The swimming hole that we visited last year? Well, it’s scarcely a wading pool this summer. Without much of a spring snowpack to feed it, Robbers Creek is running very low. But as the day dawned clear, we were determined to get OUT while the skies were relatively smoke-free. We took the back way, through the woods, and across the highway. M.found the fresh berms from recent logging operations much to her liking as tackled them on her bike. My two-year-old surprised me by trotting along at a quick pace the entire way.
Once at the pool, the girls found plenty to catch their fancy. They hucked rocks in the pool, and dissected leaf galls on a willow shrub (Salix lemmonii) to find the tiny larvae inside each. We spread out a picnic blanket in the shade of a lodgepole pine and sipped on juice. On the way out, M. forded the creek on her bike, quite pleased with herself. Not much left by way of a floral display, but there were a few Douglas’ spiraea (Spiraea douglasii) in full flower along the creek. A few hours later the smoke descended, and we holed back up indoors.
When Papa came back inside after a Sunday afternoon splitting wood, he found me looking a little like this . . . . . . and promptly prescribed a solo walk in the woods. I happily complied. I crossed Highway 36 and walked upstream along Robbers Creek, through misty aspen groves and rain-spangled patches of willow and rose. Startled a few ravens into flight. Moved soundlessly through a landscape transformed by the muted light of a cloudy fall day.
Robbers Creek dives underground for long stretches, only to resurface further downstream.
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos mollis) lives up to its name, with pure white, inedible berries in pairs at the tips of its stems.
Tall spikes of pine drops (Pterospora andromedea) huddle under the forest canopy
When temperatures pushed into the 90’s last weekend, we loaded the girls in the bike trailer, crossed the highway, and bumped over dirt road to Robbers’ Creek. Abundant snowfall and late snowmelt have converged to create this little pool of bliss not five minutes from our home. My first dip in this childhood haunt of my husband’s. Perfect wading for the girls, a small waterfall among the rocks, tiger lilies and Douglas’ spirea in bloom on the shores.
Filed under Local, Summer