|Sign at Riddle Lake Trailhead|
|Lodgepole Pines on Riddle Lake Trail|
|View to Red Mountains from Riddle Lake trail|
|Red Mountains and Mt. Sheridan|
|Trail alongside Riddle Lake|
I took out my binoculars and scanned the shoreline, hoping to see a moose somewhere off in the distance. We perched ourselves on a lunch log and watched for half an hour or so while three graceful osprey soared overhead and then hovered with wings angled, calculating the precise moment and trajectory for a successful fish–catch in its talons. Soaring and diving, soaring and diving, the osprey went about their business untroubled by their audience. Bobbing white specks that turned out to be (trumpeter?) swans were only just visible in the water lilies on the far side of the lake.
|Feet with a Riddle Lake view|
We examined some grizzly bear tracks nearby – they seemed somewhat fresh but we could not tell if they were from five minutes ago or yesterday, and so we sang out “Hey bear!” anyway. Damselflies, butterflies, and a golden mantled ground squirrel devouring wildflower blossoms along the trail were much less threatening to our psyche as we ambled back to the car
There really isn’t much of obvious geologic interest here except the random cobble of obsidian. According to my geologic map, we cut across a small bit of the Aster Creek Flow of the Central Plateau Rhyolites but I could not discern it from any of the other detrital deposits we were walking upon. This is the Central Plateau of Yellowstone, on which the caldera that formed after the supervolcano explosion 640,000 years ago was filled in with subsequent lava flows. Many of these flows are hidden under the detritus of time.
I am still having a wild time trying to figure it all out.
|Butterfly on either groundsel or goldenweed|