Sagebrush Buttercups: Ranunculus glaberrimus

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Just down the road, where the sun hits just right, is a small patch of earth warmed by the sun where the snow has melted and the Sagebrush Buttercups are already springing to life.

Growing low to the ground with their buttery shiny-waxy petals these wonderful little flowers are a challenge to photograph yet fun nonetheless. They are a bit poisonous to the touch so take care if handling them as they can cause blistering.

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While a few were blooming most we still just on their way.

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A wonderful sign that spring is indeed on it’s way despite the recent snows.

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Afternoon Stroll

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A stroll up the trail on a November afternoon. Will it be warm will it be cold, sunny or cloudy? Probably all of the above.

The trail was covered with a light layer of snow yet the creek flowed freely.

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Mountain Ash berries glowing a brilliant orange seem to scream “hey birds…what are you waiting for.”

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Temperatures warmed along the way as icicles glued to moss began to thaw.

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…and what started a cloudy day become much less so on a slow and quiet afternoon stroll.

One last look

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This year Chippy was a constant companion around the yard. Darting back and forth and to and fro collecting morsels to munch on and them finding the perfect perch to munch them on. We don’t see much of this guy as the temperatures cool and the flakes begin to fly so one last look was in order.

The Boys Club

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I could be mistaken but along the trail  and just down the hill  was a sign that read “Boys Only”  and perhaps that was so as a Mule Deer Buck and young Bighorn Ram hung out together under the comfort of large shade tree on a warm fall afternoon. This is the first time we have encountered both a Bighorn Sheep and Mule Deer together through the viewfinder. An unusual and interesting encounter.

 

 

 

Pipsissewa:Chimaphila umbellata

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Pipisissewa is a beautiful and distinct wildflower found on the forest floor not to mention a fun name to say. With its long stem and single umbrella shaped flower it is  hard to miss while hiking through the woods and native to much of cool temperate forest across the northern hemisphere. A member of the wintergreen family Pipsissewa has green leaves year-round, it receives a significant portion of its nutrition from fungi in the soil.

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Pipsissewa, as much fun to observe as it is to say and wonderful companion on any forested walk.