It doesn’t get much better than this on a hot summer July day in my neck of the woods. It is times like this that I count my blessings.
We had a glorious day up at the lake….a short last minute idea to go for a hike and then have a picnic dinner. This lake was the bluest I have seen in a very long time….three shades of blue-turquoise, blue-gray, and deep blue.
We hiked a new trail for us and it was surprising that we had it all to ourselves. We had planned to hike from a popular trailhead but there were no parking spots left, which is what happens when you show up at around 2 PM. We decided to park on the highway, walk down the road leading to a closed campground, and then see what adventure would come our way. It was far better than expected!
The trail we found wandered around and out onto a peninsula overlooking Lake Tahoe and Emerald Bay. The sun was hot but there was a breeze and in the shade it was comfortable. We sat out at the point for a long time just drinking in the views. There were several birds flying overhead and I could identify the call of the osprey and the song of the chickadee.
After that hike, we drove back down to Taylor Creek and hiked down to the water. This is my favorite little aspen grove and right now it is very green and filled with wildflowers. The cow parsnip is thick and smells fragrant…giving the hike a wonderful smell to remember. The insects were busy working in the flowers…mostly bees.
Play I Spy and you will see the crayfish that was scuttling along the creek bed. The water wasn’t very deep or moving very fast and we actually saw five different crayfish on this trip. They are strange creatures!
Here is another little wild friend that we stopped to watch along the trail. This squirrel (actually a chickaree) actually climbed up the tree with that cone in his mouth and then he sat eating the seeds up on the branch. Adorable!
We saw lots of snow plant on this hike.
And here is a really tall specimen of pine drops!
Here it is up close! So interesting!
Here come the wildflowers! I am trying to positively identify this purple flower.. Rydberg’s penstemon?
One of my favorite flowers! Western sky pilot....so pretty!
Then we found a whole patch of Ranger buttons.…the insects were loving this flower!
Down on the beach it was covered in Hooker’s primrose and lupine….almost unreal how beautiful it was in the fading light. We walked and found a place to sit as the sun was setting…watching the shadows getting longer and longer.
This shows the lupine better….maybe this one will need to get printed out and put up on my wall. I love this place, feels like home. Do you know what I mean? Do you have a place that just feels like it was meant for you?
One last wildflower, this time a pink one, Checkermallow
So ends our most excellent summer day at the lake up in the mountains….sigh. Can’t wait to do it all again sometime!
I managed to create a Five Senses Nature Journal page as part of my Once a Month Nature Journal Project. This is a super simple idea for a quick nature journal page that you and your children can do very easily this month!
Go create your own summer day filled with goodness….enjoy!