Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wildlife and Iron Horses

This morning we biked to a cat tail-skirted pond on the wetlands trail here in Lathrop State Park. It is such a peaceful spot and the water provided a perfect mirror for reflections.

A lone black duck was feeding.

We watched a muskrat swim across the pond.

Red winged blackbirds bounced around in the cat tails. Many other birds were heard, but not seen.
As we biked back along the trail next to Martin Lake, we flushed out two great blue herons, but neither of us had a camera out to get a picture.

When we arrived here a month ago, the Canada Geese goslings were very small.

They must be almost teen-agers now.

After packing a picnic lunch, we drove to La Veta and Cucharas. The Cucharas River valley is lush and beautiful.

Many (more than 500) dikes run out from the sides of the Spanish Peaks. They are fascinating to look at.

We have had a lot of rain over the past week. At the higher elevations, it fell as snow.

As we drove, we saw wildflowers, especially Golden Banner and Wild Flax.
We were back in La Veta by noon to watch for the (summer) daily arrival of the San Luis & Rio Grande train. We have ridden the train twice in previous years. Today we just took pictures of this iron horse.

John talked with the woman who operates the snack car. Here she is waiting to take a short ride in the engine as the tender was filled with water during the lunch break in La Veta. She said she really likes working on the train.

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