Saturday, August 4, 2012
Glacier National Park. That was where my family chose to make our vacation destination this year. I was pretty happy because the birding would be awesome, I had a few friends that lived out there, and, best of all, it wouldn't cost me much. I had been to Glacier twice before. Once for about a week in '04 when we had spent some time and hiked a bunch of trails and spent time there. The second time was a few years later on our way back from Banff National Park. Unfortunately though, this was earlier in the year and the Going-to-the-sun Road was still closed in most of the upper elevations. This was the first year we would be back to do some more exploring.
If you haven't been to Glacier yet, I would highly recommend visiting. The scenery is spectacular and the birding is pretty sweet. If you visit in July like I did, you should hit the wildflowers pretty nicely.
At the top of Logan Pass, the Glacier Lillies were blooming:
In the lower elevations, you can find Thimbleberry blooming in July and fruiting in August:
In the high mountain valleys, Mountain Bluebells can be found in large numbers:
and Indian Paintbrush makes up a good percentage of the flowers at all elevations:
Throughout the park, mountain streams run, carrying rainwater and meltwater from glaciers and snowfields. Most of them tumble through a jumble of stones, boulders and fallen trees:
In the thick forests blanketing the slopes, birds like Varied Thrushes can be heard, their songs echoing through the glades, Chestnut-backed Chickadees forage in the thick cedars, Western Tanagers call from further up the slopes, and Boreal Chickadees call their lazy "schlicka-zee-zee"
The beauty of the park cannot be told in words, and images only tell half the story. In this and a few future posts, I will try to convey at least some of that beauty.
Til next time, Happy Birding!