pussywillows

RCE_4662

The pussywillows showed up on time. . . early. This has been more of a traditional winter. Snow and low cloud obscuring the stars.

CRW_0008A few peaks are shedding the clouds.

CRW_0006One eye on the predator and one on the prey.

May Burn

RCE_9738smColumbia Lake. The haze is from the many controlled fires being burned in preparation for, what could be, a busy forest fire season.

Feels like we skipped over Spring and went straight to Summer. Warm temperatures in the mid 20’s, blue sky and everything greening up. It won’t be long and we will be praying for rain.

Hiked with Dave, Chad and Todd to the top of the hoodoos. Willow chased grouse and gophers. Sending them into the trees and underground, respectively.

RCE_9774A Blue Grouse struts his stuff. Once Willow caught wind, she put him in a tree. 

The hoodoos are featured prominently in the Ktunaxa Creation Story. It is said they are the remaining ribs of a large water monster that once inhabited the Kootenay and Columbia River systems.

RCE_9775Arrow Leaved Balsam Root. Arnica. False sunflower. The Ktunaxa called it xaǂ. Every part of the plant is edible and was an important food source for the Ktunaxa people.

It’s damn steep once on top with spectacular views of Columbia Lake to the north and Dutch Creek directly below.

RCE_9729Lisa remarked at the length of the Pine needles, saying they would make good weaved baskets. Lisa makes lovely pine needle baskets.

The mountains are still snowed in, but won’t be for long with the heat. Lisa and I went as high as we could last weekend looking for Mountain Orchids. They are close, yet still behind, we found their flat leaves on top of moss on the forest floor.

RCE_9755A couple of Swallows take in the view.

The hike back from the Hoodoos was uneventful, but for a small snake that crossed our path. It was enjoying the heat when we came along. I can never remember seeing one so early in the year.

RCE_9782A small Garter Snake sharing the trail. 

My mother used to tell us kids to get outside in the hot days of May and get sunburned. We were white as daisies after the long winter. She said, by the time it was summer it would turn to tan, and we wouldn’t have to worry about the sun burning again.

I am not sure if that parental advice would go over today, but I’m sure glad I got it when I did.