Monday, July 9, 2012

Raining Apricots

Lower Alta Lake
The moonsoons have started a little early, and it's very welcome news.  The montane and alpine zones were drying up, so hopefully the rains have come in time to let a few wildflowers bloom.  It has also helped quash a few of the wildfires burning around the state.  Also, every time the wind blows, the two little apricot trees in our backyard shake loose a volley of fruit.  Anyone want some fresh apricots?  I wish I had known they would make so much fruit, because I would've watered them more.  These are pretty small, about the size of a ping-pong ball... but really tasty.

Mama Mallard
Despite Menefee mountain burning up, we were still able to get our workload done.  This included a survey of the Mancos River valley, mostly to size up the Russian Knapweed infestation and formulate a plan to tackle it.  We also had some fun; visiting the ghost-town of Alta Lakes, the place Tesla was hired to install the world's first AC power plant.  We saw beavers foraging, mama ducks teaching her chicks to swim in straight lines, and gobs of turquoise damselflies.  Sadly, this area is soon to be "developed"  -- I put that in quotes because, in the words of Indigo Montoya, "I don't think that word means what you think it means".

Emerald Lake
We stuffed our face and watched the only fireworks show on the 4th allowed in the entire county.  Then we went hiking out to Emerald Lake (not to be confused with the 50,000 other Emerald Lakes -- insert rant about poor names for magnificent wonders).

Emerald Lake of the Weminuche Wilderness is the 3rd largest natural lake in Colorado.  It is over 250 feet deep, and is split into two lakes by a narrow isthmus.  It is really scenic, and when the sun shone, the shores were green like its namesake.  Far in the mist to the north skulked mount Oso, and despite Lisa being tired from the hike up and the storms booming around us, it beckoned us to go onwards.  Instead, the weather demanded our attention, with nearly constant light rain and distant thunderstorms threatening worse.  We dreaded spending dinner in the rain, so decided to backpack out after 1 night on the trail.  It was a long, muddy slog, but we made it back home by midnight.
Mount Oso in the Mists

We've been recovering all day.  Mostly watching the nearly grown puffins scamper about the Loafing Ledge.

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