I was snooping around looking for caves along Ragged Ridge and found a ton of flowers.
In total, I found at least 20 different types of wildflowers on this trip. It took quite a bit of effort to identify them. There are 23 different flowers shown here and I saw at least two more that I didn't get a photo of. I did my best to ID them, but it's not always an easy thing to do.
Some wet larkspur. (#2)
Early on, I got rained on. Then it started to snow. This is around 4500 feet, but still weird to see snow in June.
Larkspur (purple), columbine (red) (#3), cinquefoil (white) (#4), and I'm not sure what the yellow ones are (trefoil?) (#5), as this is the only photo I seem to have taken of them.
I started to climb up a funky little knob I had picked out from looking on lidar. These arnica (#6) were everywhere.
And by "everywhere", I mean everywhere. Huge swaths of them really brightened up an area that looks like it burnt as late as last year.
This funky little knob is just that. It's a small hill with a really flat top. Weird. Not sure what I thought I'd find up here, but this is what it was.
It's crazy some of the way fire burns. I poked around for a bit, then headed back. But before I get to the car...more flowers...
Red currant (#7)
Piper's anemone (#8)
Not a flower, it's a moth.
Common whipplea (#10)
Yellowleaf iris (#11)
Umm...not sure what this is. Probably dried sap. It crumbled when handled roughly. Sort of like a 6-month old granola bar one would find under a child's car seat. I see that often.
Here's a large chunk of quartzy rock.
The fog started rolling in at this point. Except I don't think it was fog, but more like clouds.
Cliff penstemon (#12)
This rock was really interesting. I saw it on the way up to the top and didn't take a picture, figuring I'd get it on the way back. I ended up going a different direction, then talked myself into climbing back up to get a photo. I'm glad I did because the fog adds some nice stuff to the other pictures. It reminds me of Korg from Thor Ragnorok.
The rock didn't talk, but if it did and it sounded like that, I'd be okay with it. Miek creeps me out though. That would have been a deal breaker.
More hanging moisture. At this spot near that rock, it gave a good view between my little flat hill and Dog Mountain, as well as the deep Steamboat drainage to the north.
It's not very audible, but the birds were quite loud. And you can see some large snowflakes dropping through the frames.
Before I left this specific area, I drove down a road and found another flower:
Yellow false indigo (#13)
I believe this is a dandelion seed, more or less. Regardless, it was really cool looking.
Back in the car to hunt down a cave or three. I stopped at a place I had been prior but had not explored much.
This looks interesting...
Or not...it's really shallow and stops right there.
This is stonecrop (#14), which is a really odd plant.
Lidar showed that there were four main sections of large, freestanding rocks through this area. In reality, it seemed the whole place was filled with freestanding rocks.
Some interesting rocks, but no caves. The fact that it's flat and open makes it more enjoyable to explore. I have no problem with difficult explorations but doing them all the time is a bit much.
Feel free to make up your own captions for these two mushrooms.
A light fire breezed through here over the last couple years. Everything is growing fine, though. This gorgeous plant is a false hellebore.
(Oddly, a false hellebore and a hellebore look nothing alike. Just thought I'd point that out. Carry on.)
There were more rocks (there always are), but the next set was down steeper down the mountain, so I let the mystery remain for another time and headed further along the ridge.
This is Ragged Butte and it's quite the rock.
Here's a couple photos of a paintbrush (#19) I was trying to capture. I got the effect but missed the framing. Near both the wallflower and the cornflower along a really steep area with no rocks or trees below and loose dirt to stand on, I felt lucky to get anything before the footing made me rightfully skittish.
I'm not exactly sure what this one is, but it looks like something from the carrot family. (#21)
Common whipplea (#22)
Watch for ticks this year.
Or watch The Tick every year: