never anticipated so many.
and I hit the Ridgeline Trail today outfitted with gear we had not actively hiked
with before, at least in this way: an open notepad and pen. In the days prior
we had noticed an amazing profusion of wildflowers in bloom, observing
newly-opened ones almost every day. Finally, yesterday, we mused that we should
bring paper and pen sometime soon and record how many we see. “There must be twenty-five
or thirty,” one of us said.
today we gave ourselves extra time for our regular three-mile circuit, and
started recording from the moment we left the trailhead. Astonishingly, we had
not even gotten off the feeder path before we had already surpassed the imagined
was quite stunning, a magnificent diversity. In that small distance, we counted
eighty-four different blooming wildflowers! Eighty-four! And this was a
conservative count, especially because we had not the patience this time around
to differentiate the varieties of vetches (at least four) and the plethora of
penstemons (at least six); no doubt there were more of these ubiquitous
species. Additionally, this count included only those very near the trail, and
did not include tiny groundcovers, or the flowers in bud but not bloom. All
told, there may well have been far more than a hundred.
of the plant names escaped us (an effort for another day), so we recorded them
by color, character, and leaf shape, so as not to duplicate. Thirty of the
eighty-four were shades of yellow (36%), nineteen purple (23%) and eighteen
white (21%). The remaining were pinks, oranges, blues and corals. Many species
there were that have been cultivated -- roses, geraniums, orchids, yarrows,
asters, alyssums, clovers, forget-me-nots, daisies, alfalfas, lupines,
sunflowers, spiderwort, potentillas, mallows, yuccas, sweet peas, larkspurs,
harebells, trumpets, wallflowers, dogbanes, paintbrushes, flaxes and phloxes.
There were even onions and cherries. But the more undomesticated were well-represented
also -- arnicas, holly, other worts, thistles, prairie smoke, knapweeds, prickly
poppy, banner flower, cacti, and who-knows-what-else.
were, every one of
them in all
their created glory.
were so odd as to almost defy description – fern-like,
butterfly-shaped, spidery, fringed-clusters, asparagus-leaved. And yet
others were so common-looking or plain-seeming that we have very likely
typically overlooked them – dandelion-like,
dandelion-like #2, and dandelion-like
#3. Yet there they were, every one of them in all their created glory.
what it was. Inestimable beauty, magnificent, even regal, exceeding the splendor
Consider the lilies of
the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even
Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. If God so clothes
the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the
oven, will he not much more clothe you? (Matthew 6:28-30)
Oh, the depth of the
riches… of God! How… unfathomable are His ways! (Romans 11:33)
~~ RGM, from an early June entry several
years ago while we lived in Colorado