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Camping Day Three: Snow, Suffering and Predation - Elf M. Sternberg
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Camping Day Three: Snow, Suffering and Predation

Mt. Adams
Breakfast the next morning was oatmeal, which I cooked over the camp stove. We spent a lazy morning cleaning up and playing more Frisbee, made PB&J sandwiches for lunch, and then headed out onto the Cultus Creek Trail.

It was a beautiful trail but brutially difficult, uphill at a "strenuous" angle all of the way.q It was only three miles or so, but entirely like climbing stairs . Above 4500' we encountered snow. A lot of snow. In late July. The girls had a lot of fun playing in it, making snowmen, and throwing snowballs.

We reached the trail intersection, after much whining from Kouryou-chan about how hard it was until the snow. We met a fisherman coming back from another trail to Wood Lake. He said if we wanted to find the lake, it was "that way," but "A bit of a slog." The girls ran off into the woods to find it, at one point crossing over what looked like an empty meadow but was, in fact, a frozen-over pond. A close examination showed the ice wasn't all that thick; they were lucky not to have fallen through. A beautiful, but dangerous, wintry wonderland.



Snow!
Getting down through the snowfields was a challenge. Omaha fell and slid about 20 feet. The girls kept running off without us, and we finally had to rein them in and tell them to stay in sight at all times.

At one point down the trail, I stopped to photograph a flower I'd never seen before. It was a big bulb of many little white blossoms. Looking closely, I could see odd off-white spherical discolorations within the flower that turned out to be tiny spiders. A bee landed on the bulb next to one of the biggest spiders, which was still barely the size of a pea, and began supping. The spider lunged, there was a sharp, high-pitched BZZZZzzzz.... which sadly died away in pitch and volume, and then all was once again still except for the spider's slowly throbbing abdomen as it exsanguinated the bee. A super-cool moment, something normally recorded only by nature photographers, and I got to see it in real time.


Impending Doom!

Quiet Aftermath!
If you look closely at the top of each photo, in the first you can see the bee, alive, and that slightly yellowish orb to the left is the spider. In the second, the spider is under the just-killed bee, eating it. These photos are about four seconds apart.


We came down off the mountain and trudged back to camp. I said it was like climbing stairs. When we got back to camp, my pedometer indicated that by the end of the day we had climbed over 200 flights!



Deer in our campsite
I made the girls cook hamburgers for dinner while Omaha took a nap. While we were eating, a deer walked right through our campsite, along the side trail that led to the camp stream. I barely managed to get my camera out as she reached the main road and trotted into the meadow across from it, and it was too dark for the autofocus to work correctly. Sorry about that.

We played an epic round of Quiddler. For the seven-card round I came up with two words, but being the silly nerd that I am, I had to put down with a flourish, and in my best movie trailer voice said, "By day, he's an ordinary man. But by night, he's soft, chewy and has long-lasting flaver. He's Weregum." Well, it was "were" and "gum," but the girls, exhausted from the hike, completely broke up laughing.

Tags:
Current Mood: satisfied satisfied
Current Music: Liz Story, Escape of the Circus Ponies

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Comments
shunra From: shunra Date: August 4th, 2012 06:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Weregum!

::loudly applauds::
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