SmugMug Appreciation Sunday — No. 042

In brief, these posts serve to introduce new readers — and reintroduce regular readers — to photos from the early days of this blog and, occasionally, to photos from days before this blog came into existence.

As a superfluous reminder, we — Melisa and me — used to live in Colorado, and I took a few photos while we lived there.

Today, I continue with photos from June of 2012. Depending on how you count them, Colorado has a few mountains (53 or 58) topping 14,000 feet in elevation (4,270 meters), and a few of them (two) have roads allowing people — people like me — to drive to their summits. Pikes Peak is one of them Fourteeners, and Mount Evans is the other and the subject of this post.

The original post for these photos is HERE. Notice the post has the coda “Alpine Flowers”. That’s because there are other posts covering other aspects of our visit. For now, I’m sharing the 57 photos from THIS Gallery. As one might gather from the title, this has to do with flowers . . . Flowers growing in the Alpine Tundra.

Note: some are shared as large files so that interested readers can click and zoom in. Be patient since I don’t know how fast theyll load.

I won’t bother naming all the flowering plants on this gallery since anyone interested can read the blog post or visit the gallery for that information, but here’s some general info . . .

“Alpine” is not specifically referring to the Alps, but rather to the area above the tree line (around 12,000 feet in Colorado. . . until the climate changes). It’s the elevation at which trees have too short a growing season. This may be due to low moisture, too low a temperature, or persistent snowpack. The alpine terrain is known as the tundra.

The photos in this gallery are typical of the growth found in this environment.

Most of these specimens are small (see the Ladybug in the photo) and are strewn on the ground like patches of carpet.

Most people walking around weren’t as careful as I was not to step on the plants . . .

Mind you, walking on this terrain isn’t for people with poor balance.

The settings for these flowers, whether viewed up close or afar, are aesthetically appealing, at least to me.

Getting closer brings out a lot of detail and textures that complement the flowers . . .

The variety one finds within even a small area is — to me — astounding.

You think that’s just a small patch?.

If readers remember the scenery post and all the rocks you could see . . . this is what’s between the rocks. Pretty much all over the place, and yes, I found paths that let me walk on bare rocks as opposed to the carpets of flowering vegetation.

Why, you can even find dried prunes among the flowers . . .

. . . or something . . .

Sometimes, the growth seems to find purchase on what appears to be loose gravel . . .

Of course, they can’t grow on bare rock . . . but something can.

Many of these shots were taken while I had ventured far from the car. I had seen a line of photographers, tripods all set up, taking pictures of something. It took me a bit to get there and discover they were photographing Mountain Goats (the subjects of a future SmugMug appreciation post).

I was gone for a lengthy while, and it speaks to the patience my wife has to indulge my hobby and my propensity for getting distracted by damn near anything I see.

That’s our Tahoe (still miss that car), but what’s to note are the patches of green among the rocky terrain . . . each patch is a flowering oasis.

Anyway, here are a few more photos, but I suggest a visit to the gallery if you like these sample photos . . .

The word “tundra” for me has always brought forth images of desolate wasteland . . .

Desolate, yes . . . but not a wasteland.

Where plants can claim a bit of loose soil to sink their roots, they make a home.

Really, a lot of beauty is to be found, and always surprising whenever I visit alpine areas that such delicate plants carpet mountainsides where hardier flora fears to thread.

Here’s the slideshow for the gallery. If you prefer, you can just visit the gallery by clicking on the link I provided above. But really . . . you have to visit one of these places to appreciate just how little of the beauty comes through in the photographs.

Note: the transition is set to 2sec, but — if you move the cursor anywhere within the photo — you’ll see a pause button on the lower left, and, once paused, you can use the left and right arrows on both sides of the photo to navigate the slideshow. This is especially useful because I included the captions.

If you click anywhere in the photo instead of the pause button, you’ll exit the slideshow and find yourself in SmugMug. You can then scroll through the photos or interact in other ways.

Slideshow of Mount Evans — Alpine Flowers Gallery — (57 photos)

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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