The day was sunny and hot enough that I waited until midafternoon before heading out with Bodhi on a hike. Out the door and down toward the lake, then up the branch that tops a hill above the lake, where the views of Boulder are splendid:
This is the hike—and the view—that made me fall in love with Boulder when I first visited in 2004. Two and a half years later I was living here. For some silly reasons (of time and busyness) I hadn’t revisited this life-changing hike until this day.
On the way to the crest of the hill, lots of wildflowers. Down near the lake, a small bed of leafy cinquefoil (Drymocallis fissa):
And a few stems of penstemon. I loved this stalk backlit by the sun:
And then there was a cool rock:
Yellow flowers abounded: some western wallflower (Erysmum asperum), a relative of mustard:
And of course arnica:
Some spreading fleabane, from the aster family (Erigeron divergens):
Some white locoweed (Oxytropis sericea), of the legume or bean family (they fix nitrogen in the soil). Like all locoweed, it is toxic to animals and humans:
And finally, the only orange (apricot, really) wildflower friend today, the globe mallow (Sphaeralcea coccinea), complete with an insect enjoying itself:
I met only two or three people, one of whom is a friend from yoga class. We sat down for a few minutes to catch up, and when I put my hand down on the ground beside me, suddenly my wrist felt like it had been pierced by a thousand tiny spears. A few minutes later the feeling was of a hot flame next to the skin, and a few minutes after that, some welts appeared, as if from insect bites. I never did identify the culprit, but it had to be a plant rather than an insect because the irritation appeared all over my wrist simultaneously. The welts went away after a couple of hours, no damage. Anyone have any idea what I contacted?
Through it all, my faithful friend Bodhi, fierce toward strangers (a lot fiercer than he needs to be—we’re still working on that!) and now, after a year of training, so patient that he’ll stop quietly while I mess with camera or binoculars. The only dog I’ve been able to go birding with because he actually sits and waits.