Emma and I went on a little hike yesterday, up to the Anthony Lakes Basin. La Grande was a sticky, miserable 105° F, so getting up into the relatively cooler mountains sounded like a good idea. Our target was Black Lake, which is only a mile or so from the parking area.
Emma was somewhat reluctant and whiny about hiking, but once we were actually out there she had a blast.
The first stop along the trail was Lilypad Lake. This is such a pretty spot.
We spent a little while looking at the trout and dragonflies and lilypads and balance-beam logs.
This dragonfly, a pale snaketail (Ophiogomphus severus), was very cooperative for a portrait.
Once we left Lilypad Lake, the trail went uphill for a while, then leveled out as we started to approach Black Lake. The outflow stream from the lake trickles through a very pretty meadow that was stuffed with these Sierra bog orchids (Platanthera dilatata var. leuchostachys),
and these elephant's head flowers (Pedicularis groenlandica).
We continued along the path, then Emma went around a corner and stopped short. She backed up a couple steps and bumped into me, and said "Mommmmm! There's a GOAT! What do we do?!?"
Sure enough, there was a big female mountain goat on the path about 50 feet up ahead.
We excitedly stepped off the path behind a convenient big tree, and watched to see what she would do, and I grabbed my phone (camera). She ambled down the path toward us, very curious to see what we were doing.
She stopped about five feet from me (Emma was about 10 feet further back), and just looked at me.
She wasn't aggressive at all, thank goodness, and fairly quickly turned around and went back the way she came, and went up off the path into a jumble of rocks.
I hadn't realized how big a full grown mountain goat is. It was pretty cool to see one up close. And I'm very proud of Emma for not freaking out. She's so skittish about bears, wolves, mountain lions, bees, snakes and other assorted wildlife that this felt like a triumph.
After the goat left, we continued on and finally made it to Black Lake and walked part of the way around it. It's so pretty, and I feel so lucky to live in this area.
We didn't stay long, though, because the mosquitos were draining us dry.
The hike ended up being about three miles by the time we stopped off at Lilypad Lake again on the way back, and walked a little way around Anthony Lake at the head of the trail. Such a fun day!