Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ruby Mountains (Day 2)

(this golden-mantled ground squirrel's tongue makes it look like he's wearing lipstick!)
21 August (Day 2)

After getting stuff together, meandered up to Lake Peak, where the elusive Himalayan Snowcock hangs out (that's for the bird nerds). No luck with the HISN but I did hear chukars nearby. The hike was really pretty (younger bristlecones scattered around) and the lake was a looker. There were handfuls of golden-mantled ground squirrels and chipmunks around - some babies too. Also heard pikas! (pictures of them to come).
(baby golden-mantled ground squirrel below)
I talked to some locals camping near the lake and found out no permit was necessary...good to know. There were some pretty serious looking storm clouds rolling in on the hike back down. Had some lunch once we got to the car and had to wait out the rain for a couple hours. I eventually got bored waiting and saw some guy at the trailhead with a big pack on so I decided to get some info (weather and trail stuff). He proved to be quite helpful.
It was still raining a little bit and thunderheads were looming but I made the executive decision to just go for it. It was already about 4 30 pm, so we kinda needed to get going. It wasn't a very long hike up to where we were headed but there was a good 2.5 miles straight uphill (the lake we were going to was around 9700 feet I think). Lots of good thunder and a little bit of lightening that I chose to just ignore. My raingear definitely made itself useful!
(Little Elephant's Heads above, storm clouds making their way towards us below)

The rain had died down by the time we got to the lake, which is good cause I really don't much care for setting up camp in the rain. I heard pikas nearby and went to investigate white I filtered water....PIKAS! I saw 4 and heard a few more. Excellent. Scenic Sunday
Made some dinner and tea and by the time it started getting dark, the rain started up again and along with it came some pretty gnarly wind. After a couple hours though, the skies cleared up nicely and the night sky put on a good show. I forget if it was a full moon, but it was close either way. I got out of the tent in the middle of the night and wandered around a little bit in the moonlight, which was crazy bright - good stuff!

8 comments:

Woody said...

Wow, what a cool sequence. The squirrel with lipstick to too funny. The storm cloud shot is really cool too.

Sylvia K said...

Terrific captures as always, Jill! I love the squirrel with lipstick, too! So funny and so cute! The skies and clouds are awesome! Hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy! Tell the squirrel to blot his/her lipstick next time!

Sylvia

Don't Bug Me! said...

Ha! More squirrels. I knew it, you really do have squirrelphilia. I just mentioned you in my post, all about squirrels.

AVCr8teur said...

Beautiful places one would not see without some effort of hiking in.

Clytie said...

The lipstick squirrel is adorable! And what a perfect hike ... rain and all I think. That last picture looks a bit like I think Heaven should be!

You should post the lizard footprints you mentioned ... or did I miss them? I would love to see!!!

Priyanka Bhowmick said...

Heaven upon earth!! excellent shots! loved the squirrel too.

cat said...

That was one heck of a squirrel makeover ;)
Fantastic shots as ususal!

Kitty said...

The baby chipmunk with the a bottlebrush for a tail is just the cutest! Do they come up close to you?

It's so good that in your part of the world the rain comes and goes. In Scotland, if its going to rain, it rains for the whole day! You have the right attitude though; stick on waterproofs and ignore it :)