Road, we started to see snowbanks.

View from Rainbow Corner
At Rainbow Curve, the road is closed.  Beyond this point they are still plowing the roads!  I've heard reports of drifts over 15 feet tall and yesterday the park posted a photo on their Facebook page of the Alpine Visitor Center still buried in snow!  From Rainbow Curve, you can see Horseshoe Park (in the distance) far below as well as the Alluvial Fan (on the left) from the Lawn Lake flood that happened in 1982.  Endo Valley is out of view to the left.  On the right, you can see Trail Ridge Road snaking up the mountain.

Gray Jay
At Rainbow Curve there were many Grey Jays watching for handouts from visitors.  Though feeding the animals is strictly forbidden, they must still get their fair share as they keep trying!

May I have some please?
This little Colorado Least Chipmunk has found a snack and the little Junco seems to be asking to share!

Moose on Bear Lake Road
Then we headed up the Bear Lake Road.  It has been undergoing construction for a couple of years now, so we didn't anticipate seeing much wildlife, so were vastly surprised to come around a corner and see this moose!  I've never seen the moose on the east side of the park.  To get here, it had to cross over the continental divide, which would be quite a journey!  The rangers we talked to said there is a small group of them that came over a couple of years ago.  What a treat to see!

Picnic by the lake
Mid-day, we stopped for lunch in the Sprague Lake area.  We had a prime spot next to the beaver pond.  Such a gorgeous day!  This is my daughter Jessie and her fiance David.

Beaver Pond Dam
Though this beaver pond is now abandoned, it remains strong and provides a lovely still pond.  The sound of the water burbling through it is so peaceful.

Sprague Lake
After lunch, we enjoyed a hike around the lake and had a lovely view towards the snowy peaks.  We watched an Osprey take a plummeting dive into the lake after a fish from this spot.

Sprague Lake Trail
It's a lovely spot, and an easy 1/2 mile walk.

Fern Lake Trailhead Road - Burn area
The afternoon found us in Moraine Park where we headed back towards one of my favorite areas.  Late last fall, the Fern Lake Fire burned through this area removing a large number of trees and much of the undergrowth, leaving it very open.  With the spring snow melt, the grass is coming in green and lush.  It will be interesting to watch this area rejuvenate after the fire.

Moraine Park Creek
The fire also burned through much of Moraine Park.  Along here, there used to be massive stands of willow that are now gone.  Once again, the fresh green grass is brilliant.  Really gorgeous.  The creek is running full as it winds across the valley floor!  A beautiful end to a lovely day!

7 comments:

Val said...

Lovely scenery, Lisa. It's always amazing to see the land rejuvinate after a fire. Great photos!

tom said...

create pictures, beautiful prose!

Adrienne said...

Beautiful! I love visiting the woods when Spring has begun to wake everything from the long, winter nap! We drove up Mount Hood here in Oregon the other day and it was like magic. We had been there just a few weeks ago - in the snow!
~Adrienne~

Beedeebabee said...

I really enjoyed your beautiful photos! :)

Terri said...

Brings back memories of my trip to EP and RMNP so many years ago! Thanks and beautiful pictures!

Wilma said...

Hello Lisa,

Found via pinterest. Love your artwork very much !! Signed in as a follower and hope to visit you more often.

Blessings,
Wilma, Shabby Royale.

Jeito Mineiro de Ser said...

Lindo lugar!
Lindas fotos!
Um abraço!

Egléa

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