High Country

By Dave Hanks

Most all of us enjoy taking a trip into the mountains to get away from the heat of mid-summer and to behold the glorious panoramas available. Our South Hills are close enough that one can get there without much trouble. It is especially nice to visit the hills in July when all the wildflowers are in their prime.

Up in the alpine meadow where the breezes play so free -
Behold a view that’s exhilarating; see every peak, valley, stream, and tree.
Up there above the tree-line, animal life is quite sparse,
But the wildflowers are profuse, even though conditions are harsh.

Dogtooth Violet and Springbeauty, are the first to greet the air - When the snows of winter melt, you are sure to see them there. In summer comes the Lupine and the Yarrow, pearly white - Fireweed, Columbine, and Penstamen all make a pleasing sight.

Oregon Grape matures in autumn, as do other types of shrub. Their gift of life in berries – where Ursines feast and grub. This changing panorama, through each season of the year, Is a botanist’s delight, to scrutinize each as they appear.

The variety never disappoints one, who climbs there for recluse. Each species has its value – Each species has its use. So if life gets heavy and you can’t stand anymore - Make the climb up past the timber – High country will make your spirit sour!

(Indian Paintbrush, Penstamen, and Bog Orchid at Lake Cleveland)