This is the best time of year to see flowers and countless butterflies in mountain meadows—so let's get out and see them while we can!
Special Issue: Head for the Mountains
Once in a while I feel like doing a photo essay just to celebrate a special time of year, and getting into the mountains during peak flowering is definitely one of those times.
This fleeting moment passes quickly, so I want to inspire you to get out and enjoy the mountains as soon as possible.
Don't worry about picking the perfect spot, almost anywhere you can drive or hike is fabulous right now!
Our mountain flowers and insects disappear for months of bitter cold winter, then in a blowout burst of energy it seems like they all appear at once.
There are flowers absolutely everywhere right now and they are attracting a huge number of insects.
Surprisingly, many of these insects have flown up from lower elevations to look for mates in a behavior known as "hilltopping."
If you're a tiny insect in a huge world, finding a mate can be a daunting task, so the easiest strategy is to have every individual fly uphill until they reach the nearest summit.
This brings all the insects together at the same location. Males will simply hang out around flower patches, or establish simple territories, and wait for females to show up. And females will fly upslope, find a mate, then return downslope to lay eggs in the habitat where they came from.
Flowers also have fascinating strategies, but I'd rather talk about them in a future newsletter because this week I just want to celebrate with some beautiful images and inspire you to visit the mountains.