Spring up Narrows Creek

Springtime is such an amazing time of year in the high mountains. As the snow melts back, new shoots of green appear. As creeks throw off their icy mantel, new plants seem to materialize as if by magic. New feathered friends appear on a daily basis. Big game species start to return. Sound comes back after the quiet stillnes of winter. Twittering birds. Trickling water. The scream of an osprey. The trumpet of a passing swan pair. The unique warbling call of a sandhill pair. The quacking of ducks. Summers chorus is warming up!

Narrows Creek has always been a favorite haunt. I love to watch the changes each season brings to this narrow canyon. The ice melting off the pond in spring. The profussion of wildflowers in the summer. The passing groups of elk in the fall. The quiet stillness of the frozen landscape in the winter.

This spring is no different. While snow drifts still dot the landscape, the dogs and I have not slowed down. I want to share, via a photo journal, a recent morning spent 'up the creek'.

The first thing I enjoyed were a pair of Sandhill Cranes. She was quite ladylike. He was making quite a fool of himself.

Of course the pond had other 'critters'. Three pairs of ducks were staking out their territories. A pair of Bufflehead had the water nearest the outlet.

The Barrow's Golden Eye pair had the middle left section. She was quite shy (thus the lack of her photograph), except when the Bufflehead Female strayed into her territory. Whenever this happened, she would begin to complain quite loudly. And, amazingly (to me), her mate would drive away the invading female.

On up the canyon I enjoyed a few more sights. Some critter tunnels exposed to the light of day.

A creek breaking free of its snowy mantle and some pretty new growth emerging in the shallows.

I was amazed to see some willows beginning to bud - baby pussy willows being born!

And, as fast as the snow melts, the Sage Buttercups (aka Early Buttercups) pop up dotting the landscape with little yellow splashes of color.

On the way back down the canyon, I enjoyed a beautiful spring panorama.

To top it all off, this little lady was admiring herself in my pickup mirror (and making quite a mess of my truck window and mirror) when I returned to the lodge.

Lady of the Lake

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