An unsuccessful attempt to track sandhill cranes at sunrise turned into a pleasant morning of examining wildflowers outside of Steamboat Springs, CO. It's so fascinating to look for the hidden orders in the arrangements of the petals, the circles and spirals that subtly shape the beauty we find so readily in these plants' sweet-smelling reproductive organs. Even nettles, perhaps some of the least pleasant plants out there, have a stunningly complex bloom, despite their suboptimal 'rose-thorn' ratio.
I'm sure all the photographers out there have experienced those mornings where you wake up in the predawn, notice that the sky is overcast, and decide that dragging yourself out of bed would just be asking to get skunked. I've given in to the temptation of sweet sleep more often than I'd like to, but, long story short, on this morning I was glad I let my masochistic side take over.
Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado // The Elk River cuts straight down into the Rocky Mountain Granite, a spectacular feat that could probably only be matched by a Ginsu.