Saturday, June 6, 2009

Elk Meadow Park

Danelle had triathlon training this morning, so I dragged the kids out with me for this weekend's hike. A little online research led me to Elk Meadow Park in Evergreen as a good option -- fairly close, fairly flat and fairly short.
Some of the trails were poorly marked, or we hiked on things that weren't actually trails. Not exactly sure which.
The wind blowing through the tall grass looked like waves on a "green ocean," as Taryn put it.
Some wild iris.
Zak tried to cross a little seasonal stream on this log bridge. Well, by "tried to cross" I mean "got this far and jumped back off."
Taryn took a turn. This picture immediately preceded her spinning upside down and hanging from the log like a monkey until I helped her off. I didn't think taking a picture of that moment was the best use of my time, though it was pretty funny.
Biggest bummer -- we never lost sight of the highway, which kind of shatters the whole feeling of being out in the wilderness.
Taryn thought this dead tree had been cut down to make paper towels.

The only way to get them to take pictures like this any more is to promise that we'll take a "silly one" afterward.

So here you go.

No idea what this little bird is, but he sat still long enough for me to get a decent picture.
UPDATE: Rebecca Kosten and DiAnne Weston of the Colorado Birding Society to the rescue!
It is a Vesper Sparrow. The well defined cheek pattern, white outer tail feathers, white eye ring and especially rufous feather on the upper wing all indicate a Vesper Sparrow. It is rather a large sparrow that nests in the Colorado mountains and on the eastern plains.

All hikes should end with a stop for ice cream, though the service at The Blue Cow Eatery in Morrison was terrible. We spent nearly an hour there just to get a cup of vanilla ice cream with sprinkles, a root beer float and a chocolate malt.

Since we apparently didn't really walk on trails the whole time, I'm not exactly sure how far we went. I'm guessing about 2.5 miles in about an hour and a half, so "leisurely" would be a good way to describe our pace.


Orontes said...

How did spinning on that tree bridge not tear your daughter up? It looks really spiky

SteveHarbula said...

She hadn't made it to the spiky part yet. She just lost her balance, but not her grip. And it was only about a two-foot drop into grass and water, so even if she had fallen she would have been more cold, scared and soaked than hurt. She was even laughing as she was hanging while I tried to figure out how to get her off.