The sweet scent of flowers overwhelmed my senses as K and I plunged into the forest. A mosaic of colors lined the trails.K led the way, galloping through a meadow and its flashy yellow flowers.Then, she stood next to me and looked searchingly into my eyes. It's an astonishing experience having a canine partner who connects with me like K does. She truly feels like a partner or a sister because we take care of each other.Near the end of our ride, I stopped to check out some new flowers and take a photo of a stupendous view.K took up her customary 'hind-guard' position. Today, she lay down in the shade while watching me. Usually, she sits like a sentinel.I kept riding and riding after dropping off K. Sunny days like today have been too rare here, and I couldn't bring myself to go home. I rode along a moist and shady ledge trail, and I spotted an odd protrusion from the ground - a yellow plant shaped like asparagus. Nothing remotely resembling it appears in my flower books. The remnants of what looked like last year's Pinedrop plant (Pterospora andromedea) sprouted from the ground in almost the same place. Perhaps they share the same root system. That clue made me wonder whether the yellow plants are newly sprouted Pinedrops that will transform as they mature. Can anyone offer any ideas about what this is?
The summertime weather prompted me to look back through my photos to observe the mountain metamorphosis from a winter wonderland to today. By later in the summer, all the snow will vanish, except the remnants of glaciers.
11 May 2009: Thick snow cover that softens the mountain shape and gray aspen groves in the foreground.
21 May 2009: Snow thinner, exposing the sharpness of the peaks and crags.
18 June 2009: Snow receding to reveal the rock-like hardness of the mountain faces. With a careful look, you can see that the green of the aspen groves in the foreground has appeared.