Camas Meadows

Blog for Camas Meadows Lodge™. Located on Camas Meadows Natural Area Preserve outside of Leavenworth, Washington. All materials and photos copyrighted 2006-2017©

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sandhill Cranes and Camas Meadows

In May of 2004 our guests from Minnesota noticed a couple of large birds in the meadow. They were Sandhill Cranes visiting Camas Meadows for the first time. They must have liked the meadow for they have been coming back every year since 2004. The Cranes would show up just as snow melt started in the meadow and would depart as the meadow started drying out.

We were not quite sure why they kept coming back year after year even though Camas Meadows does not offer good habitat for nesting and particularly the rearing of young. Well this spring our neighbor caught the Cranes in their "mating dance". It seems that the Cranes were using the meadow as a romantic start to raising their families.

For five years now the Cranes have been back for their spring honeymoon. You can catch the Cranes through the spotting scope at the lodge. They are usually gone as the meadow dries out later in May. We are not sure where they go after their "honeymoon" at Camas. But every year at this time they are back at Camas Meadows.

Last week we were skiing on the meadow. This week the snow clings only to the north side of the meadow. By this weekend we suspect all the snow will be gone. On the south facing slopes the Glacier Lily's and Spring Beauties are out in full force. Wildflower season has started and will continue through mid June.

Come join the Sandhill Cranes and the returning elk herd for spring at Camas Meadows. This is our favorite time of year with wildflowers blooming, snow capped peaks, and sunshine with a deep blue luster to the sky. This is the reason that come May the Sandhill Cranes and elk head for Camas Meadows to join the mountain bluebirds and other wildlife on the meadow.

Unlike the Cranes and elk you do have to make reservations to stay at Camas Meadows. Fortunately, we still have plenty of vacancies in May!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Wildflowers Coming Soon!!

The winters at Camas start with heavy snowfall and cold temperatures. They end with sunny, warm days. Today we went skiing on the meadow for the last time this season. The snow is rapidly melting. The road to the cabin is ready for travel, totally melted out and dried. The snow only lingers in the meadow and the north facing slopes.

It was great skiing in the warm sunshine. When you kick with the skis, the glide goes on forever. The mysterious ice sheets of Camas Meadows are still there and they came in handy for crossing Camas Creek as it flows through the meadow. The ski trip was followed by a glass of wine and a nap in the LaFuma recliners on the deck in the sunshine.

The first Glacier Lilies were spotted along Camas Creek road!. It will not be long until wildflower season is in full swing at the meadow. The elk herd, as always, is expected to show on April 15th. I must admit it is the only thing we look forward to on April 15! The forecast for the rest of the week is to be in the mid 70's, so the last reminder of the loooong winter will disappear this week as the snow retreats and the meadow greens for the arrival of the elk. Then the camas will appear and blue blossoms will cover the meadow to herald in the wildflower season in full glory.

April and May are the best times at Camas Meadows. The days are generally warm and sunny with cool nights. The elk herd is in the meadow and the birds and other wildlife are active as spring gets into full swing.

There is nothing like May flowers in eastern Washington. If you can only make one trip to Camas Meadows... May is the time to be here!! We are booked for Memorial Day weekend, but other weekends are still open including the romantic full moon weekend of May 9th.