Friday, July 11, 2008

The Bloomin' Desert

I’m back from the UP (Upper Peninsula)… maybe I’ll post something about that tomorrow or Sunday, if I get time. As for now, here are the promised photos of flowers in the desert—these were taken in my hikes around Virginia City. I bet these hills were beautiful in early May. I was surprised to see so many flowers hanging on at the end of June, but as I pointed out, it’d been a wet winter. Of course, that extra rain also brings out more grasses and, as the good book says, “the grass withers and the flowers fade” and with the extra vegetation, a wet winter often means a more intense fire season as there’s more fuel available. Enjoy!
Fading roses (these were in a vacant lot in town)
Lots of berries this year
Cottonwood trees in Six Mile Canyon
I could have had a "cotton-pickin' good time"
Fields of flowers or weeds; don't ask me what kind, I ain't no botanist.
but this is a variety of Lupine.
and these are Desert Paintbrush...
Purple sage...
Showy Thistle...
and some yellow flower...


  1. The third pic is my favorite. It is very calming and peaceful.

  2. Great photos. It soothed my sore eyes...

  3. Beautiful pictures. The blue sky in the one of the field of flowers is stunning.

  4. Ew, I like the Upper! We are going to Isle Royale this year. Been there? Any tips for seeing wolves? Walk around with fresh meet dangling from my shoulders is out of the question! ;D

  5. Kontan, Gautami & Dan, glad you like them

    Maggie, in 2004 I spent 7 days backpacking on Isle Royale and have done some 75 miles of trails on the island--covering most of the island. I didn't see any wolves, but it was in mid-July. Best time to see them is later in the year--September or October. When there were no wind, there were bugs! But it's a beautiful island--if ya'll have questions feel free to email me. BTW, you'll have to read the book "A Superior Death" by the woman that writes murder mysteries in National Parks(I can't remember her name right now). The book is set on Isle Royal.

  6. Isn't the UP full of BUGS? Ack!

    I would like to lie down in that canyon and take a nap.

  7. Great photos.

    I was reminded of our March trip to AZ, when the desert flats between Wilcox and the mountains were filled with color.

    Nothing beats the desert in spring.


  8. maggie - I don't know about on the Isle, but in Yellowstone there are a devoted group of wolf watchers that can clue folks in to where to spot wolves. It is definite worth seeking them out!

    Great photos, sage!

  9. ing, all of Michigan is full of bugs, especially this year. It was cool up there and breezy, so the mosquitoes weren't too bad. Napping under cottonwoods is heavenly, their trembling leaves luring you to sleep.

    Sherman, you're right and you had some great photos from your trip.

    Diane, a few scientists go to Isle Royale in the winter to observe the wolves, but there are no trips that I know of--I suppose during a cold winter one could x-country ski across Superior from Thunder Bay, ONT... (people have been known to do it on snowmobiles, but I hate those things)

  10. Thanks, Sage! We have the book here and her name is Nevada Barr! Pete will love the idea of hiking trails! I'm getting a little on the pudgy side! :)

    Oops - Earlier comment I meant meat!

  11. Beautiful! Just beautiful. I love lupines. They remind me of my favorite picture book, Ms. Rumphius, about a lady who spreads lupine seeds all over town adding joy/beauty to the land.

    PS - Your Tom Jones comment made me laugh...a lot! :)

  12. Gosh your photos are beautiful. What a lovely hike. It looks like you have been really busy but surrounded by endless beauty!

  13. I lived in Boulder, CO for almost two decades, and what I miss most now that I've moved - aside from the more temperate winters - are my hikes. I miss them like crazy. Thank you for these lovely pics. Its like I never left wild nature. :)

  14. Are Desert Paintbrush the same as Indian Paintbrush? Perhaps I've had the wrong name all these years.

  15. Maggie--that's her, Nevada Barr, I read that book while hiking Isle Royale

    Mistress, thanks

    Scarlet, I'll grab any chance I'm given to diss Tom Jones :)

    Deanna, it's a familiar hike, but one I last took maybe 8 years ago

    TC, I also miss the desert!

    Hollygl, most people wouldn't think of Boulder as being temperate! Where I lived in Utah, it got colder at night than here, but the winter days were always warmer (with the intense sun)

    Ed, I've always heard it called Indian Paintbrush here in the east and out West I've heard it both ways--I think they're the same plant

  16. I love the pictures Sage, especially the Cottonwood trees in Six Mile Canyon and the Desert Paintbrush. The first one portrays serene atmosphere, while the later vivid colors. Thank you for sharing buddy.