Early Summer Hikes

My dad was in town for the last couple weekends and the weather was mostly good, so I’ve done a good bit of hiking lately. Here are the best of my recent pictures. Mostly wildlife pictures because those are harder to come by (I’ve never had a mountain fail to sit still for a picture).

It took a surprisingly long time to catch a moth on the ground long enough to actually get a decent picture. This one’s not ideal but it worked far better than the others.

Slightly out of focus, does that mean the camouflage works against my phone?

We got to the top of Blodgett Peak as dark clouds were rolling over. It started raining as we left the peak, but at the same time the clouds also opened enough for a perfectly framed picture of Pike’s Peak in the distance.
Pike's Peak

On the way down from Blodgett this hummingbird flew across the trail and perched on a bush a safe distance away to preen. Thankfully my camera has a good zoom.
Hummingbird 1
Hummingbird 2

From Crystal Trail (above Green Mountain Falls) just after it crests the ridge. The Pike’s Peak toll road and Crystal Creek Reservoir are just up the trail from here.
Pike's Peak

As we got back to the lake in Green Mountain Falls this flock of geese (and geese-in-training) was eating the grass on the side of the road. Unfortunately I’d forgotten to pack my camera so I was unable to zoom to cut out the gas line (because I certainly wasn’t getting closer).

This bee was paying so much attention to the flowers I was able to hold my phone surprisingly close to get a picture. Taken in downtown Manitou Springs.

Nice Weather at Last

Yesterday was warm and sunny, so I went and hiked up the front side of Mt Herman. Literally the front – the trail I was following apparently didn’t go to the top but faded out as the slope got steeper and steeper roughly due east of the peak. It was admittedly too steep for it to be a good idea, but I scrambled over rocks (and through bushes and shin-deep snow) and eventually made it to the top:
Mt Herman Peak

It’s been a while since I went all the way to the top of the front range. Having just climbed to the top of a mountain, the view of Pike’s Peak always puts into perspective just how insignificant everything around it is (picture taken from about 9,000 ft):
Pike's Peak

Also, the view east is pretty spectacular too. There was a brief time when the conditions were right and I could barely make out a distant wind farm, but here’s a view of Monument and the majority of Black Forest:
Black Forest

And because I was playing with the macro feature on my camera, here are a couple flower pictures:
Open Flower

Closed Flower

April Showers

Oh wait, this is Colorado, nevermind…
Snowy Mountains

The incline is just visible next to the tree on the far right of the picture. I wasn’t at all tempted to make this weekend my first hike up the incline for the year.

The lilac plant had unopened flower buds just starting to show up, I suspect it now won’t be blooming this year.

Poor Lilac