Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Silence in the Forest: The route to Taylor Lake

I have an expectation that the forests around me are teeming with wildlife. Every week there are local news stories about bears, cougars, elk, sheep and mountain goats meeting people. Occasionally my expectations are met. However, it's an expectation that is frequently shattered. Today was a shatter day.  We walked up to Taylor Lake and the Panorama Meadows. The total list of wildlife we saw:

  1. A robin
  2. A small flock of 8 or so identical birds we could not identify (KC suspected Western Wood Pewee)
  3. A small family of spruce grouse
Mom. There were also about 6 chicks
Not a chipmunk or a red squirrel or any kind of the plentiful ground squirrels we have here. A bit of pine martin poo, a bit of unidentified poo (that could have been owl)...
Probably owl. The poo, not the sunglasses
...but otherwise nothing. Just 7 km and 2 hrs of dead quiet forest. Quiet enough to watch the mushrooms grow.
Cool looking, but quiet
The trail follows the path of Taylor Creek right to the lake. And the creek itself rages. But the trail only crosses the creek once, and for the rest of the time, the creek's way down in a valley below the trail offering only the occasional view, and even if you work your way down to it, it's so full of downed trees that you can't see it.
Tons of water
The trail is frequently a muddy bog, and there has to be 30 springs along it gently leaking across the trail, making it also mosquito filled and sloppy in spots. We ran into a trail crew working to improve the trail, digging drainage ditches and removing downed trees. They turned this...
Artfully fallen trees
...into this...
...between when we passed it at 11 AM and when we passed it again at 3 PM.

So the trail is a mostly uninteresting disenchanted forest walk to get to the lake.
The creek just before the lake 
Taylor Lake
But I knew all of the above before setting off (except the part about being barren of living creatures). No, the reason to go, I was told, was the lake, plus Panorama Meadows just past the lake, home to tons of wildflowers. And indeed it was.
The entrance to the meadows
Lots of flowers 
Waist deep in the darn things
The "panorama" of the meadows

The head of the meadows
KC takes good pictures of flowers.
Don't know what these are 
Nor these 
Had this one on the tip of my tongue, but no
No idea
So the hike's a bit of a bore, the trail's a muddy mess in spots, the lake's nice but not that special, there's no "panorama" in the meadows, the meadow's only 750 m long...

Why did we go here?

Oh yeah. The mosquitos.

1 comment:

Edwin said...

The enormous contrast between the hsutle and bustle of citylife and these reports on hiking in the great wilderness that now is your backyard...amazing.