Friday, June 10, 2016

June Mountain Meadows, San Juan National Forest, Colorado

Springtime high country meadow panorama, San Juan National Forest.

Springtime in the Rockies. The cool moist spring had suddenly changed into summer heat down in the high desert canyon country. So it was time to move upward in elevation, to cooler life zones.

I drove up out of the Dolores River Canyon onto the San Juan National Forest. Lots of high country up there, and almost nobody around. I pulled over to photograph some Rocky Mountain Iris, Larkspur, Mule's Ears, Lupine, and more. The chokecherry blossoms were just coming out, too.

I eventually found a suitable camp: off the main forest road, with scattered large Ponderosa pine trees for shade until the sun started to go down. 

Side road campsite, with Ponderosa pines, Gambel oak thickets, and meadow plants.

Rocky Mountain Iris - Iris missouriensis.
The only thing better than a wild iris is...two of them in a nice composition.
Rocky Mountain Phlox - Phlox multiflora.
A stand of Silvery Lupine in the forest.

Mule’s Ears - Wyethia amplexicaulis.
Serviceberry in bloom.
Roadside Chokecherry blossoms.
Emerging Gambel Oak leaves, with Lupine in the background.

By late afternoon I'd found a really nice campsite. A few huge Ponderosa pine trees for shade, lots of wildflowers, and most of all: solitude.  

Geyer Onion - Allium geyeri

Geyer Onion - Allium geyeri
Gambel Oak leafing out.
Photo location: San Juan National Forest, Dolores County, Colorado.

© Copyright 2016 Stephen J. Krieg