by Margie Goulden
August 15, 2013 - Jeff was up very early today to photograph Wild Goose Island located in the middle of Saint Mary Lake. The tiny island is composed of limestone that somehow avoided being compressed during the glacial age. All the rock at the bottom of the lake and the mountains on either side are compressed limestone. Due to its geological rarity and scenic beauty, this iconic scene is one of the most photographed in the park.
After Jeff returned, we enjoyed a nice breakfast at the restaurant, then drove to the visitor center to get help with hiking plans for the last two days in the park. We decided to enjoy a boat tour of the lake combined with a 3 mile hike to Saint Mary Falls. This was a good choice because a ranger naturalist accompanied us on the boat and was our hike leader. With a degree in geology she had a lot of interesting information to share. While we were safely in the boat we spotted a black bear walking along the shore.
As we walked up a short hill to view Baring Falls, a large black bear was spotted near the tour boat by some hikers. They said he was heading up the trail to Saint Mary Falls, our main destination. Our fearless leader took her bear spray in her hands and led us up the hill chanting and clapping hands all the way. The only part of that bear we saw was his scat filled with berries, some not even digested. Jeff was hoping to photograph a bear so he made up a jingle to sing while hiking.
"I love to go a hiking
On a mountain trail
To photograph a bear
And put it up for sale."
Of course, singing the jingle would only scare the bear away so we never did see this particular bear.
After hiking for an hour and listening to more naturalist talk, we arrived at the falls. Its rushing waters empty into Saint Mary Lake. We were only able to spend 15 minutes at the falls because we had to meet the next boat at 5PM. I could have stayed so much longer to appreciate the beauty and grandeur and to lose myself in pondering the importance of water as it relates to the existence of this planet.
The hike back to the boat took in some grand views of Saint Mary Lake. The lake has that beautiful emerald green color because of the glacial silt that flows into the lake and reflects the light. Any glacial body of water will have that reflection of light that creates the emerald green color.
We learned a lot from our volunteer ranger during the return boat trip. In 1910 there were 150 glaciers in this park. Today there are 25 and those could be gone in 15-20 years. Not only the glaciers, but life that co-exists with them, Iike the insects and bugs . . . And life that depends on the insects and bugs . . . And all the way up the food chain. We are all interconnected and depend on one another.
Tomorrow we are planning another hike into Glacier's high country to Iceberg Lake. Icebergs in a lake . . . Really??
To see more of my pictures from Glacier National Park, visit Glacier National Park Gallery. Signed fine art prints from many of my photographs are available for purchase on Fine Art America. For special offers and to follow my photographic journey please Join My Email List.
Jeff's Photo Blog
In this Photo Blog I have combined my 50 year passion for photography and my love of the natural world, creating a portfolio that reveals nature in its pure and simple beauty. I am pleased to share my passion with you through this blog.