Two weekends ago, another hike in the Mountains near Boulder to Lake Isabelle. By now, the wildflowers were past their peak, but still plentiful. I was glad the ranger had told me to turn a left at the bridge and hike around the left side of Long Lake (above) where views like this delighted the hiker.
And there was so much more.
Cinquefoil, pretty in the morning light.
And masses of late sunflowers along the path.
And along the creek.
Slowly the landscape changed as I climbed higher; above, Castilleja with a patch of snow in the background.
And here from close up (they were more orange, the camera sometimes lies).
The views more and more spectacular, the last pines, then rocks and snow.
A waterfall, strong with the last of the melting snow.
At the same time, exposed areas on western slopes were dry, but even here, tiny succulents found a foothold.
And small thistles somehow surviving in this harsh environment.
I returned in the early afternoon, wildflowers still stunning even if the light was more harsh at this altitude.
But in half-shade, treasures such as this mushroom could still be found. I was sad to leave the mountain, but happy to have seen such beauty (and to leave my much-coveted parking spot to someone else).