Mara Canyon Hike March 21, 2022

Isaac showed me this gem of a place yesterday. Elevation really affects climate in this area. My house is situated quite a bit higher than this hike and the ice had completely melted off of my pool two days previous. On this low elevation south facing slope, we encountered butterflies and blooming wildflowers. I was in a short-sleeved shirt by 3/4 of the way to the top. It took us a while to actually start the hike because at the parking area we had a large group of Gray-crowned Rosyfinches flying around, my first Say’s Phoebe of the year, and some Common Redpolls.

Just up from the parking area on the trail. The canyon trail goes directly up the middle of the V in this photo.
Some blooming Yellow Bells trailside near the parking area.
Some California Bighorn Sheep just west of us.
One of the Common Redpoll near where the trail shifts from sagebrush to dropping into the canyon.
Gray-crowned Rosyfinch coming in to land in the same area.

12 Gray-crowned Rosyfinches in this photo.
Spectacular erosion features on this hike
A better view of the canyon. See the line of trees?
An erosional feature guarded by more resistant material on the top.
One of many Mourning Cloak butterflies encountered
The result of water and wind
A Red-breasted Nuthatch on a Ponderosa Pine
A spectacular volcanic dike where magma intruded vertically through bedrock below the earth’s surface
My first Mountain Bluebird of the year near the top
View from the top of the canyon looking back towards the Thompson River and the parking area
A lot can be learned from this photo
Compton’s Tortoiseshell photographed on the way down
No idea what it is, but it was a beauty!

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