This photo brings color and cheer on a cold and snowy Montana morning. It is my favorite photo from 2014. No fish. No grip and grin. Just a pretty little flower and gorgeous mountain scenery.
The yellow bloom is an alpine sunflower (Hymenoxys grandiflora). Also known as "Sun God", the large blooms were said to absorb sunshine from the rarified air and while taking on the color of the sun. In A Field Guide to Rocky Mountain Flowers (Craighead, Craighead and Davis) it was pointed out that:
"Compass flower might be a more appropriate name for they do not follow the sun around but continue facing east. The direction that any large number face is a far better indication of east than moss on a tree as an indication of north."
Now that I think back on it, these little guys were indeed facing east. Granted, it was a small sample size.
Most importantly, the fact that I was able to hike to the high country pleased me to no end. Hopefully more good days to come for us all!