Date: 8/24/17 9:30 am
From: Marlene A Condon via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] Mountain Lake hummers and other birds, butterflies
Spent a couple of days at Mountain Lake where there were probably 15 or more hummers going to the feeder station the Lodge has set up.  It was delightful to see so many hummingbirds, including two adult males.  Goldfinches are incredibly abundant near the Lodge, constantly flying back and forth to feeders set out for them and other birds, such as towhees, doves, and Chipping Sparrows that fed on dropped seeds on the ground below.  A catbird and junco (!!!) could be counted on to be seen feeding on the suet cake, as well as--of course--titmice, chickadees, and nuthatches.  Benches are set up in the shade of the Lodge, making it easy to watch the show.
Sadly, the lake is now just a ghost of its former self, but the lake bed has filled in with many kinds of plants attractive to numerous kinds of butterflies.  We even saw a Monarch flying among the plants.   There are lots of trails, ranging from easy to difficult and from short to long.  A Northern Pearly-eye was flying along the trail around the "lake" in the rhododendron "hell".
I highly recommend a trip to Mountain Lake, especially if you want to escape the woes of the world for a few days.  There are no TVs or phones in the rooms, making the place wonderfully quiet and peaceful.  There is also no air conditioning, but I loved the breeze coming in the open window instead of being in a sealed room with air conditioning.
 All in all, a great place for anyone who would enjoy the sounds of nature and a respite from the blaring noise of civilization.  Also, the mountains you see on the way to Mountain Lake are really spectacular. 
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