Friday, June 13, 2008

my mountain

(view from the top to the north)

Finally! Today I made it up my mountain. The one behind 'moose skull lake'. I have been climbing this mountain since we live here, which was 1996. Many stories, many friends and one special time we took Jim's dog up there, Thor. It took me 6 hours, round trip, in those days. This spring I went up there at least once a week and was able to do it in 2 hours. It shows what a difference it makes when there is trails part of the way, and knowing the easiest way up. Today I spent four and a half pleasurable hours. Summer has returned in the Yukon and I left in the sunshine at 10 o'clock. On the way towards the bottom of the mountain I made the photo of the 'crystal ball'. All the lupine leaves have a raindrop in the centre. I have to say taking pictures was hard , the mosquitoes would catch up with me. There was so much to photograph though, with this posting I might add a picture of an orchid. On the way up I found Coral Root Orchids. And only on the way back I saw my favorite one, The Round Leave Orchid. It's a perfect orchid, very very tiny, the flower being 1cm diameter. They're hard to find and easily overlooked, but I find them in bogs here close to spruce trees. As I am taking photos of the flowers, the Lesser Yellowlegs is scalding me all the time. I have some nice shots of them and finally know his name for sure. I even take a photo of a Robin ,who happens to have a thick caterpillar in his beak. It's an hour when I reach the bottom of the mountain, and there I have a rest. I would like to name my mountain, at least for myself. On the esker where I sit the pink Wild Roses are blooming! and there are the blue Yukon Beardtongues (Penstemon gormanii). They look like bluebells, and I sing "bluebells and roses". Isn't that a song by Maria in 'The sound of music'? That makes me want to name the mountain 'maria'. It's my middle name. My mountain has actually 2 peaks, so why not
'jozina maria mountain'. Maria being the lower one, the one I visit today.

Ah , time for the climb. In between the esker and 'maria' there's a little dip, as soon as I go up again there is big boulders in the forest, soon they turn to rock faces and were I love it most I am walking on big slabs of granite on a 45 degree angle. There's big Pine trees and small stands of little Aspen. And on and beside the slabs of rock there are little flowers, mainly Prickly Saxifrage and a potentillas. As I go so slow the mosquitoes keep up with me, normally I would sit on the south side of the top, but today I find a breeze on a big rock looking north. As once in while it does rain I decide to make a little fire. The rain actually makes for beautiful views. There is sun too. And everything shifts all the time, dark clouds now here, then there. Which makes you see the sheets of rain falling. The fire is in a little depression in the middle of this rock, which actually seems to be the highest point.The top is quite treed. When I go for a little walk about. It is so pretty here, I am overcome again. Most Yukon tree species all grow here together. On the ground there are cranberries and blueberries and I find droppings of animals on game trails. The saddle between the 2 peaks is right here. I look up to 'jozina' Ha! and she looks mighty, with rock slabs straight up. The main reason I don't go to that top very often is that it is to heavily treed for a perfect view, and because of the rock it is actually quite a climb to get there. By my fire, the view is to Taye lake. And that gorgeous Sifton Range. Actually I will enter one of those photos. It shows another mountain I love deeply, and I haven't been on her yet! Mary gave me a new map of the area. And I can actually see how high I am here; 3200 feet. The mountain in the photo is 5800 feet and 22 km straight north. The old map fell apart and the cat had chewed out this mountain. On the way down I take a route on the west side. The rock faces are very steep here and at places I have to traverse uphill. For a short distance I have to bush whack and then I intercept the trail again. "bluebells and roses...."

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