Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Burney Falls

This past weekend, we did a short backpacking trip on the PCT in the Burney Falls area in NE California. Daytime temps peaked at around 70 and overnight lows dropped into the mid 30's. Nice fall weather! We ended our backpacking trip at Burney Falls, where we explored a stunning waterfall which fell into a hidden gorge. We hiked into the falls area in the early morning, and therefore had the place pretty much to ourselves. The waterfall, according to Theodore Roosevelt, is the 8th natural wonder of the world. I wouldn't put it quite on the same plane as the Grand Canyon or the Great Barrier Reef...but it was really awesome!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Rut

Fall is definitely in the air now. One of the biggest reminders of that has been the activity of nearby elk herds. We've spent several days recently watching and listening to the elk in Redwood NP. The sound of bugling has been ringing throughout the ancient redwood forests. There are several very large bulls that each have a harem to themselves. The slightly smaller bulls have been hanging around the harems and occasionally coming close enough to nearly start a fight. Usually, they seem to run quickly away when the huge bull comes at them. Then, the younger bulls clash with each other...perhaps out of frustration?

This huge bull had one thing on his mind. He was in charge of a rather large harem. One day, I rounded a corner of a trail in some thick forest and came face to face with the entire herd. The king of the herd looked at me briefly, but fortunately decided that I wasn't a threat.

It's good to remember that the elk are indeed wild!