Friday, July 18, 2008

The Last Couple Months

Marjie and I have been quite busy this spring. Sometimes it's good to just stay home so the first of June we attended the first annual "Woodpecker Wonderland Festival" which was held at Camp Sherman on the Metolius River about 15 miles from where we live. Why at Camp Sherman??? Well, of the 22 species of woodpeckers that live in North America, 11 nest within 30 miles of Camp Sherman. It is the highest concentration of different species of woodpeckers anywhere in North America with the exception of Yosemite. (Click on any picture for a larger view)
We met a lot of very interesting people who came from as far away as San Diego and Vancouver BC. These folks are "real birders" and most of them knew their woodpeckers. We went on guided tours each day and it was very nice being out with someone who was so knowledgeable. We learned a lot and had a great time. We saw 10 of the 11 species that nest here. Below are pictures of some I was able to get close enough to.
The White-Headed Woodpecker was the signature species of the festival. It is somewhat rare. We actually had a pair nest in a tree in our back yard this spring.

A pair of Red-Naped Sapsuckers at their nest.

A Lewis Woodpecker with a mouth full of food.

Another Red-Naped Sapsucker

A Black-Backed Woodpecker

A Hairy Woodpecker

A Red-Breasted Sapsucker

The middle of June we left on a 3 week trip north and east into Montana. We stopped the first night at Wallowa Lake in Northeast Oregon then followed the Nez Perce Trail up the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers and over Lolo Pass into Montana. We spent one afternoon at the Bison Range north of Missoula.
Saw quite a few Bison and several new birds.
Our major destination was Kalispell where we helped on a Habitat for Humanity build. There were 22 in our group and we spent a week working at the site. We framed all the interior walls of 4 units and got them ready for the installation of trusses. We really accomplished quite a lot. Of the 22 there were 3 couples from Sisters. Here Eloise, Sharon, and Marjie (the three sisters "blockets") cut blocking for the trusses to be used by the next crew.
Mike was quite good at fixing other people's mistakes.
The "Crew". We all really had lots of fun and will do it again.
After the week at Kalispell, Marjie and I spent 4 days camping in Glacier Park.
As those of you who have visited Glacier know it is a beautiful spot but it is changing. A ranger told us that of the 150 glaciers that were here at the turn of the 20th century only 26 remain today and by 2020 there will be no more glaciers in Glacier Park.
The Bear Grass was in full bloom.
We did a lot of hiking in the lower elevations because snow still blocked many of the upper elevation trails. Marjie thinks she sees a bird.
We did see the normal wildlife. Grizzly Bear, Black Bear, Mountain Goat, Bighorn Sheep, Deer, Elk, Moose etc.
Not a bad spot for a Christmas Card photo.
On the third day we were there they got the "Going to the Sun Road" open so we drove up to Logan Pass with everyone else. Lots of snow still there.
Marjie is resting on a log in the middle of a burned area. Saw several Black-Backed Woodpeckers here.
Because of all the snow melt there was water running everywhere. We did a couple hikes up to waterfalls that were pretty impressive.
Nothing like blue sky, big mountains and water to make you get the camera out. After leaving Glacier we drove south paralleling the eastern side of the Rockies. The green rolling hills of the prairie were beautiful. You could almost see what that country must have looked like when Lewis and Clark passed through in 1804. Instead of cattle the plains were covered with Bison and looking west it looks like the Rockies are just a single range of mountains. Were they ever in for a big surprise.
We drove south to Helena and on to Boulder where we spent the 4th of July with Brett and Carrie, Marjie's youngest daughter. Another great trip!


Heather said...

Hi Dick & Marjie: Your blog came up because I keep track of entries about Wallowa Lake. Next time you're in the area you'll have to look for the rather large Red Pileated Woodpecker (aka Woody Woodpecker) in the woods around here. I'd never seen one before moving to Joseph, OR. They're quite large and very impressive. Thanks for the great photos.
--Heather at the Bronze Antler B&B

Eastbay Sarah said...

Another great post! I always love your animal pictures--the woodpeckers are great. I like the two red-naped sapsuckers at their nest. The waterfall photo is stunning. I also enjoyed all the cute photos of Marjie and the great shot of Carrie and Brett.