Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mushroom Hunting at Todd Lake

In Bend, summer will be ending soon, and although we're still having 80+ degree days, we're also having 40 degree nights. The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway closes with their first heavy snowfall, which at those elevations, happens in September/October. Keeping that in mind, we figured we'd better do as much as we can - while we can!  

Our destination this time was Todd Lake. Todd Lake, like Crane Prairie Reservoir, is one of the many lakes off of the Byway. It's only about 30 minutes from our house. 

It's a short 1/2 mile walk from the parking lot to this view of the lake:

Todd Lake is nestled in an ancient volcano, at 6,150 ft elevation. When the glaciers melted, they left behind this lake, which is up to 60 feet deep in some places. It's pretty shallow around the edges, though, and good for wading.

Mike on a fallen log that stretched out into Todd Lake.
tons of tadpoles - the Western Toad and Cascades Frog both live here
and are protected due to their threatened status.

Mike admitted to me that when I suggested a hike today, he was busy thinking of excuses, because he wanted to just sit around the house and work on our business websites. But once we were there, he got super psyched about mushroom hunting!

walking along the trail that runs around the lake.

There were mushrooms everywhere. It's been randomly raining, on and off, for the last couple weeks, so it's optimal mushroom weather.

We are still learning about how to identify them, so we gathered them all up on a handy bark plate to bring home and research.

We ended up walking about 3.5 miles around the lake, but if you aren't running around looking for mushrooms, it's probably only 2 miles or so. It's a perfect little spot to just relax or sun yourself. In the spring, there's wildflowers everywhere, and they have wildflower guides at the trailhead that you can borrow. 

gorgeous wide open fields, surrounded by pine forest.

Mt. Bachelor in the background.

The view of the lake from the trail, as we finished our loop.

Mike's excited about his mushrooms!

All in all, another beautiful day in Bend. Hard to believe that in just 6 weeks or so, this lake will be covered in snow!