22 July 2009

My Newest Favorite Place

Last week, Lindsay and I visited friends in the Centennial State. We had never been to Colorado, and after our visit, we vowed to go back to visit once a year. What beautiful country! Unfortunately, I can't post my best plant photos, because I have to hold onto those for Botany Slideshow 2009. But here are a few photos from our journey.

Here I am botanizing with Eric at Jewel Mountain, a xeric tallgrass community near Boulder. Mountains can make any photograph more attractive, don't you think?

We spent a little time at a place called Hanging Lake, where the water was so clear that you could easily see identifying characteristics of fish without taking them out of the water.

We also explored several alpine communities. The alpine has to be one of my favorite plant communities, where the plants only get a few inches tall because of the resilient winds and colder climate. You wouldn't know it from the photograph above, but this golf course-looking vegetation growing almost on exposed rock is actually a dense mat full of native wildflower diversity.

The subalpine meadows, like the one shown above at Missouri Lakes near Leadville, Colorado, are breath-taking (literally) as well.

Thanks to Eric, Lisa, and Julia for giving us a place to stay and showing us around for the week. We can't wait to get back.

More to come as we continue to label and go through our ~800 photos.


Brad said...

Scott, it looks like you had a fantastic time! I have spent zero time botanizing west of Missouri. The eastern stuff is easier because I can put the flora in context of the ecoregions and natural communities I have familiarity with. I look forward to the slideshow.

Scott said...

Yes, we had a fantastic time, for sure. The photos won't do justice to how beatiful it was. You can get a glimpse of how deep blue the sky was and how clear the water was in the photos above, but you unfortunately (or furtunately, maybe...) can't duplicate the natural beauty, particularly of something like the hot pink/magenta bracts of one of the species of Castilleja that we saw.