Wild Life!

Two neat things about my third trip to Hay Creek. There were hummingbirds feeding on wildflowers right in front of where I pitched my tent! The other neat thing is the reemergence of my muse of drawing. I have a nice sketch of the flowers in my new sketch book.

Having moved farther away from the road, I set up my tent in a spot where there were a stand of a wildflower that may be a form of wild phlox. They grow about 18 inches high. My first day there I heard a loud buzzing and thought it was a great bit fuzzy bumblebee, but when I looked around I saw a really big thing that looked like it might be a huge dragonfly. Then it shifted so I could see its back. Hummingbird! I’m not sure of the variety, but it appeared iridescent greenish blue on the back and red gold on the belly., with a bright red throat.

There were at least two pair of them. I witnesses a brief skirmish as one bird drove the other away from the flowers. They came to the stand of flowers at all times of the day even after sundown. One night I was settling into my tent when I heard the buzz very close to my tent. I quietly unzipped the flap and was treated to the sight of a hummingbird about 18 inches from my nose.

I tuned my senses to recognize the distinct hum, and saw them every single day I was there! I also saw a bald eagle and a golden eagle as they circled over the area riding thermals. Toads hung around my tent while the lantern was on and attracting insects. I could hear them  right next to me through the wall of the tent.

One night I felt something move under my pillow; I lifted the pillow, then the sleeping bag and pad, and the motion had stopped. When I felt it again, I peeled up the bedding again and pounded on the hump in the ground with my fist. The lump was flattened, I I was able to sleep. It was probably a mole. I could hear them at night as well, chittering and scuffling under the tarp.

The baby bunnies were nearly full grown now, and were everywhere. I also spotted trout fry in the stream. I would not have stayed as long as I did were it not for the creek, as I do not tolerate heat and humidity well. The water is so clear there, and my site was on the creek flats where there was a sand bar and a nice easy access point to get into the water.

Camping loses it’s charm when the temperature and dewpoint get this high. the mosquitoes are a factor as well. The greenery by the creek has become quite dense and high, giving them lots of places to lurk. My campsite had great shade from about noon on, and when there was no breeze, the onslaught was too much for me.

Fortunately, this was not really a problem for the first week or so. I moved farther away from the dirt road this time to a spot where there was easy access to get into the creek and cool off. I will probably not go out again until September when the temps come down a bit and the skeeters are not so prevalent.

Pictures at ten.

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