My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Birds and Basalt

Monday, I took the long way to Chico to see if the reported swans and sandhill cranes were there. I got there just past dawn and found the swans still sleeping.  But there were field after field of them. I moved past them and took their pictures.  Think maybe I had over 100 pictures and saw over 1000 cranes before I was finished.

Wake Up, You Sleepy Heads

Get Up, Get Out of Bed

Then I went looking for the sandhill cranes that were supposed to be further down the same road. They were there but were way back.  I finally found some a little closer and got to enjoy a little crane dancing.

Flying Sandhill Crane

Doin' a Little Dance

For  an interesting discussion of sandhill crane behavior and interpretation of their dances, click  here.

My next stop, after some wandering around and getting lost, was the Chico Wastewater Treatment Plant Oxidation Ponds.  Only this bird was close enough to photograph.This is our most common sparrow.

Juvenile white-crowned sparrow

Then I wandered toward Chico, taking pictures as I saw them.  I finally got there and planned to go for a hike.  But I didn't remember what the entrance to Bidwell Park looked like and came all the way back to town after I was right there.  By this time I was hungry so stopped for lunch before going back.  I've heard that there are beautiful swimming holes along Big Chico Creek so I took Yahi Trail, which runs beside it, to look for them.

Hang in there, tree

Nature's Carving

Stream View

Swiss Tree

Path View

View Up Hill to Bluff


Basalt Fall in Creek

Water over Basalt Rock

Basalt Closeup


End of the Trail

Sunset View Looking Uphill From the Road

I walked three miles out and only two miles back because I went down to the creek side so many times and did a lot of climbing over and around the basalt boulders.

I highly recommend this trail.