In mid-June, I went into Buckeye Creek Canyon to scout the trail and start some trailwork. What I found were LUSH and inundated meadows, filled with irises, lupins, mariposa lilies, and green plants and trees everywhere. I took so many photos because I was not sure if it would ever be that wet again. The record-breaking winter was exciting and it was just as exciting to get out onto the trails this summer and see what the snow brought us. Other big highlights of the wet summer–many pollinators including bees and sphinx moths, water flowing on all of the trails, willows growing big and tall, huge aspen leaves, and many wildflowers I’ve never seen before this season. It was a super bloom season for the flowers. My favorite part was the countless sphinx moths! From the big green caterpillars with a spike on the end to the moth form of brown, white, and pink. They were all over the woods and high alpine, pollinating plants all day.
As the summer went on, the trails started to be less wet, the flowers started to die off slowly, and eventually we arrived here, in October. I was out in Buckeye Creek Canyon my last weekend in the field and we could see and feel fall nipping at our heels. The aspens were turning yellow, the shrubs and bushes were brown, the iris and most flowers were gone, and the field was turning brown. We’ve hit that change in the seasons, where you start to feel the mountains telling me to head home. It’s time for winter. Thank you to the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest for a beautiful summer and I enjoyed the trail work and backpacking and meeting people. It was rad!