As we end the month of June and rush into July, the Milky Way will be in a great position to view and photograph. There will hopefully be opportunities for barbecues for the 4thof July and shooting the many fireworks that will be lighting up the sky. The wildflowers are flourishing up here in the San Bernardino’s, with stands of various kinds of lupines, wallflowers, blue flax, and many more. Of course we mountain folk who love our pleasant temps and displays of spring and summer flora would appreciate you all remaining in the valley, basking in the warm summer air! My appreciation for wildflowers has grown over the last several decades. It all began last century when I had an opportunity to take a multi-day workshop during my undergraduate studies, to study the wildflowers of Yosemite Nat’l Park with the late, foremost Alpine botanist of the world, Dr. Carl Sharsmith, Ph.D. It was definitely a different kind of visit to the Park for me, as the typical visitors are always looking UP, at the granite walls, glistening waterfalls, and towering trees. During this trip with the renowned doctor we might sneak a look up at that vast granite walls, but a significant amount of our time was spent looking DOWN, searching for the “little ones,” as Carl Sharsmith would say. It probably was a comical sight, as our group of six would circle around a tiny flower half-hidden in the meadow grass, or nestled against a granite boulder. These little gems could have been renamed “butt flowers” as passersby’s would see a bunch of people kneeling circled on the ground with our butts in the air! So many flowers to be seen! Besides our beloved butt flowers, there were “belly” flowers, even more hidden in the terrain, and all were breathtaking wonders of nature! We walked the Valley Floor, and traveled up to Summit Meadows, to Crane Flat meadows and various spots along the Tioga Road; then on to Tuolumne Meadows, ending up on the slopes of Mt. Dana, rising above magnificent Tuolumne Meadows. The experience was a massive emersion into the wonders of nature’s architecture, decorated by wildflowers, an excursion I will never forget. Next to my wife, (who isn’t happy I am acknowledging her,) I have never seen such beauty in nature as I have when the “little ones” are on display in the mountains of the American West. So, take your knowledge from our macro photography night and take a trip to the mountains, and look for the Little Ones!