Rocky Mountain High – Photographing the Colorado Wildflowers

July 5, 2014

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to photograph many locations. I’ve done some work this summer for some folks in Snowmass Village and Aspen. Any anytime I can escape the summer heat of Texas, I’ll take it.

One of my favorite times occurs when I am able to return to Colorado for 6 weeks each summer and photograph the wildflowers of Colorado along with other Colorado images. This spring, the Rockies received more than their usual amount of snow, so the wildflowers are a bit late in blooming. Still, that gives me the opportunity to photograph the early bloomers.

One such wildflower is the mountain sunflower, also known as the “Old Man of the Mountain.” These Colorado sunflowers are usually the first to appear – often at 11,000-12,500 feet – and almost always above treeline. They are hearty little flowers, hugging the ground to weather the winds and cold and even summer snows. This panorama of these amazing little sunflowers was taken at about 12,000 feet. To reach this point, I had to hike through a swampy forest made wet by melting snows flowing down through an overflowing creek. After that, it was nearly straight up 1000 vertical feet through a boulder field. After a lot of grunting and sweating, the payoff appeared – a ridge along the Continental Divide brimming with golden wildflowers.

Colorado sunflowers fill the side of a mountain near Winter Park, Colorado.

Colorado wildflowers, this time sunflowers, adorn the ridges along the Continental Divide on a summer morning. This Colorado image was taken near Berthoud Pass

In the next few weeks, I hope to visit the San Juans – specifically the wildflower areas of American Basin and Yankee Boy Basin. I also hope to stop by the Maroon Bells and Breckenridge’s Mayflower Gulch.

In the meantime, feel free to visit my Colorado images or see my Texas Bluebonnets and Wildflowers gallery.

I also post current information on my facebook photography page.

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