Saturday, June 25, 2011

Winter Blues.

Shooting Stars found on Dunraven Pass.
I feel like for the last few months I've been grasping at what little signs of spring are available - the baby bison or a few little patches of green grass that pushing their way through the snow.  I can officially say that I'm not have to search any more but now spring has just become apparent in the world around me.  Thankfully!  I was starting to get the blues super bad from being locked up inside.

The Canyon area is starting to display a multitude of Glacier Lilies out in the cabin areas, which is such a joy to walk by on my way to work as opposed to a pile of snow!  The most snow free hikes are still in the northern range so that's where I've been heading on my weekends - but still got in a smaller hike before work the other morning!

Mount Washburn.
I'm currently reading Second Nature by Michael Pollen, which is fantastic and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has ever known the joys of dirty fingernails after a day of playing in a garden.  One of the sections that I have found most interesting so far is his chapter on weeds.  Throughout much of the book he struggles between taking up the Emersonian view on nature and just letting it do it's own thing versus being a person who has a garden and tends to the needs of those plants.  So when weeds start to infest his garden, he struggles (not due to a lack of a hoe and two good arms) to keep the weeds at bay.

He does some research that is rather interesting - a lot of the plants that we consider weeds - dandelions, milkweed, etc. - are really plants that were brought over by the Europeans and have thrived in our society where we tend to the land.  After reading this chapter, I started thinking about the dandelions that we have here in the park - and they all tend to be beside the road or in Mammoth (where they continue to manicure the lawn due to historical significance).  It makes it easier to know information like this to balance Emersonian ideals and still be able to kill the plants that have moved in to take your tomato's spot.

Now that spring is actually here, I feel like I can relax and mediate in the warmth of the sun's rays.  Bailey (my middle niece) will be coming out to visit me in about a week and a half - I'm super jazzed to show her the park.  It's an amazing place and I hope that she can follow John Muir's advice:

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer.  Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings.  Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nautre’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June showers bring July flowers.

Spring is finally starting to hit the high country here in Yellowstone.  I live at the highest elevation that holds a hotel in the park – at just a little over 8,700 feet.  That’s not to say that it’s warm or nice weather – in fact, it’s been rather chilly and rainy for the last few days.  It’s ok though because rain means that the snow is melting!  That means that we will be able to hike up in this area soon!

Everyone around here seems to be a little bit more on edge because we can’t get out and hike.  I finally did a yoga session when I got home from work today (It’s my Friday! WHOO!) and I feel so much better – relaxed.

I’ve forgotten the amount of stress that I used to carry on my shoulder’s daily when I was living in Chicago.  I am able to get lost in things other than my work – and I relish in that fact. I’m going camping in a couple of nights (and there is supposed to be a Lunar eclipse!), which makes me excited that my life has gone down the path that some might say is the less traveled path. 

I am thankful that I am surrounded by the beautiful Earth and friends whom I love dearly.  I just wish that the snow had already seeped into the Earth to provide food for the flowers I’m so looking forward to seeing as we hike by. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Opening Day!

Alum Creek, which looks more like a lake due to snow melt.
Canyon Lodge opens to the public today - still buried under about 3 feet of snow!  Since we moved up here (a little less than a week ago), it's snowed every day but one and we went skiing on Memorial Day.  I've even had a few chances to sneak away and take some photos.  (Oh! Hopefully I'm getting a new camera in a couple weeks - I found one I want used for a super great price!!!)

Great Blue Heron catching a fish.
I've been appreciating the birds in area a lot more this year.  It's possible it's just because I'm learning their names and a few random fun facts here and there.  I've headed out to Hayden Valley (the valley in the high plateau that a large number of animals migrate to during the summer months) in the evening to see what I can see. 

There has been a Great Blue Heron that has been hanging out where Alum Creek runs into the Yellowstone River.  There is a bridge right before this happens, which has been funneling fish right into the Heron's mouth. 

Great Blue Heron with fish.

When I went out yesterday, there was an American White Pelican that was also feeding just a short distance away.  I've heard that Great Blue Heron's will be territorial about their feeding grounds; however, I doubt this one really wanted to try to fight off one of N. America's largest birds. 

American White Pelican