This is a photo I made in late September of Table Mountain in the Mount Baker Wilderness. This was along the Bagley Lakes Trail – and was one of the first short hikes I’d done in the area other than walking along the ridge near Artist Point. Being late September I was expecting that there would be few (if any) wildflowers and the Fall colours would be well on their way to starting in the various Vaccinium bushes etc. Everything was still green and the wildflowers were either just past, or still going strong (as was the case for the Lupines). I went hiking there 2 weeks later – and there STILL were hardly any leaves turning. I am curious to see what this year brings for Summer and Fall weather.
Posts Tagged ‘bagley lakes’
This is a photograph I made of an American Pika (Ochotona princeps taylori) yesterday on the Chain Lakes Trail in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. I walked through the talus next to Bagley lake (4350 feet/1325 meters in elevation) and had not even thought about Pika until I heard the short squeaks of their warning calls. I could then see a few individuals scurrying from their rock perches to safety. This particular Pika came back out to sit on the rock, and I was able to slowly move closer to it to get this photograph. I took many, because you never know when wildlife is going to decide “okay, that is close enough!”. I was reminded of lectures on “Flight Initiation Distance” in University.
Pikas are not quite yet on the endangered species list, though they have come up for consideration recently. The talus slopes they inhabit must be at sufficient elevation to remain cool as the Pikas cannot tolerate warmer temperatures. Trouble is the talus operates a bit like an island, and if the environment becomes undesirable, the Pika can’t easily migrate to another. Climate change has been diminishing the available habitat and this may be one species lost early if the climate change continues. How quickly this may occur is some matter of debate.
Frequently when I go into Washington State and the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest I am in a rush to get either to Picture Lake or Artist Point and completely skip stopping at this view of Table Mountain. Someday I will manage to stop and savour this particular view but I am glad that this photo managed to capture some of the growing sunset in the sky.
Bagley Lakes and Austin Pass Lake (right) near the Bagley Lakes trail at the Mt. Baker Ski area. Tabletop Mountain is on the left in the first image.
Wildflower below is Tolmie’s Saxifrage ( Saxifraga tolmiei ).
Tabletop Mountain from the start of the Bagley Lakes trail. I am going to venture further up this trail most likely in late August -as it was closed this early in June. The fact that I went down the hill on my butt for about 6 feet while trying to protect my camera made it clear why the trail was closed. These were taken just off the upper parking lot of Mt Baker Ski Area.