Colorado blue columbine, Aquilegia coerulea
The near landscape is valuable and lovable because of its nearness, not something to be disregarded and shrugged off; it is where children are reared and what they take away in their minds to their long future. What ground could be more hallowed?
– Sir Frank Fraser Darling
I joined Lou and a friend for more field research regarding the proposed land exchange covered in previous post. Wildflowers were everywhere. As we walked through the woods, we came to a luscious grove of our state flower. Colorado blue columbine thrive in shady aspen groves, and grow in moist soil between 6,000 and 11,000 feet in the mountains. In northern and western Colorado, the blue color is less pronounced until finally the flowers are almost pure white or cream, like most of the ones we found. Columbine at higher altitude are generally the most colorful..
Often mistaken for a shooting star, this is actually a red columbine, Aquilegia canadensis. It is rumored that Native Americans rubbed the crushed seeds on the hands of men as a love charm.
Unless we think of intangible values as no less important than material resources, unless we are willing to say that man’s need of and right to what the parks and wildernesses provide are as fundamental as any of his material needs, they are lost…
– Joseph Wood Krutch
I believe this is a yellow arnica. Interesting fact: arnica is a drug plant. All parts may be used but the flowers are most potent. If the drug from it is given orally or intravenously, it causes body temperature to rise. Applied externally as a salve to cuts, it helps to keep down infection.
False Lupine, Thermopsis montana, also known as golden pea, buckbean, mountain thermopsis, buffalo pea.
…majesty, and beauty, and repose,
A blended holiness of earth and sky,
Something that makes this individual spot,
this small abiding-place of many men,
A termination, and a last retreat,
A centre, come from whereso’er you will,
A whole without dependence or defect,
Made for itself, and happy in itself,
Perfect contentment, unity entire…
— Wordsworth (1800)
'...And the sabbath rang slowly. In the pebbles of the holy streams.' Dylan Thomas
As we neared the end of our hike, we came upon the biggest tree I have ever seen in Colorado. It appeared to be a Douglas fir.
A hut and a tree,
And a hill for me,
And a piece of weedy meadow.
I’ll ask no thing,
Of god or king,
But to clear away his shadow.
– Max Eastman
(I’m an amateur with wild flower identification. If I’ve gotten any of the names wrong, please correct me in the comments.)