Lewis, Clark, and Transamerica a/k/a "Mom's Fiftieth Birthday I-don't-want-to-grow-up Bicycle Ride Across America"

This is an adjunct to the chronicle of my family's bicycle tour through the northwest and Paula's continuation beyond Montana. If you came here via a Web search, you might want to back up to the index page to start with the overview.

We came across quite a bit of wildlife on our tour. While most people limit their definition of wildlife to just animals, I like to broaden it to include plants. After all, many do grow in the wild and growing plants are alive.

There's no special structure to this page, it's just a scrapbook on a theme.

Foxglove On my old tour I spent several days bicycling among foxgloves. The flower stalks are tall enough to appreciate from the road. I was pleased to come across foxgloves on this tour too. One of my favorite photos had a nice arrangement of red, pink, and white flower stalks and made a fine backdrop to talk about genetics. I wasn't able to find as nice a spot on this tour though.
Banana slug So they're spineless, cold and slimy. That's no reason to dislike slugs. Besides, in this era of Political Correctness and Diversity its unfair to blame slugs for their state in life. Of course, I appreciate that this slug didn't leave a slime trail on our tent! We need a "Celebrate Slugs" day to honor the well behaved slugs of the world.
These were in someone's roadside flower garden. The photo doesn't do justice to the color - the red channel is saturated on all but the dark areas. Chemical photography has similar problems, especially with color slide film. While color negative film should better record the range of color, the same problems arise when you make prints. If you want a real challenge, visit Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. Great flowers, conventional photography won't do them justice.
This deer was minding its own business grazing near a campground parking lot early one morning. It tolerated me walking to the bathroom, walking back, and a passing RV. By the time I came back with the camera another person was walking by and the deer decided dawn was over and it was time to leave. I have pictures of the deer grazing, but just inside a shadow, and of the deer in this artificial environment. All the straight lines make this the more interesting one.
Vulture Like slugs, vultures deserve respect as they're much more effcient disposers of carrion than are maggots. This is one of several circling some road kill - a fellow vulture. I'm going to create a road kill web page to balance this page. Something to look forward to?
Bunny This bunny belongs to the daughter of someone who runs a fruit stand in Oregon. I suppose I should say something about the food chain, but enough death already! Hmm. This isn't even wildlife.
Spiked flower  Spiked flower I don't know what these flowers are. We only saw them west of McKenzie Pass in the Cascades. When I identify them I'll update this.
Cormorant nest on treetop These chicks have rather outgrown their nest in a treetop in Crane Prarie Lake outside of Bend Oregon. (We didn't see Cranes, though.) There was a sizable colony in a flooded forest that made for kayaking through an interesting obstacle course.
Osprey nest on utility pole We saw a number of ospreys throughout the trip. Ospreys make big enough nests on top of things that have horizontal supports to permit the wider nests. The tops of utility poles are favorite spots, and utility companies sometimes put up more attractive platforms to reduce the frequency of birds inserting themselves into the circuit and becoming cooked carrion.
Sunflowers Much of the eastern Oregon desert was sere and brown as we rode through. The region has been in a protracted drought and this summer's heat was certainly wilting us. Curiously, there were many sunflowers growing by the roads we were on. I guess they get enough runoff to survive. This patch was doing especially well.
Ground squirrel Ground squirrels are common through the west and have found humans to be an easy source of food. This one lives in a campground in Montana and has a network of tunnels between tree and picnic table.
bull elk


More bison

On my old trip I saw no bison and just one or two elk. Things have changed!
Yellowstone Raven We saw several ravens. This one was in the Upper Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park where Old Faithful is.
Yellowstone Pelicans I associate pelicans with the southern seacoast. These are on the Yellowstone River. Growing up near Lake Erie, I've learned to expect sea gulls far from the sea, but despite seeing pelicans in the same area 29 years ago I still think they're out of place.

Other links:

index page and overview

Paula's page

Ric's page

Hannah's page