Visitors 23
Modified 19-May-15
Created 19-May-15
15 photos

This sunlit lichen caught my attention while I was hiking through the forest near Mill Creek. I am not sure what species it is, but I have heard of nicknames like Witch's Hair or Old Man's Beard.The other beautiful thing in this forest was the steaming tree trunks. I believe this was a result of the sun heating the dark colored bark and evaporating moisture on it from recent rain and snow.This back footprint of a Black Bear looked pretty fresh, but I never did run into the owner luckily!It was great to see Castle Peak from a new perspective and I was amazed how much snow it had on it.As I got higher on Mount Gladstone everything had amazing Rime formations on one side. I have read that this forms on the windward side of objects when fog is blown at a high velocity towards them.Windsor Mountain and Castle Peak stayed relatively cloud free on this trip, while much of the rest of this panorama remained hidden.I have never seen Rime up close and found it absolutely fascinating.Victoria Peak Rises behind two more Rime plastered trees although you cannot tell as easily from this side.Even the icicles were coated in Rime. I love the colors of the lichen that grow on the black rocks in this area.Usually I am disappointed with poor visibility from high on a mountain, but today it made for interesting lighting and offered some great photographic opportunities.The last section of ridge to the summit looked bizarre with the one lichen covered cliff face. The prairies should be visible in the distance, but are mostly obscured by clouds.I love the summit block of Castle Peak and see it as the centerpiece of the Castle Wilderness. Surprisingly Kinnerly and Kintla Peak are visible over 40 km to the south despite the unsettled skies.Looking east off the summit of Gladstone I saw this cool phenomenon of the clouds pushing up the side of its outlier.One more look at Windsor and Castle before heading down.I am pretty sure this is a male Blue Grouse. Years ago I was lucky to see one of these guys displaying for a female by fanning his tail and inflating his bizarre air sacs on both sides of his neck.