Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Crater Lake Flora and Fauna

When we first got to the north entrance of Crater Lake, we drove past the hordes of folks who had stopped at the first rim-side overlook and drove to the much less crowed second overlook.

I'm so used to the cedars, hemlocks, and firs that I forget that wildflowers grow on the rim.  Where the ground is mostly pumice, sand and gravel, the plants' leaves are more succulent and waxy.  Since we were there at the beginning of August, there were only a few small patches of snow on the ground, mostly in the shade of the southern rim.  Snow is on the ground about ten months out of the year.

I think this purple flower is a lupine.  

Dragonflies like Crater Lake, I think I must have seen something like fifty of them while we visited.  I only got close enough to photograph one, and managed to get a few shots of it from the above and the front.

In the early evening, we took a hike on the Vidae Falls Trail.  We didn't get to the falls, but we did get within about ten feet of a deer.  The pleasant shade was refreshing, although nearby forest fires made the sunlight ruddy.

A fallen tree caught my eye because of the way the remaining snag twirled in a corkscrew.  I always think of a tree's bark going straight up, but I guess it wraps around the tree.  

The next day on the Cleetwood Cove trail, we saw about ten, if not Very Tame Chipmunks, then at least Ones Wildly Unconcerned About Humans and Conditioned to Investigate Crinkling Plastic Bags.

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