Sunday, August 30, 2009

All seasons in one...

In Denver our state flower is usually in peak bloom in May, fully in seed by June. The picture above was taken this past week just below Lake Isabel in the Indian Peaks Wilderness where my son and I climbed Pawnee pass. There was a meadow filled with marsh marigolds in full bloom--which usually bloom in June at this elevation (in Denver they would bloom in April at the latest if we could get them to grow at all!). All this of course is due to a cool summer, and the vast snowbanks on the slopes where these plants grew, essentially putting them into refrigeration.

I was a perfect day: Jesse is 17--about the age I might have been when I first climbed this pass. It seemed interminable then and it seems pretty big even now. The trail sign said 4 miles from the trailhead to the pass. It felt more like six or seven to me...huff huff.

I last hiked this pass over 35 years ago. If someone had told me then I wouldn't be up here again until I had a son thinking about college and fulfilling all the dreams I've ever might have had for a son. He is even interested in plants (trees mostly). It felt like paradise up there: and we had a wonderful lunch up on the tundra gazing at much of Boulder County below.

So there were spring flowers and summer flowers and of course the flowers of autumn. I end with a shot of the arctic gentian in the reddish surround of Geum rossii, which colored much of the tundra deep red already. Winter is not far behind...

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