My husband and I ran around Presque Isle today during the sunshine break between rainstorms. It was warm and awesome on the peninsula. The loons were still seen on the bay and there are still some red-breasted mergansers and ruddy ducks to entertain people.
We drove back to Fry’s Landing and walked the little trails back where they bird band. After several minutes the birds started moving around again in the trees and bushes and we spotted the cute golden crowned kinglets. We saw one yellow-rumped warbler and later spotted a yellow-throated warbler. I was able to get a few photos. I’m just loving that the warblers are starting to come through the area in their migration. Though the yellow-throated warbler is a bit far north of its normal summer territory.
Each year about this time we see loons in Presque Isle Bay. We saw 7 of them (one was in juvenile plumage) last Sunday. It was pretty cloudy and gloomy so I didn’t get the best video. I should have brought my still camera with me. The Red-breasted Mergansers in the background were so much fun to watch. It is like watching cartoons. This video was taken last Sunday. I sure hope they are still there tomorrow.
On the edge of true wilderness is Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park. It takes a good long drive up a bumpy, narrow dirt road to get to Bowman. Others hike across the wilderness from other locations and make Bowman their destination. It is beautiful. We happened to be there when no one else but two hikers were around. We saw a car or two back in the parking lot of people probably out on hiking trips. This really was getting away from it all.
It was raining, sunny, cloudy and foggy as we drove along the “Going to the Sun Road” in Glacier National Park. We left Many Glacier Hotel on the north east end of the park and was taking Going to the Sun Road down to Lake McDonald which is on the western edge of the park. Logan Pass, which is so beautiful, was under construction which kind of ruined so many pictures and videos but the scenery was like something out of a movie. It is as close to Rivendell (Lord of the Rings) as you can get. Waterfalls everywhere, steep mountains, glaciers, valleys, wildlife. Gorgeous! After finishing “the loop” we came upon this river. It had unbelievable color, like an emerald. The clean water has minerals in it that gives it that color. I couldn’t stop taking videos of it. We also stopped at the boardwalk trail in an ancient cedar grove. I left my camcorder in the car because I just wanted to look at the trees for once, not through a view finder. Mistake! How I wished I had brought my camcorder. There is a river coming through the huge smooth rocks crashing into emerald pools lined with mossy cedars in filtered light. I can’t share it with you as it lives in my memory but I do have a video of the clear emerald creek along the road. I embedded the video to play in HD and if it is jerky or stops from a slower connection speed, just pause it and let it load before playing.
We returned from our 16-day cross-country drive to Montana and Wyoming a couple of weeks ago. Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park were so awesome that if I had the talent, I’d write my own song about these national treasures. What is really striking about all three of these national parks is the contrast when driving there. Sagebrush and what appears to be worthless scrub land suddenly turns into majestic mountains, not unlike a jack-in-the-box popping up.
This was our first vacation in years that I didn’t have a laptop along. Our laptop can’t handle all the graphics of the modern internet and thus gets hot trying to load it all and shuts down. We didn’t want to put the money out for a new laptop and wondered with the data plan I have on my phone if it was even necessary. I pretty much used the laptop in the past to transfer my photos off my cameras but the laptop can’t handle all the HD video I take so it was left home. I bought an extra 16G memory card for the camcorder and extra batteries so I wouldn’t have to worry about transferring the photos off until we got home. Besides, after reading all the literature, there was no internet (so I couldn’t use the laptop for that,) cell phone service or TV where we were going. What if someone needed to get a hold of us because of an emergency? The lodging in the national parks we stayed at didn’t give telephone numbers for the actual hotels online, just reservation telephone numbers. I guess they didn’t want to be bothered. I left a day to day itinerary with family members to know exactly where we would be on any given day, just in case. I warned them that they wouldn’t being hearing from us for days at a time because of the lack of cell phone service and internet.
It turns out the information was partially wrong. There was no TV or WiFi or ethernet internet but there were many places that we did get cell phone service which meant I did have internet through the cell phone. In Glacier we had great signals at most of the ranger welcome centers we went to. I took advantage and uploaded photos to Facebook and sent emails, checked the news and weather, called my sons, and felt connected. In Yellowstone, Mammoth Hotel had cell-phone service as did Old Faithful Inn area. I started to get service around the Thumb area in Yellowstone. There was no service at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, though, nor the Canyon Lodge area. We heard a guy complaining to the Canyon area ranger that there was no cell phone service and he read that they were suppose to have service in the area within 2 years (which was up.) I guess something went wrong. I didn’t think we would get ANY service while we were there so I was happy being able to drive a few miles and get cell service when we wanted to.
I did find out that there is some use for transferring your photos to a laptop while on vacation. Even though I had plenty of memory left on my memory cards when we got home, I transferred them to the computer and realized that a whole lot of the snapshots taken with the camcorder didn’t turn out very well. I had it set on a scene setting that whited out a lot of the background. Had I transferred the photos day to day while on vacation, I would have known to change the setting back to automatic. The thumbnail view you see on the camcorder makes everything look pretty good when it is that small.
I’ll be posting photos and videos in the coming weeks.
Guys Mills Heritage Fest featuring Erie National Wildlife Refuge Open House – Saturday, June 26, 2010 – 10:00am-4:00pm
Kids love this Heritage Fest! They will love the games, crafts and petting zoo and more. There is plenty of fun for the adults, too. Last year I really enjoyed the guided bird walk and the Tamarack Rehab birds and the beautiful artwork on display. There will be hot dogs and hamburgers for sale. Get away from the big city and enjoy this quaint little town of Guys Mills and see the Erie National Wildlife Refuge. You ‘ll find out why we enjoy going there so much.
For a map and more information on what you will find at the Heritage Fest visit this webpage, http://www.friendsofenwr.org/Heritage.php
If you want to see a Red-headed Woodpecker walk the Ridge Trail at Presque Isle State Park. We spotted this one not far from where Marsh Trail and Ridge Trail Cross. You can park across from the lighthouse and take Sidewalk Trail until you come to Marsh Trail, turn right, cross through the marsh (on the trail of course) and as the trail starts to go uphill, turn left onto Ridge Trail. It’s an easy walk and not very far. Keep your eyes open. We saw lots of different kinds of warblers in the thickets on the sides of the marshes on both sides of Ridge Trail. I’ll talk about them in a future post. Below is the video I took of the pretty Red-headed Woodpecker. You may have to pause the video and let it load. I just posted a smaller, lesser quality video below the HD video (if you click on the 720HD option on the player) for those with slower connections, see bottom video.