Endless Spring

Sunflower
Sunflower

We've enjoyed an endless spring for the last two and half months starting with the first few ground flowers and trees covered in bracts all the way back in Georgia in late March. In the course of that time we've moved through valleys, up to mountain ridges, drove all the way to 47th parallel north, back down to the 37th and spent the last two weeks mostly above 8000 ft. Driving up highway 119 from Boulder, CO to our friends house in Nederland we could see the snow on all the high peaks. A week later a bright pop of orange caught my eye as we once again took that trip up. I know it wasn't there just a few days before. Sure enough huge poppies had bloomed. Higher up in town the fuzzy poppy pods were just beginning to form. All the aspen trees in town shook and shimmied in the breeze but on our drive through Rocky Mountain National Park the aspen trees were working ever so hard to get their leaves out in the short growing period there is to be had that high. With the late snow pack and the deluge of May rain in Colorado the grasses are a bright green dotted and highlighted by the yellows, red, whites, pinks and purples of flowers.

20150618_Catepillar
20150618_Catepillar

Truth be told I don't have that good of a camera. Don't get me wrong it's a good overall camera however, anytime I want it to do something specific things get weird. Luckily I seem to do ok with the camera for macro images and seeing as how I love taking pictures of flowers I manage a few good pics every now and then.

DogbaneBeetles
DogbaneBeetles

A few days ago while out for a quick jaunt down a trail I stopped to document some of the floral kaleidoscope. At the first set of bright pink-purple flowers (Beardtongue) I also noticed a tiny black and white caterpillar so I took his picture too. After this I meant to catch up with my hiking partners but then I noticed a pretty little sunflower and one of the biggest ladybug beetles I've ever seen. Naturally I had to take his picture as well. At this point I figure I better just keep taking pictures while waiting for my friends to make their way back. One plant, just beginning to bud out, was covered in ants, must have had some sticky sweetness to attract them. In attempting to take their picture my eyes got caught a shiny congregation of Dogbane Beetles on the grasses directly behind the ants.

Ants
Ants

A hike is a fun form of “exercise”. One hopes to see pretty trees, vistas and if you're lucky some charismatic mega-fauna. A botany walk gets one down to the ground. One hopes to see pretty flowers, neat plants (hopefully a rare one) and most likely a lot of bugs. On a hike you might get a few miles or more in, on my impromptu botany walk I went all of five feet. Both give me the satisfaction of being outdoors. I do love stopping to acknowledge the tiny world near my feet every once in awhile. I suppose it's the closest to the Fairy world that this believer will ever get.