A week ago today I was presented with the opportunity to go to the Ruby Mountains in eastern Nevada and if one has heard or seen of the beauty and adventure that can be had in Lamoille Canyon, they are sure to accept the offer. The drive from Carson City was about 5 hours and it was a pretty desolate stretch most of the way across, but there were some friends to see along the way, like Black-necked Stilts and Pronghorn. When we arrived in Lamoille Canyon that evening I was just able to complete a brief and hurried botanical exploration before a very large thunderstorm rolled into the valley. Being from the wonderful state of South Carolina it was great to hear the loud, rumbling thunder above and see and feel the rain after what seemed like forever.
The next day we were able to hike up Lamoille Canyon and over Liberty Pass to Liberty Lake. The walk was loaded with a large variety of wildflowers throughout many different habitats, such as Subalpine, Aspen Forest and Alpine. There seemed to be blooms of all different colors waving in the wind no matter where your eye wondered. Several of the species seen were Hymenoxys hoopesii, Chamerion latifolium, Psuedostellaria jamesiana, Potentilla diversifolia, Rhododendron columbianum, Smelowskia americana, Oxyria digyna, Luzula spicata and so many more beauties of the wild. If all these blooming flowers did not fancy the eye enough there was the pleasant and cheery serenading of several different birds, like the Hermit Thrush, Lazuli Bunting, Lesser Goldfinch and chatty Clark’s Nutcracker. Another very interesting natural wonder was the flight display of the male Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus). He would fly off his perch and then proceed to make trills with his wings as he flew almost vertically upward into the sky. Reaching the top of his ascent he would plummet downward towards the earth and turn up quickly and repeat the process making buzzy call notes as well. A truly wonderful thing to be able to see, especially when he landed and through the binoculars you could see him flashing his bright red throat in the sunlight!
The plants were incredible in this area and it was nice to come across a lot of new species in the high country habitats. I brought my fly rod as well and was able to do quite well fishing along Lamoille Creek in the canyon. The brook trout were very eager and made for a couple great evening of fishing on the water.
May the summer treat you well friends,
CCDO BLM Nevada