Among the Wildflowers

I shuffle down to the saddle between the peaks and find the ridgeline is covered with pink paintbrush. For whatever reason they seem to have found a spot that’s perfect for them. I snap a picture to send to my sister—it’s her favorite color.

After a week of rain, the mountainsides have burst into life. Green velvety carpets that, the closer you get, explode with color. I stop often to try to take photos of them but no picture comes close to capturing their beauty.

Columbine seem to avalanche down the hillsides, staking their claim amongst the rocks. The aforementioned paintbrush spread out not just in pink, but their more typical vibrant orange and even a delicate white-yellow shade. I’ve always wondered about their color—having only seen the pink and white at higher altitudes while the orange seems to grow just as well at 12,000 feet as it does at 3,000 feet out in the desert. Next, I run by a patch of deep purple larkspur interspersed with the same color of monkshood. Some are taller than I am! All of these mix and mingle with the yellows of arnica and geum. If only my garden could look so vibrant and diverse!

I ran with a couple friends the other day and it was all we could talk about. Even standing on top of the mountain we oooh-ed and ahhh-ed at the mountainside across from us that was covered in bluebells, none of us having ever seen such a big area aglow with them.

The blooms of the summer are so fleeting and ephemeral. They are a good reminder to be in the present moment and be grateful for what beauty there is in the natural world. It could be the full moon, the changing of the leaves in the fall, the winter snowstorms, or the sound of the rain on your tent—there are so many small moments to take pause for and just enjoy simply because they are here.

Now, more so than ever, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.

Call for Comments 

  • What details in nature capture your attention?
  • Do you have wildflower displays in your wild places that catch your eye? Insects? Bird life? How about fungi?

Photo: Hannah Green