Simple Gifts

I believe I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Snoqualmie Valley. I get to see amazing things everyday. It's time to celebrate that. (You can view pictures in larger format by clicking on them)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Time at the Lake and fun with insects

Sunday we rode our bikes down a trail to the lake area. The ride was about 3 miles round trip. We moved from a more meadow area to woods. There were so many wildflowers including more lilac, Shasta daisies and columbine. The ride was great except for sore butts. When we arrived at the lake some girls were coming up with a fairy large fish. They were proud to show off their catch. We watched osprey circling the lake and it was clear there was food for them. It wasn't just the sky and lake that was interesting, we found tons of pumice! It was plentiful. There was no effort in finding it, it was a question of which piece you wanted to pick up. We also found a pair of Killdeers. There was a 'puddle' where the lake level had dropped. We were looking in the puddle for tadpoles and annoying the Killdeer. It seemed like they might have a nest nearby. One finally left with the "ki wi wi wi" and the other moved to the far side of the puddle.

The Killdeer hides across the puddle.

We still had to ride back to camp and that was mostly up so we headed off fairly quickly (much to the Killdeers relief). Monday we loaded up the truck and drove down to the lake to spend quality time. We brought books, towels, swim suits and snacks. Tasha brought her fishing pole (a practice pole with no hook). This time we got to see osprey diving. I'd listened to them in the morning, before anyone else had woken up. We spent some time just relaxing in the sun (or moved to the shade). Tasha didn't catch any fish but we got reading done and watched them jump.

Nae and Tasha

A cool insect flew by. It was an awkward flier and looked sort of like a termite at first, but it definitely wasn't that or an ant. Its body was long and shaped ant-like but its wings were much more ornate. It landed on a cement block just in the water. I was trying to squat down for a closer look and keep my butt out of the water (hey, I still had my shorts on) and the darn bug flew away. Hmpf! I think it was a stonefly.

The common name for the order derives from the fact that stoneflies spend most of their brief adult lives (about 2 - 3 weeks) crawling among stones in or near freash water) - National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders

Then we walked down the beach a little ways. I was lagging behind playing with the camera. OK, I might be a wee bit obsessed. Up ahead there were so many butterflies, maybe up to a dozen! They were sitting on the bank getting moisture and maybe minerals (must do more research) from the sand. Nae told me when they first got they were all apparently on sitting on the bank. We watched the Swallowtails for quite some time. They would swirl around us and then land back on the bank.

The sand bank and a few butterflies

After the butteflies Tasha and I went swimming again. The lake water was so clear and the bottom was almost entirely sand. We had fun splashing and playing games (and once again, I gained a following of children). Then I discovered a shiny insect. In the water with light reflecting off it and the water I couldn't tell what it was. Even I won't grab a shiny mystery insect with my hand so I wandered about peering at the lake bottom looking for a stick. It was hard to find, I've never seen such a clean sandy bottom. Finally I found a stick and thank goodness for agile toes. I lifted the stick to my hands and rescued the bug. Back on shore I took a picture (of course!) and pondered identification. I wabeginningng to think the bug wouldn't make it when he finally headed off.

I think it's a Pine Sawyer


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