Morel Foraging

For a while, we have been wanting to see a morel mushroom in the wild. However, it seems pretty tough to find if you don’t know the where and how. Eventually, we signed up with Forage SF (http://www.foragesf.com/) for their morel foraging tour so there will be a professional knows the where and how. It was surprisingly easy and abundant. Each one of us got at least a pound of morels packing back home.  I have to say, 5 stars to the guide, Patrick Hamilton.

morel
morel
morels in their natural setting
morels in their natural setting
morel
morel
tree frog
tree frog — this little guy showed up while I was trying to take a picture of the mushrooms

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Glacier Nation Park — scenery and the gang

This is a fun family trip. I got to meet my husband’s cousin, Mark and his wife, Judith, also his famous friend, Josiah. They are all very nice people and I really enjoy their company.

Avalanche Lake
View from Avalanche Lake
snow storm
snow storm — one morning, there was a really heavy snow storm rolling through the park. Huge snowflakes falling among the burnt pine trees was almost romantic.
what's the name of this river?
what’s the name of this river?

 

After a hard day of hiking
After a hard day of hiking

Glacier National Park — wild flowers

This time of the year, the wild flowers start to bloom. There are so many of them, I was not able to capture them all. I did manage to take a good picture for some of them. They are truly exquisite.

calypso orchid
calypso orchid

calypso orchild

wild strawberry
wild strawberry
wild strawberry
wild strawberry
trillium? but it seems to have way more pedals than a regular trillium.
trillium? but it seems to have way more pedals than a regular trillium.
trillium
trillium
yellow flower -- email me if you know the name
yellow flower — email me if you know the name
another yellow flower -- email me the name if you know
another yellow flower — email me the name if you know
another purple flower
another purple flower
yellow columbine
yellow columbine
purple flower
purple flower — email me if you know the name
indian paint brush
indian paint brush

Huckleberry was served everywhere around Glacier National Park. One morning I asked the waiter in Glacier Highland Restaurant where the huckleberries were coming from. I was surprised to learn that huckleberries were foraged from the wild and they can be as expensive as $80/gallon, but it’s usually about $40/gallon (4.5lbs == 1 gallon).  Still, it’s not cheap.

huckleberry
huckleberry
glacier lily
glacier lily

Glacier National Park — wildlife

This park is filled with wildlife. We saw black bear mom with babies, wolf, mountain goats (which is this park famous for), pine marten (on camera trap), golden eagle, osprey, chipmunks,  ground squirrel, deers and moose. I only captured some of them in my camera:

mule deer
mule deer — this one was actually right next to the trail. We were passing by each other within 2 feet. It’s so closed to us we worried it might just jump on us.
mule deer
mule deer — they are everywhere and no fear of humans.

The main reason why we are going to Glacier Nation Park is because of their world famous mountain goats. You can see them in other parts of the Rocky Mountains also but this park is the easiest place to find them. The mountain goats like to lick the minerals along the river banks. Each year after the snow melted, they all showed up regularly around a place called Goat Lick, which locates at the south east corner of the park. The very first time when we saw them, they were high up on the cliff on the north side of the freeway, not very photogenic. The second time when we went back, this time they were exactly at the cliff next to the river. For a brief moment, I thought they were going to fall off the cliff!

mountain_goat_on_cliff

family of mountain goats on cliff
family of mountain goats on cliff

This time, we got to get a pretty good look at them.

mountain_goat_4 mountain_goat_3 mountain_goat_2 mountain_goat_1

Besides the mountain goats, the bears who just came out of hibernation put up a good show also.

black_bear_cub_5 black_bear_cub_4 black_bear_cub_3 black_bear_cub_2 bear_mama black_bear_cub

Here are the chipmunk, osprey, and dusky grouse:

chipmunk
chipmunk
osprey
osprey

This grouse is so well-camouflaged, most of us passing by without seeing it. Thanks for Josiah’s spotting.

dusky_grouse
dusky grouse

For more spectacular pictures of the animals in the park, please visit my husband’s site: http://christofftravel.com/glacier/glacier.html

Hiking along Butano State Park

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This is one of the lesser known state park along the east side of highway 1 down south of Half Moon Bay. Usually, people drive down highway 1, their attention immediately got captured by the beautiful coast. However, if you just turn your head around a little, you will find a whole mountain range of hidden redwood-pine-oak forest just a couple miles inland.

When walking along the river, we saw a newt! Lucky day for us.

California Rough Skinned Newt
Rough Skinned Newt

We saw a lot of different native plants there.

Redwood Sorrel
redwood
Not sure what that is, maybe spicebush
Thimbleberry