I walk alone at dawn in the forest, following a trail, then briefly veering off to more closely observe a tree towering overhead. Placing my hand on the bark, I look up, waiting for it to speak, but it holds the secrets of the forest close. The trail ascends sharply, but my breath is steady and deep, my mind clearing as I leave civilization behind.
All of my senses are completely awake, deeply immersed in the peace of this glorious morning. The brilliance of sunrise begins to warm my neck as a symphony begins, the leaves of the mules ears rustling, chickadees chirping while Russel squirrels alert their tribe that a human has entered their realm. The sweet clean scent of pine permeates the air while the sharp fragrance of mint rises around me as my shoes brush through bobbing white flowers on low bushes. The temperature drops as I follow laughing water down a slippery slope to wildflowers frolicking beside a creek. A cool breeze from the rushing stream caresses my face and I pause here to spray myself with Deet because where there is water, there are clouds of mosquitos.
I set up my tripod and begin walking up the creek, capturing wildflowers in a rainbow of complementary colors; fuchsia, saffron, purple, tangerine, butter yellow, lavender, mint green, a profusion of grace. As the sun peeks over the mountain, hot spots appear on the water and the battery dies in my camera, a sign that it’s time for breakfast. My almond butter and banana sandwich on Dave’s Bread has never tasted better after following this creek up the side of the mountain for over two hours, collecting hitchhikers on my pants, capturing ephemeral images of color dancing joyfully in the Mt. Rose Wilderness.
From Sierra Wildflowers