Saturday, August 18, 2012

Harding Icefield Trail, Part II

Click here for Part I.

My hike back down from the end of the Harding Icefield Trail was marked by being alternately mesmerized by the glacier and the wildflowers.  Glacier...

More glacier, monochrome this time to emphasize the texture and contrast.

Wildflowers.  Specifically, more lupinesicles.

Still more lupinesicles.

I did see a marmot, who apparently also saw me.  I can't really say he "fled," because that would imply a speed which he simply didn't seem to have.

Last shot of ice-encrusted lupine, I promise.

Aaaannnddd ... more monochrome glacier.

Full-color glacier, just to mix things up.  Those crevasses get a bit hypnotic when you're trying to look down inside them.

Maybe I shouldn't get so excited about blue ice.  But it's blue freaking ice.  Colorado's a pretty dry state, so anything involving water is almost automatically cool because it's so different from what I typically see on hikes.

Wild geranium, I believe.  The ones we get in Colorado tend to be pink rather than purple.

Pretty sure this is Labrador tea, a type of rhododendron.

Western Columbine, balancing out the wild geranium by being red instead of bluish-purple like its Colorado cousin.

I'm gradually coming to the conclusion that if you're going to shoot a waterfall, you need to use either a really fast shutter speed that completely freezes the action or a tripod and a really slow shutter speed that gives you that beautiful lacy look.  Anything in between is just sort of muddled.

The lower, forested sections of the trail had lots of small songbirds flying through the undergrowth, like this Hermit Thrush.

I read a comment recently to the effect that robins would be more appreciated for their beauty if they weren't quite so common.  I'm a fan regardless.

I walked through the door of the visitor center exactly six hours after I'd started, and to my surprise Danelle and the kids were sitting there waiting!  Turns out they'd come out just to see the glacier, but the center has no phone service and they hadn't made arrangements for a cab or other ride back.  So they decided to just wait for me so we could all head to the ship together.  A very nice end to a tremendous hike!

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