Two wildflowers that I have wanted to photograph are blooming in profusion on Flagstaff Mountain today. I was surprised.
My expectations when I go out for a hike are usually pretty low. In that way you may say that I am a pessimist. I tell myself that I would be happy to get one good shot.
But I am an optimistic pessimist. When I see a photo possibility — whether it’s a flower that I would have to climb to or a bee or butterfly about to land, I get ready for it.
Today’s hike was between 6,000 and 7,000 feet — close to home and lower that where I expected wildflowers in bloom at this time of the year. I hiked up the appropriately named Range Front Trail. It offered sweeping views of the Indian Peaks like this one near the start of the hike:
This is one of places that I hike most often. It’s not only close to home but offers either a short or longer loop. Today I took the longer one, continuing on to the Boy Scout Trail and returning by way of the Ute Trail.
Here I found not only beautiful wildflowers but also beautiful bugs. LIke this amazing dragonfly:
That was the biggest bug I saw today. But hardly the only one:
The two wildflowers that I had looked forward to seeing in the wild seemed to attract bees and bugs as much as me. This bee is not only helping itself but also pollenating this prickly pear flower:
Here are several prickly pear cactus flowers together:
Another plant that some people think of as a cactus always reminds me of growing up in the San Gabriel Mountains. I will never forget the experience of involuntarily sitting down on the sharp points of a yucca in our yard.
I had also been looking forward to seeing mariposa lilies in bloom. They remind me of the Mercedes emblem: