...to a waterfall that cascaded 180 feet below.
Friendly marmots were active on the ledges of the rocky rim. They marmots were busy after a winter of hibernation. Social creatures, they seemed to enjoy their human observers, sometimes standing on their two back legs and looking right back at the humans. Their loud, shrill whistles filled the air as they communicated to one another. At one time there were seven marmots all lined up in a row, staring at the people lined up on the other side of a fence.
Hikers, photographers, casual observers, and fishermen could be seen in the park, on the trails, and as dots beside the pool of water below the falls.
The scene downstream was tranquil as the river ran deeply through basalt rocks and ledges that had been formed by the Missoula Floods years before. The landscape around the falls and surrounding areas is characterized by flood-created coulees, cataracts, plunge pools, potholes, rock benches, buttes, and pinnacles. The scablands look barren, but diligent farmers run cattle or grow dryland wheat on much of the surrounding countryside.
It has been a cool spring, but the sunshine helped take the edge of the 50 degree temperatures. We enjoyed stopping to sit at a picnic table for our afternoon tea. I'm really loving the Teavana tea thermoses. They work so well at keeping hot tea hot! And our trusty tea mugs travel well. It really seems that tea tastes best from porcelain, don't you think?
A sign at the edge of the parking lot read "Watch out for rattlesnakes". I was depending upon the cold temperatures to keep them hiding out until the weather warmed up a bit! I'm happy to say we saw none!
Two tiny cottontail bunnies were sunning themselves as they ventured out from their hiding spot. They were babies and so very cute! They froze, which made them feel invisible. But when I tried to quietly step nearer to them to take a picture they scampered away to their hiding spot. I thought they were the quintessential Easter bunnies!
The desert sage is looking less withered and leathery, as the silvery green of new growth occurs. It's fragrant smell is characteristic of the steppe. . .and provides such beauty in a unique sort of way. As summer comes they will produce beautiful yellow flowers which provide another phase of desert beauty to behold.
God created such a beautiful world! How did you enjoy His handiwork on your Easter week-end?