Friday, October 16, 2015

Photo Friday: Flowers and Patterns

I set out to make this a narrative post about our 7-day backpack trip into northern Kings Canyon National Park last July. But I got a little distracted by the number of photos I had of interesting patterns, as well as the flowers. So I decided to drop the narrative, and just play with photos.

Flowers. Even in July, even in a dry (insanely dry) year, there are wildflowers in the mountains. In the lower and wetter areas, you get one set:
Leopard Lily--well below treeline, in the forest.
A little higher, and a little wetter:
Shooting Star grow at higher altitudes, but in wet places. Look for them around the edges of alpine lakes.
Just as high, but in dryer areas:
Okay, I admit I don't know what this one is. It grew in nooks and crannies among the granite boulders around tree line.

I have a couple of favorites, flowers that seem to grow pretty nearly everywhere (with, I assume, minor variations).
Indian Paintbrush. This one comes in every shade of red, from white to deep magenta to blood red.
More paintbrush, red-orange. See? All colors.
And finally (though this is by no means all the flowers we saw), a couple of plants that grow up where nothing ought to grow at all:
Old Man of the Mountain Sunflower, here at Lamarck Col, overlooking  Darwin Canyon
Sky Pilot. If you see this, you know you are in the alpine. The way-up, clinging-to-the-rocks alpine. In this case, scrambling down from Alpine Col, cursing our route choice.
And now for a few patterns from nature. Water always lends itself to interesting textures. Sometimes the light is just right:
Shallow waters in the early morning light. The ripples refract the light into patterns, which show up on the sandy bottom.
 Morning and evening are the times for photos. A glorious sunset can provide all sorts of opportunities.
Sunset on McGee Lake
Not every intriguing pattern comes from nature. Sometimes it's just the laundry, looking like the shed skins of aliens....

And sometimes nature lets you see what patterns are for. Other times, they work too well and you miss them.
Trout. Not certain what kind; I'm not a fisherperson.
I'm sorry to say that I can't leave  without a final shot of a less attractive sort. Not every pattern you see in the wild is one you want to. Sometimes it's a jarring disruption to the natural colors and patterns.
Please: think twice before using/releasing balloons. Then just don't do it. I carried this one the entire trip to dispose of it properly, after finding it the first night, miles into the wilderness. At least it was light.
 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2015


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. My spouse doesn't bring me flowers--but he goes with me to where the flowers are, which is better :D

  2. Great photos! The third one is a sedum but the species is vast :) The last one is on the list for being banned over here - far too many bad accidents and deaths caused by them. Not that it will stop some people using them.

    1. Took me a minute to figure out which "last one" you meant :) I was puzzled, since the last flower was the sky pilot--and I'm pretty sure it doesn't grow over there :D But the balloons--yeah, they are a major error.


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