I didn’t have much down time during my trip to Colorado this summer, but since I’ve been home, I’ve been able to do a few watercolors sketches in my Moleskin sketchbook.  I thought I’d share them with you:

Sunrise at Estes Park with blanket flowers

Blanket flower

Tourists on a snowfield in Rocky Mountain National Park

Red Mountains

Mariposa lilies

Colorado Columbine

I know that several readers out there are gardeners, and this post is for them!  Here are some more photographs of Colorado’s abundant wildflowers:

Native prickly poppy, Soapstone Natural Area north of Ft. Collins

Blanket flowers in the morning light, Estes Park

Paintbrush, Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain bluebells, Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Great Sand Dunes National Park

Cow Parsnip, Coalbank Pass

One of those yellow wildflowers at a rest stop on the Million-Dollar Highway

More yellow wildflowers

Colorado Columbine

Colorado Columbine growing wild at Maroon Bells

Monument Plant, Maroon Bells

A single open flower on a monument plant

Fireweed, Maroon Bells

Yellow wildflowers, Maroon Bells

Unidentified wildflower, Maroon Bells

And my very favorite wildflower from this road trip, the Mariposa Lily, Maroon Bells

Mariposa Lilies, Maroon Bells

Mariposa Lily

Mariposa Lily

Flower in the Crannied Wall
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand.
Little flower — but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.

Maroon Bells reflected in Maroon Lake

The mountains surrounding Maroon Bells Wilderness Area

We spent the final night of our Colorado road trip camping in the Maroon Bells Wilderness Area just outside of Aspen.  It was perhaps the most beautiful campsite I’ve ever stayed at.  The blooming wildflowers, majestic mountain peaks, and changing sky provided scenic views in every direction.

Our campground at Maroon Bells Wilderness Area

Aspen forests and wildflower meadows

Slender trunks of aspen trees

Brilliant green algae and reflections in Maroon Lake (No, I did not saturate the colors!)

Cutthroat trout rises to feed, Maroon Lake

A wildflower paradise

Photographers flocked like paparazzi to capture the sights around Maroon Bells

Native Colorado Columbine

Wildflowers like an avalanche of yellow

 

Hiking Amidst Wildflowers

September 1, 2010

The Naches Peak Loop trail edged by wildflowers

My husband and I revisited another of my favorite hikes, the Naches Peak Loop trail by Chinook Pass in the Cascade Mountains.  The last time I hiked here, a few years ago, it was a sunny day and we were treated to awesome views of neighboring Mount Rainier.  This year, it was clear when we left Seattle, but the clouds were rolling in by the time we got to the trailhead.  We hiked in the clouds and couldn’t see Mount Rainier from the trail.  But the wildflowers were in bloom, and they made this hike worthwhile.

View of Mount Rainier from Hwy 410, as we drive to the trailhead.

The clouds were already rolling in on the slopes of Mount Rainier.

Signpost on the Naches Peak Loop trail near Chinook Pass

One of the tiny lakes just off the trail

Another small mountain lake along the Naches Peak Loop trail

Small stream cuts through a valley along the trail

Silhouette of my husband on the trail

The clouds roll in as we loop around Naches Peak.

The trees trap the moisture from the air.

Wildflowers along the trail

Crimson columbine

Paintbrush

Western anemone

Lupine

Wildflower

Wildflowers by Tipsoo Lake