May Nature News
Green meadows, crisp skies, cool mornings, all beckon us to come and play. June is a green and vibrant month. Flowers bloom at lower elevations and the trails lure us higher and higher. Early season shares unobstructed mountain views without pollen or fire smoke. It’s an energetic month with young animals, birds, new plants, and accessible trails.
The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem peaks with life at the summer solstice. Since Jackson is 43 degrees north in latitude, summer means long days and short nights. Temperatures vary greatly with lows in the forties and highs in the eighties. The pace quickens in our small valley as kids get out of school and vacation season begins.
I joined my friends to hike in the southern Tetons. Our 14 mile journey was from the tram to coal creek. It’s a point-to-point so you get the satisfaction of hiking in a forward direction. It is also nice to start the journey by riding the aerial tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village.
Each day is new. Each day is different. With a big hike planned, we start early. We have shuttled the car and await the first tram to take us to the top of Rendezvous Mountain at 10,450 feet. We plan to hike from the tram, to moose creek then out coal creek. Our journey is part of the Teton Crest trail and the tram takes us to the alpine environment. We find snow on north slopes; fresh blossoms and amazing views greet us in all directions. The air is crisp and cool.
We immediately see a snowshoe hare on the ridge and its’ grey back contrasts sharply with its’ white feet. In animal lore, it teaches us to recognize the tides of movement in our lives and signifies newness and fertility. Mother Nature was new and fertile with so many fresh plants. It was green, green, green. The hare signifies this fertile newness.
We hiked out of Grand Teton Park into the Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area. Our goal to find camping spots for an upcoming overnight trip succeeded as we explored the subalpine meadow below Moose Lake. The Tetons guarded us from above and the rushing sounds of cascading water made each step joyful and fulfilling. The day was filled with laughter and friendship.
I get to share nature and this amazing area each day with my business, The Hole Hiking Experience. Fresh mountain air, beautiful scenes, the glimpse of the moose makes us happy. What could be better? The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is rich with life and each day offers newness, wildness, and beauty.
The season has just begun and I’m excited for the next adventure. With 97% of Jackson Hole protected there are many options. Grand Teton Park and the surrounding national forest land are vast. Whether you choose to visit Jenny Lake or venture to the less crowded forest land beauty abounds, wildlife wander, and your soul is replenished. What a valley!
What’s in the Woods
6/6- Big Hole Mountains- Hookers Balsamroot, wild hyacinth, leopard lily, huckleberry, spring beauty, white vetch?, stormy
6/7-munger- indian paintbrush, arrowleaf balsamroot, woodlen star, mule deer, osprey, American while pelican
6/9-Shoal Falls- calypso orchid, spotted coral root, mules ear, lion tracks, stormy
6/12- Sleeping Indian- bluebird day, alpine- smelowskia, forget-me-not, saxifrage
6/17- bluebird day
6/18-Josie’s Ridge- song sparrow, chipping sparrow, cassin’s finch, scarlet gilia, penstemen,
6/20- Tram, moose creek to coal creek- snowshoe hare, female mule deer, moss campion, snow on north facing slopes, elephant head, valerian
6/26- Wilson, WY- short tailed weasel
6/27-Gros Ventre- alpine sunflower, saxifrage, forget-me-not, silky phacelia, sunflower, geranium, phlox,
In June, you should play. Pick your activity and spend time in the great outdoors. Consider a hike to look at all the flowers, a float to see the eagles and osprey, a mountain bike ride for thrill or an evening stroll to watch birds. The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem offers richness, diversity, and beauty. Each day is new. Maybe hike to Holly Lake or in the LSR preserve in Grand Teton Park, a bike ride on Munger Mountain, rent a paddle board and play on String Lake, join a guided trip for a deeper connection. You have options so go play, breathe deeply and refill your urn of life.
About Nature News
Published monthly by Cathy Shill of the Hole Hiking Experience.