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Tag Archives: lupine

Kim and I hiked up to the top of Tiffany Mountain and then around it, crossing Whistler and Honeymoon Pass and then around Tiffany Lake before leaving the trail at Tiffany Springs Campground where we had left my car in the morning. Ken had generously shuttled us from there to the Freezeout Pass trailhead before going fly fishing. The temperature was comfortably cool most of the day; clouds built up with the threat of thunder storms. Luckily the storms did not materialize.

Most of this area was burned in the 2006 Tripod wildfire. Many people would look at this now and see nothing but dead trees. However the grasses and forbs and shrubs are thriving. Wildflowers are abundant and vibrant this month. In wetter areas we found young aspens and willows – perfect habitat for moose and other animals.



This is my busy season. I’ve had two weddings to photograph within one week so that means LOTS of computer time. It is important that I continue to get out and enjoy the beautiful place where I live for my overall fitness – both physically and mentally.

Last week Jennifer and her horse and two dogs joined Luna and me for a walk on the four mile long Black Lake trail. It follows Lake Creek on a gentle grade making for easy walking without huffing and puffing. This was a test for Luna to see if she could tolerate being around a horse. She has a long-standing fear of large ungulates stemming from an incident when she was less than a year old and managed to anger a large draft horse so much that the normally gentle animal turned and appeared to try to run Luna into the ground. Never mind that the horse was behind a fence and Luna was barking her fool head off. You can imagine how immense this draft horse was from her point of view. And those hooves! Luna turned and ran all the way back to the house where she waited under the porch til Betty and I went back for her. So now, along comes Jennifer and her horses and she suggests that we all go riding together. Luna is friends with Jennifer and her dogs so when they were all fine with the big animal Luna sort of fell into step with the rest of the group although she did not like it when the Whiskey, the horse fluttered her lips and made that funny horse noise and she was mostly sure to keep a good distance between herself and the horse.


For the life of me, I cannot find this flower in my field guides. I know I’ve looked it up before and figured out its ID but not this time



It is a vine with clematis-like flowers



Riding through the burned forest



My, what big eyes you have!



Lovely wildflowers in this burned forest



Since it is a burned forest, every year, more snags fall across the trail. Here, we were near the lake but were turned back by the deadfall.



Jennifer manages to keep the dogs’ attention with a good story or maybe the promise of treats



It burned in 2003



Paintbrush and lupine and Luna wondering why I have to stop to look at all the flowers!



The dogs found comfort in this old beaver pond. Unfortunately, Luna chose to get out in a mud hole, and emerged coated in mud up to her belly.



Jennifer got a good laugh out of that, especially knowing I’d have to take Luna down to the raging creek to wash her off before we could get in the truck.



Lake Creek


This is the height of the wildflower season on our hill. The elevation of our house is about 1850′ and the colors of spring can be fleeting in this arid climate. Yesterday, before the wind came up, I was particularly struck with the beauty and diversity of this dry site’s wildflowers. Last week’s warm weather has been replaced with the more expected breezy and cool weather of spring.


Balsamroot, Balsamorhiza sagittata – the signature spring flower of for this valley



Thompson’s paintbrush (I think), Castilleja thompsonii






Calochortus sp (sometimes referred to as Cat’s ear)



Agoseris sp., again I am not sure



I am pretty sure this is bastard toadflax (not a pretty name for a delicate flower), however where I have seen it before it was more of a salmon color. Comandra umbellata






Columbia puccoon, Lithospermum ruderale



Bitterbrush, Purshia tridentata



Lupine, Lupinus sp



And another view of balsamroot, looking down-valley to Balky Hill and beyond


Yesterday four women and five dogs set out for Lewis Butte, a popular spring trail near Winthrop. It’s on a south facing slope so the snow melts fast and the wildflowers come early and may not stay long in a dry year. All the dogs, except mine were on best behavior. Well, maybe Trip was ready to help Luna in her quest to scare every bird on the butte. Other than that, it was a good day, topped off with lunch at the Rocking Horse Bakery.

On the way up we were passed by two other women with four dogs! Here are two of their dogs and four of ours


Boomer stuck around long enough for a better photo before re-joining his group


A water break for people and dogs


Juniper takes it all in


Cassidy wonders why all the paparazzi?


Three dogs keep an eye out for anything that moves.


Up the Rendezvous


We love our mountains here


One tree on top of Lewis Butte


It’s quite a view from Pearrygin Lake to Winthrop to Patterson Mountain


Cassidy has Trip’s tennis ball. Later Luna stole it and eventually hid it.


Juniper travels a well-trodden trail


Sulphur lupine


Lomatium dissectum – Fern-leaved desert parsley


A vetch


Lupine – one of my favorites






One year ago today we were married on a hillside surrounded by friends and family! Yesterday in celebration, we revisted the hillside and our love for each other. Like last year, it was cloudy but this time it did not rain! There are more wildflowers this year. We had an excellent hike to the wedding site, not exactly the way we planned but still it was nice. Then up and over a hill to Aspen Lake and back for a nice loop.


This is a good year for balsamroot



A pretty flower with an unfortunate name – death camas



At the wedding site, Ken reads a poem he wrote for our first anniversary


And the card that he made



A type of paintbrush?


What if all of our wedding photos were made in this style?




Larkspur and balsamroot




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