Much of the land around Pyramid Lake, and probably the lake itself, is actually the property of the Paiute Indian Reservation. In their native language their name is Pesha Mu Nobenena Kooyooe Panunadukwae. A friend of mine told me several years ago when I was driving around New Mexico that when you are on Indian land and the speed limit is 35 miles an hour you had best not be driving faster than 35 miles an hour or you’ll soon have a black SUV with festive colored lights pulling you over and you’ll be headed to Tribal Court. I saw signs when I stopped a few places to take pictures (from the main road) that vehicles MUST have a Tribal Permit before driving on the dirt roads down to the lake.
Here are some things I saw while I drove on Routes 446 and 447 around the southern tip of Pyramid Lake:
I drove past a tree next to the road which had a large bird sitting in it. I went back and got out of the car with the digital camera and, of course, before I even got close to the tree the bird took off. I had a little better luck with this one than I did last week with the bald eagle. I’m pretty sure this was a red-tail hawk:
Further up the road I saw this sign asking people to keep this gate closed (which it is, it is just thin wire mesh so you can barely see it):
When I got to the east side of the lake I stopped the car and by just walking a short distance in various directions got all these shots:
This is looking southwest towards Virginia Peak, elevation 8,367 feet. (The lake surface is at 3,796 feet elevation).
When I drove around the corner of this small hill I stopped to take a picture of this formation:
You can’t see them in the photo above but a flock of 11 birds, which I presumed were seagulls, was flying towards me, well above the dark part of the formation left of center.
You may just barely be able to see them in the photo below. I could see them clearly with sunglasses on.
I quickly got the digital camera out of the car but by the time it was on and ready they were flying directly overhead and I was looking into the sun. I changed my guess from seagulls to white pelicans once they had gotten closer, and that was confirmed when I saw several more flocks of them flying closer to the lake, very high up in the air. I learned about white pelicans last year when I was near Denver (search “Pelican Point” on the Home page or use the calendar there to go look at posts from October 16, 2017).
After I took some more photos north of that spot and turned the car around I saw this one lone pelican circling slowly overhead. I thought this was my perfect opportunity to get some good closeups but every time it turned so I’d get a good frontal shot the camera refocused, so here are the best shots of the bunch:
One of these days I’ll nail it but evidently I still need more practice.
Here is one more rock formation from this portion of the scenic road I was on:
Oh, and this is probably how Pyramid Lake got it’s name: