Local — Weather and Wildflowers
June’s cool weather made July’s peak flower month spectacular this year! With over 1,000 species of flowering plants in Jackson Hole, the display is diverse and colorful — the pink of Elephant’s Head, the purple of Silky Phacelia, the red of Indian Paintbrush, the Wyoming state flower, and so many more. As the month drew to a close, the wildflowers were thriving around 9,000 feet in elevation. Buckrail posted a great resource last year called “A Beginner’s Guide to Teton Wildflowers”. Check that out and then head out for a hike to look for your favorites.
Local — Masks Required
Town is Summer tourist season is in full swing and town is very busy. Visitation numbers are above normal and Covid-19 cases are on the rise in Teton County, Wyoming. On July 21, the Town of Jackson passed a mask ordinance. Learn what that means for all of us: https://buckrail.com/breakdown-county-mask-order-and-what-it-means/
Regional — Grizzly Bears Protected in GYE
July 2020 was a big month for Grizzly Bears. A federal appeals court ruled that the bears living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem — which includes 34,000 square miles in parts of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming — will remain federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and off limits to hunting. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the grizzly bear is considered an indicator species, which means that the health of the bears indicates the health of the ecosystem. Now, these bears can safely roam on the land that they need in order to maintain their health and thrive. Learn more about the rulings:
Appeals Court Rules on Grizzly Protection (Jackson Hole News&Guide)
Grizzly Bears Around Yellowstone Can Stay on Endangered Species List (The New York Times)
Spiritual — Universal Responsibility
“In today’s highly interdependent world, individuals and nations can no longer resolve many of their problems by themselves. We need one another. We must therefore develop a sense of universal responsibility…. It is our collective and individual responsibility to protect and nurture the global family, to support is weaker members, and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we live.”
— The Dalai Lama
What’s in the Woods (Field Notes)
7/1 cool, overcast- month starts wet
7/5 (Ethel Lake, Wind River Mountains) hawkweed, western thimbleberry, rose, sego lily, lupine, scarlet gilia, flax, groundsel, buckwheat
7/6 (Highway 22) bald eagle on power pole
7/8 (Jackson, WY) bike path- roses, penstemon, sunflowers, flax, hummingbirds
7/12 (Sleeping Indian) meadows of flowers- larkspur, geranium, sunflower, penstemon, balsamroot, lupine and alpine flowers- alpine sunflower, forget me not, moss campion, anemone
7/14 (Cache Creek) scarlet gilia, sunflower, hawkweed, lupine, harebell, fireweed, goldenrod, flax, sego lily, buckwheat
7/16 hot and dry stretch with no rain in the forecast
7/18 (Taylor Mt.) columbine, osha, sunflower, Indian paintbrush, cow parsnip, larkspur, sego lily, buckwheat, goldenweed, wallflower, yellow Sulphur paintbrush, phlox, lupine, silky phacelia, harebell, bluebells, bear scat
7/19 (Wilson, WY) cow and calf moose
7/22 (Cache Creek) flowers drying at lower elevations. Sunny and warm
7/24 Off to Michigan to see family
It’s a great time to get out on the water and there are so many wonderful hikes that follow creeks and lead to lakes. String Lake is a popular destination in Grand Teton National Park, but it does get busy! The jaunt to Leigh Lake is wonderful and offers a bit more serenity. Goodwin Lake is a tremendous reward after a hike up and over the glacial moraine.
Tips To Leave No Trace
- If you decide to take a dip in an alpine lake, it’s best to keep sunscreen out of the equation to keep the water pristine.
- Remember to be aware of leaving any crumbs or “food rewards” behind. The old adage goes… a fed bear is a dead bear.
- July’s sun and warm temperatures have increased the fire danger to high on all public lands so be very careful if you are enjoying a campfire. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.