Boulder Subalpine Wildflower/Wildlife Alert!

If you have forgotten water lilies floating
On a dark lake among mountains in the afternoon shade,
If you have forgotten their wet, sleepy fragrance,
Then you can return and not be afraid.

But if you remember, then turn away forever
To the plains and the prairies where pools are far apart,
There you will not come at dusk on closing water lilies,
And the shadow of mountains will not fall on your heart.

                                                         Water Lilies -Sara Teasdale

The snowbanks have just about  melted in Boulder’s Indian Peaks Wilderness area. The Indian Peaks and glaciers are named (from left/south to north/right) Navajo Peak, Navajo Glacier, Apache Peak, Isabelle Glacier, Shoshoni Peak, Pawnee Pass, Pawnee Peak, Mt. Toll, Paiute Peak and Mt. Audubon. Brainard Lake at 10,300 ft/3100m above sea level is in the foreground…

Indian Peaks Vista Captured 27 July 6:45am 2010 @ 40.07753,-105.572498 (Brainard Lake)

Soon the snow will retreat to the glaciers.  High Country wildflowers have a brief time to attract pollinators before the cold returns setting the stage for a competitive display of  vibrant subalpine color. I took a short hike (about .5mi/.8km) on the Jean Lunning Trail  to capture this multi-hued show…

Rocky Mountain High Flowers Captured 15 July 11:40am 2010 @ 40.074049,-105.587604

Here are some shots of the flowery palette…

Bistort (Bistorta bistortoides) Hosts Pollinator

Scarlet Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata)

Sulphur Paintbrush (Castilleja suphurea)

Elephant Head (Pedicularis groenlandica)

Here’s why it’s called Elephant Head

Why Elephant Head?

Saffron Groundsel (Packera corcata)

Showy Daisy (Erigeron speciosus)

Parry Primrose (primula parryi)

I soon discovered that I was not the only one appreciating the foliage as this moose came into view…

Bullwinkle J. Moose (Alces alces)

I also encountered this male pine grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator)

Not all the snow has melted making Mandy one happy hot dog

Mountain Mandy (Canis chilloutis)

Before returning home we stopped at Red Rock Lake to catch a glimpse of these lilies of the aquatic type

Red Rock Lake Pond Lilies (Nuphar polysepala)

This view would have stopped Claude Monet on his treks…

Les Nénuphars

I got my feet wet to bring you this closeup…

Water Lily Mugshot

9 Responses to “Boulder Subalpine Wildflower/Wildlife Alert!”

  1. Summertime and the Snowbanks Are Melting « Tales from the Trails Says:

    […] Glacier. The  abundance of moisture released by this snow melt will  turn this area into a carpet of wildflowers… Wildflower Carpet – 22 July 2009 11:00am @ 40° 4'28.06"N […]

  2. James Beissel Says:

    I’ve been enjoying your blog – I think I learn something new with every post. Thanks for the effort!

  3. Anne Guthrie Says:

    Hi Rich — Google white-winged crossbill. Nice photo! Good seeing you on Sanitas this morning.

  4. Joyce Gellhorn Says:

    Like your work. Would you be interested in giving a program for the Colorado Nature Camera Cub sometime next winter?

  5. Looking For Fall In All The High Places « Tales from the Trails Says:

    […] the Jean Lunning Trail after a few hundred yards beyond this boardwalk. This area was filled with wildflowers in late July…    The Jean Lunning Trail Boardwalk with Niwot Ridge in […]

  6. Relieve Boulder’s Heat By Adding Feet « Tales from the Trails Says:

    […] is a treasure that I visit often. For more Summer flora and fauna from this unique area see Boulder Subalpine Wildflower/Wildlife Alert!, Summertime and the Snowbanks Are Melting and Continental Snow Cone. Share this:EmailFacebookLike […]

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