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.