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The Hills are Alive…

By Ann Driggers

After a slow start, the snow has all but melted and the high alpine is alive, finally. Alive with wildflowers blanketed across meadows, with marmots squealing on the mountainsides, with meadowlarks singing, with streams gurgling, with trout jumping in lakes, with rolls of thunder, and with me running, hiking and biking. It's a smorsgabord of sights, sounds and smells. The first flowers to really take hold were the lupines and Mules Ear at lower elevations.

And then it was the lovely Colorado state flower, the columbine, which decorated the trails at Snowmass for a few weeks:

And many others - daisies, penstemmons, paintbrush and scarlet giliea included. The flowers are spent down low and are moving into the highest alpine. And with them we go too. Here Paula and Heidi run up towards Buckskin Pass on their way to completeing the Four Passes Loop which circumnavigates the Maroon Bells over four passes of 12,000+ feet each.

Although it was toasty warm at 12,500 feet this weekend, even at 8 a.m. when we were up there, I found a touch of frost between the sunflowers. A reminder that the days are getting shorter, the nights cooler and we are only weeks away from fall.

This time when the hills are vibrant and blooming at the highest elevations is so stinking beautiful but everso fleeting. Take advantage of it while you can!

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At 82 I can no longer climb the tall mountains. Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of us old guys. Bluebird Bob




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