Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Burke Mountain

On our recent vacation to the Northeast to visit family, I got part of Sunday to myself to go for a hike. I chose Burke Mountain, since it was close and offered a climb.

Vermont has had a wet summer just like Colorado, and this field of Daisies and Brown-Eyed Susans seemed to appreciate it.

I talked Zak into coming along, and his favorite parts were traversing some of the muddier sections.

He had his first encounter with birch bark...

...and with an American Toad in its natural habitat.

Did I mention the summer had been wet? The fungus were having a field day with this fallen tree.

Zak did a better job getting up some of the rocky stretches than I'd expected, especially in sneakers.

The closer we got to the top, the more in the clouds we were.

If you can get the light and focus right, spider webs make for cool pictures.

Like I said, the summit was pretty clouded in. Not much of a view.

I was told some of my relatives helped build the fire tower at the top.

Zak decided he wanted to climb it, then a few sections up decided he didn't and we went back down.

Then he changed his mind again, and surprised me by making it all the way to the top. I told him later that if he hadn't been there, I probably wouldn't have gone up.

I can't believe I had to go all the way to Vermont to get my first decent butterfly picture of the season.
NOTE: As usual, Mike Fisher comes to the rescue with an ID: Argynnis atlantis. He can even identify butterflies from Vermont!

We got caught in a downpour on our way back down, but when the storm broke we got a nice view of Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor.

About four hours to go about seven miles roundtrip, with I think about 2,000 feet of elevation gain. In the interest of total disclosure, a nice lady took pity on our pitiful, soaked forms and gave us a ride the final mile and a half back to our car.


Lisa said...

Beautiful pictures! The Painted Lady butterfly looks like its right out of Nat Geo!

SteveHarbula said...

Thanks! I got a lot more good insect shots (mostly butterflies) last summer. I wonder if the wet weather has been a factor this year?