The Renegade ridecamp is held in a popular camping and recreation area. It's beautiful, well-kept, and just remote enough to appeal to people who want to "get away from it all" without having to hike for a week into the backcountry.
That means that the "parade" past my rig each morning was always worth getting out of bed to watch:
Several backcountry horse groups met up for day rides and overnights while we were in camp. They are great people, and we like sharing trails with them
It's "blooming time" in the mountains for many of the flowers:
Yarrow and Wild Garlic (Onion??)
Outstanding in the field! This field of flowers was also full of happy little bees--they sounded like teeny-tiny motorcycles as they zoomed from bloom to bloom.
A better photo of Paintbrush
The trees were also blooming, and most of us had to take allergy meds because cottonwood pookh was everywhere. The evergreen trees were showing plenty of new growth as well:
This was a very strange plant. Some were perfectly ordinary, but nearby, others were covered in black ants.
I have no idea what kind of plant it is, or why the ants were so crazy about some individuals but not others. I didn't want to get too close, either. Ants kinda give me the creeps.
Even the fungi were growing like crazy:
Speaking of fungi:
I have never seen so many elk in a single week. Our trail is at precisely the same elevation as the best elk-forage. The elk are usually much higher on the mountain when we hold our ride, but the longer-than-usual winter and cooler-than-usual spring weather has kept the elk (and the lush grass) down in the lower meadows.
There was at least one elk who didn't survive the winter:
I also saw plenty of wildlife that didn't stand around to be photographed, including a barred owl, many Western Tanagers, a bunch of very vocal ravens, either a bunch of red-tailed hawks or a single hawk who followed me frequently, and a white-footed hare (snowshoe hare???).
A lot of the time, my view looked like this:
So I hopped out of the truck frequently to take pictures without the window in the way.
I also took a lot of photos of Madeline and Hana.
But mostly, what I took pictures of
Life is good.