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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Shallow waters in the early morning light. The ripples refract the light into patterns, which show up on the sandy bottom.|
|Sunset on McGee Lake|
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.|
|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