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
||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.
||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
||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.
||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?
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.
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.
||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.
||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.
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 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.
|On my old trip I saw no bison and just one or two elk.
Things have changed!
We saw several ravens. This one was in the Upper Geyser Basin at
Yellowstone National Park where Old Faithful is.
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.
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