Gotta make this quick ’cause the wifi is sketchy here, but after a 29-hour Amtrak® train ride, we arrived at Glacier National Park yesterday and hiked to Avalanche Lake today. It was a pretty short hike, just 5 easy miles roundtrip, but boy-oh-boy, what a hike it was. Right off the bat, a barred owl (Strix varia) flew in, saw all us hikers, realized it’s Memorial Day weekend, cursed under it’s breath, and took right back off again. Outstanding start!
A bit further up the trail, we came across this plump-looking least chipmunk (Neotamias minimus).
Just above the chipmunk, this diminutive pacific wren (Troglodytes pacificus) was singing his brains out from a perfect perch.
At the lake, I thought I saw another chipmunk, but it turns out to have been a golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) with the stripes of a chipmunk, but bigger, and with the steely gaze of a squirrel.
On the water was a pair of common mergansers (Mergus merganser), whom we haven’t seen in Estabrook in weeks.
On the far shore was a mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). We’ve seen them everywhere, even from the train, but this was the first time I had my camera handy.
There were also a bunch of common goldeneyes (Bucephala clangula) fishing and flying about.
Finally, for you trillium fans, here’s one of the few Pacific trilliums (Trillium ovatum) we saw.
Oh, the scenery was pretty spectacular, too, if you’re into that kind of thing.