Mountain Birds

MHoodJul30

Mount Hood, July

Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood at 8:30 on a bright late July day. It’s warm up here, maybe 75 degrees, but skiers are already on the slopes of the volcano; one trudges past me towards the chair lift. I’m thinking – what, you’re going back up? But they’re all young and full of enthusiasm. It’s great. Me, I’m looking for birds. I pick my way over flower-strewn pumice, filling my shoes with grit at every step and wishing the management had thought to install a water fountain somewhere close.

MThoodTimberJu302014

Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge was used in the movie The Shining – the exteriors anyway. We stayed here once and the scariest thing I saw was the look on my wife’s face when she saw the bunk bed dormitory room I’d booked us into. No ‘redrum‘ written on any mirrors now.

Mhoodflowau142016

Lupine

The  day really is marvellous. Alpine flowers splash the slopes with vivid colour; chipmunks dash about stocking up their larders; mountain birds flash through the conifers. And the vistas – wow! I find all the birds I came for – Hermit Warblers with their bright yellow faces, sleek Townsend’s Solitaires, raucous Clark’s Nutcrackers and the beautiful stone-gray and azure Mountain Bluebirds.

MluntBlueJul30

Mountain Bluebird

I’m just about to start down the mountain when a chipmunk crosses my path. He pauses and I pause. For a few minutes we look at each other. I wondering how he can take the time off and I imagine he’s wondering what I did with my snowboard. Of course I may just be flattering myself, a side effect of the thin mountain air perhaps.

MHoodChipAu142016

Chipmunk with a Question

 

 

 

 

1 thought on “Mountain Birds”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s