Weekend Expedition 56: To the realm of the pikas



This weekend, Catherine and I were invited by Sofi Hindmarch and Brian Coote (along with his kids Alexa and Jamie) to go down to Mt. Baker, a stratovolcano in Washington State near the Canadian border. On Sunday, we went on a trip to Lake Ann, a 13 km alpine trail. Catherine had to sit this one out due to knee issues, but I went to document our trip. This was my first outing to the alpine zone in quite a while, and it was not disappointing!


A Hericium abietis! These are great edibles, but as we were in a reserve, we did not take it. There were also numerous King Boletes nearby.


Alexa stops for a water break.


The view going up the trail, Sofi in the lead, followed by Jamie and Alexa.


Near the crest! 


An American Pika, Ochotona princeps. These odd lagomorphs make a whistling alarm call when disturbed.


These animals prefer talus slopes, and spend much of the summer gathering and drying plant material for a long cold winter buried beneath the snow.


We saw these giving alarm calls in response to both Red-tailed Hawks and some kind of mustelid (possibly a marten or a mink).


At the end point of our trip, I found this wolf spider under a rock.



To prove we did it: Brian, Sofi, Jamie and Alexa in front of Lake Ann.


Of course, on the way down I could not resist more pika shots.




Yet another pika scanning the skies.


Blueberry break on the way back.


Much needed fuel for the last leg of the trip.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Expedition 56: To the realm of the pikas

  1. Do you leave from Artist Point for that hike? I was up there in August. Neat flora and fauna. Was not expecting Tiger beetles up there. Yet another thing I’m overdue to blog about… Sigh!

    • Yep, that is where the trail begins. I did not see any tigers, but it is now quite a bit colder up there.

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