Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just everything.

That's the most accurate answer to the question of "what's happenin'?" lately. Building heaps o' wheels, a few bikes, riding when I can squeeze it in, and camping every chance we get. Which, of course, means more riding...

And at long last it's that time of year: flower season. Here in the high desert it took a bit longer to start but it's already into a riotous full swing and will continue to climb into the high country for ~2 more months. Sah-weet.

Words could only come up short on most of these photos, so I'll let them speak for themselves. These shots cover just the last three days...

I came home from a mid-week ride determined to learn the names of at least some of the flora that had wowed me throughout the day. And some of them have actually stuck with me: Larkspur, Purple Locoweed, Penstemon, Fleabane, Tickseed, Paintbrush, Globe Mallow, Blue Bells, Claret Cups, Sego Lily, Primrose, Ephedra, Cliffrose, etc...

It doesn't take much studying to realize that just in the neighboring few miles there are more varieties than my pea brain will ever be able to understand, much less name. Nice 'problem' to have.

I think that most folks wouldn't think of these pics as having been shot in 'the desert'. Desert = barren wasteland to those that haven't come to understand it. I don't yet claim to understand it, but I have come to see it in a very different light after a decade plus embracing it. To me, now, the shots herein make it appear downright *lush*...

Fang on the prowl--no lizard nor bunny is safe from a painfully (from their perspective) pathetic chase. I think they humor him by waiting til the last second to flee...

Yes, I admit it--I'm a sucker for the ubiquitous juniper-silhouetted-against-the-sky shot, and can rarely appreciate 'em in anything other than sepia. There--I admitted it, so I'm past the denial stage...

Simply a crying shame to see oceans of virgin crust being taken over by cheat. Why wasn't Leopold able to convince the gubmint of cheat's noxiousness way back when? I think they just didn't want to listen. In a few weeks when it has gone to seed folks will have sumpin' to say about it, but then they'll forget, again, and another year will pass while it continues it's pox-like march across the continent.

Mother and son. See the resemblance?! (Hint: 'Alfalfa')

Stick your beak just shy of all the way into any of the cactus blossoms and chances are you'll be stunned at the veritable party happening inside. From aphids and ants to bumblebees and houseflies, seems like every winged critter is deep down in and gorging themselves on the pollen. I kneeled mesmerized next to several such blossoms this week, grinning vacuously as the insects went about their partying just beneath my gaze but worlds away in every sense of the phrase.

Not much else to add. Life is always very good this time of year, and this year has been a very good one thus far.

Thanks for reading and gawking.



  1. I don't comment much MC, but I'm a big fan. Just wanted to give props and thanks for sharing.


  2. What car is that in the main photo at the top of the page? It looks like a Honda Element w/ some kind of camping mod kit?

  3. Nice Pictures Mike. I just recently moved from Western North Carolina to to the Front Range of Colorado back in September. Haven't had a chance for too much desert riding yet but the difference in Flora and Fauna just in my area and the Rocky Mountains has been such a refreshing change. Hope to get out to Fruita this June and perhaps Moab in the fall.

  4. Nice images. I find it interesting that some of those same flowers (not all of them, mind you) can be found growing right now here in Minnesota as well, a few miles from downtown Mpls. Cheers.

  5. Yes, gawking.

    Great stuff. I always love springtime in the desert. And its followed by summer in the mountains. Life is good.

  6. Hi Mike, Thank you and Lenore for sending me the beautiful flowers for Mother's Day. I also enjoy the pics of my beautiful daughter and grandson. Hope to see you this summer!!

  7. Thanks for sharing Mike. Love the flowers myself, and I always enjoy your shots.

  8. Good Stuff MC, thanks for sharing that.