I remember when I first saw the Prairie Smoke wildflower at Lily Lake a few years ago. I did not know what it was so I asked a friend of mine who was a Park Ranger. As soon as I started to describe it, he said he knew exactly which one it as and where it was located at Lily Lake.
The “Prairie Smoke” is also known as Old Man’s Whiskers. When it blooms it looks like small clusters of nodding dusty-rose flowers with 5 narrow and 5 wide lobes. As it goes by, the nodding ones are replaced with the Old Man’s Whiskers.
I think it is just beautiful! Don’t you?
We met a delightful couple yesterday from Tennessee whose passion is fly-fishing. They told us that the rivers around here were raging and it was hard to fly-fish in waters that turbulent. They were looking for a more quiet area. We suggested the Big Thompson River below the dam at lake Estes…that was not running quite as fast.
Phil and I ended up going up to Sprague Lake for a short hike around the lake. I was dying to see a moose…and it was a beautiful day!
We were amazed at the number of people who were fly-fishing in the lake. We could also see a few fly-fishing classes being held there, as well as many families with children. They must be there because the rivers are running so fast and Sprague Lake is the perfect place to go fly-fishing. The waters are shallow and calm and the views are gorgeous. It doesn’t get much better! I always love to see the children out fishing.
It was a very pretty walk, as always…but no moose! Maybe next time!
I’ve been waiting to see the first Prickly Pear Cactus bloom in Rocky Mountain National Park. I’ve been checking the trails but have only see the plants themselves with little reddish bulbs on top, looking like they are ready to “pop!”
When I was out on the Black Canyon and Gem Lake Trail Loop the other day, I could see hundreds of them that had bloomed in the past few days. It almost looks like there is a small meadow of just Prickly Pear Cactus.
If you walk up the main trail at Willows Knoll, you can see some Prickly Pear Cactus to your right. They are blooming in multi-groups of flowers and are just stunning!
They are so pretty when they bloom, but don’t get too close because those little needles will stick right into you and they hurt!
Cub Lake Trail in RMNP is one of the most diverse hikes in the area. It is filled with so much geological history as well as an abundance of wildflowers, birds, wildlife and gorgeous scenery. It’s a 2.3 mile up to Cub Lake which is a great place to stop for a snack or picnic lunch. You might even see a moose along the way.
From there you can backtrack or continue on in a loop down to the Pool and then down to the Fern Lake Trailhead and walk back to your car. It’s a great 6 mile loop filled with many things to see!
Phil and I took about a 1 1/2 mile hike up Cub Lake Trail just to see the flowers, birds and wildlife. We weren’t prepared to do the whole hike so we just turned around and backtracked to the car. Anyway you go, it’s a beautiful hike!
When you go up Bear Lake, make sure you get one of the Bear Lake Nature Trail Guides in the little brown box by the lake. Whether you are an older couple or a family with young children, it is well worth it! There are 28 stops as you walk around the lake with very interesting and educational information. You will learn about Long’s Peak, the busy beavers, the birds of Bear Lake, an avalanche, the Greenback Cutthroat Trout, snow knees, and more. It is just fascinating! Kids love to find the different stop points around the lake. It’s great fun for the whole family!