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                                    Summer Has Arrived
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   4 th of   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!
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