I was really lucky this year and got one of three permits to film fish underwater at Trout Lake in the northeast corner of the park. The permit allowed me to go to Trout Lake twice a week so I have been doing that for over a month. Today was the last day. I was glad and sad. Glad I didn’t have to carry all my heavy camera equipment up there and glad to get away from the deer flies. But I love Trout Lake. There were zero fish spawning and zero otters eating fish, but I still found plenty to photograph and just sit and enjoy the beautiful lake and surrounding mountains. The wildflowers have peaked in some places in the park but they are still going strong up there. And I always meet the nicest people up there. That short, steep trail to the lake appears to act as a filter.
On the way to the lake we found a herd of bison crossing the Lamar River. The water is lower now and the babies have grown some so it wasn’t the terrifying event it was two months ago. In fact several of the babies took the lead with some of the groups as they crossed. It was almost as if they were saying “We are older and tougher now, this doesn’t scare us.”
We stopped at Hitching Post for a pit stop. There are 2 restrooms there, both made of concrete with overhanging roofs. The cliff swallows think those roofs are a fine place to nest under, and build their mud nests every year. They completed their nests a couple of weeks ago and now most of them have babies. One pair must not be very good at nest construction because when we got there the front of their nest was gone and we could see 3 babies inside. The babies were really young and we worried they would fall out. But we also noticed fresh mud along the front edge of the nest. The parents were making repairs as fast as they could. We took the photo above and then left for Trout Lake. Six hours later we stopped to check their progress. They had added a good 2 inches to the front and the babies looked safe.
Because there weren’t any fish or otters at Trout Lake today I spent my time slapping deer flies and taking pictures of flowers and butterflies. The butterflies were soaking up minerals from the wet mud along the inlet. I should know the names of the butterflies but I don’t.