The snow capped mountains seem to the most photographic glory. And lake photos grab people’s attention.
And combine the two motifs?
The photo will be counted as an exquisite photo.
Something suited to be hung up on the wall.
OK, this photo is, in fact, hung up on my wall!
But there is something I love about the wilderness areas as much as endless ridge walks and vast tundra plateaus.
That something? Wildflowers.
The brilliant colors as they dot the mountain side.
Or as they burst forth in spring.
I grew up in New England. Where everything is green and lush and often full of color. I did not appreciate the color flowers bring to the world until I moved out West.
The browns, grays, and small bits of green need the wildflowers.
And being up close to them? They are complex and intriguing. Showing a topography in miniature as dramatic as any mountain side.
And the discovery of a rare flower brings a feeling of joy comparable to finding that off-trail lake that was previously only known on a map.
And if the wildflowers bring color to the mountains, they bring life to desert or desert-like areas such as the High Plains.
The deep canyons, mountain ridges, and expansive spaces are what often leads me to the outdoors.
But the wildflowers draws me to the outdoors in the Spring and Summer when they are at their peak. And they are often what I remember the most from an outdoor jaunt.
Need help identifying flowers in the field? My favorite book for Colorado wildflowers is the Rocky Mountain Wildflower Pocket Guide. If you prefer an app, the Rockies Alpine Flower Finder for both Android and iOS works well.