Along the Firehole River…

On our recent trip to Yellowstone, we stopped to have a bit of a break and a picnic on the Firehole River….

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The kids were able to explore the river and splash around a bit…

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A curious on-looker begging for food….

 

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Even a chance for a nap…P1030278

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A “Camp Robber” decided to check things out too…

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Otherwise known as, Clark’s Nutcracker, they are friendly, curious little guys…

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Cool Facts

  • The Clark’s Nutcracker has a special pouch under its tongue that it uses to carry seeds long distances. The nutcracker harvests seeds from pine trees and takes them away to hide them for later use.
  • The Clark’s Nutcracker hides thousands and thousands of seeds each year. Laboratory studies have shown that the bird has a tremendous memory and can remember where to find most of the seeds it hides.
  • The Clark’s Nutcracker feeds its nestlings pine seeds from its many winter stores (caches). Because it feeds the young on stored seeds, the nutcracker can breed as early as January or February, despite the harsh winter weather in its mountain home.
  • The Clark’s Nutcracker is one of very few members of the crow family where the male incubates the eggs. In jays and crows, taking care of the eggs is for the female only. But the male nutcracker actually develops a brood patch on its chest just like the female, and takes his turn keeping the eggs warm while the female goes off to get seeds out of her caches.
  • Not only do the lives of Clark’s Nutcrackers revolve around their pine seed diet, but the pines themselves have been shaped by their relationship with the nutcrackers. Whitebark pines, limber pines, Colorado pinyon pines, single-leaf pinyon pines, and southwestern white pines depend on nutcrackers to disperse their seeds. Over time this interaction has changed their seeds, their cones, and even the trees’ overall shape in comparison with other pine species whose seeds are dispersed by the wind.
  • The Clark’s Nutcracker tests a seed for soundness by moving it up and down in its bill while quickly opening and closing its bill, in a motion known as “bill clicking.” It also chooses good seeds by color: when foraging on Colorado pinyon pines, it refuses all but dark brown seeds.
  • Ounce for ounce, the whitebark pine seeds that many Clark’s Nutcrackers depend on have more calories than chocolate.
  • Clark’s Nutcracker is in the crow and jay family—but the first time Captain William Clark saw one, in August of 1805, he thought it was a woodpecker. He and Meriwether Lewis collected a specimen in Idaho on their return journey a year later. Clark’s Nutcracker was one of three new bird species brought back from their expedition, all of which were described by the naturalist Alexander Wilson.
  • The oldest Clark’s Nutcracker on record was at least 17 years, 5 months old.

For more information please visit, here…

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Nature Notes

Petrified Tree…

 

By Tower Junction, in Yellowstone…

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Trying to fathom that something can be tens of millions of years old is hard to do. Well, that is how old the Petrified Tree is. This now solid rock was once a giant redwood tree surrounded by a forest of trees just like it. During violent volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, mudflows and volcanic deposits rapidly filled the open pores of the tree , solidifying it into the rocky trunk that you see today. Where there was once two there is now only one petrified tree left standing. In the earlier days of the park, visitors and explorers took pieces of the second tree until there was nothing left to take. A fence surrounds the remaining tree so that it will be left alone and still standing for generations to come.  Read more here…

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The crew checking out the rock tree…

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A couple of the adventures we had while on vacation…

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Teigen crawling on a log suspended over a creek…

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Garrett and Hayden seeing if they can jump the creek…P1050722 P1050723 P1050724 P1050725 P1050726

The crew turning cart-wheels…

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Still enjoying the greenness of the year, though fall and other colors are starting to show.

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Nurture Photography Challenge - Autumn 2013 Edition

Taking Off…

We are back from our wonderful 11 day trip to visit the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks!  We had such an awesome trip, memories made, wonderful adventures had and beautiful sights seen.  A quick post from Oxbow Bend in the Tetons…

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I am unsure of what type of bird this is…actually I haven’t even tried to look it up yet!  We’ve been busy trying to get unpacked and back in the groove of home life, so if you know what it is, please chime in!  We did enjoy watching it dive for goodies and resurface.IMG_4390 IMG_4394 IMG_4398 IMG_4410 IMG_4412 IMG_4413 IMG_4414 IMG_4416 IMG_4417 IMG_4418

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Nature Notes and

Water World Wednesday

20 years ago…

I married my best friend…

What a wild ride it’s been and I couldn’t imagine it any other way!

This year we spent a wonderful 3-day weekend in Glacier Park, before our special day since my husband would be gone on business.

Here are some random photos…

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Trick Falls or Running Eagles Falls …

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Wonderful dinner at Glacier Park Lodge…

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A nice hike to Apikuni Falls…BeFunky_IMG_1488.jpg

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Rainy, cool temps when we arrived at Swiftcurrent Lodge…

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We did get blue sky on our last day though…BeFunky_IMG_1523.jpg

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Enjoying the scenery…

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Our view at breakfast (above)…1005790_192859357549719_735592685_n

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I am so thankful for you, LYFE.

And for them…

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Ruins on Ryan Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park…

This is kind of a long post but I can’t get over the beauty in the desert!  So different from our glacial mountains…

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Part of the ruins…

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Bits of an old barbed wire fence…

 

These are the remains of the old homestead and bunk house of the miners that were hoping to strike it big here…

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Looking over the Joshua Trees…

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An old rock wall…

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An old windmill…

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Cactus and a barbed-wire fence…

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Joshua Tree

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