Drone Recovery Flowers

This is my first blog post after putting down API Evangelist, and taking over a month off from technology. It is very overwhelming to reboot my storytelling in a world where I am not the API Evangelist. The persona had become a very critical part of the way I write and tell stories, and I’m unsure where to go next. I figured that I would start with the basics of what makes me happy, working with existing material from my past, until I find my voice again.

I spend a significant amount of time thinking about the time I spent on Drone Recovery a couple years back. One of the things I enjoyed about the trip was the flowers I came across. We started in May, and ended in August, which exposed us to a variety of flowers across the diverse landscape we roamed. I am by no means a flower person, and I do not know what most of the flowers are in these pictures are, but it doesn’t stop me from regularly exploring them to trigger memories from that amazing summer.

I enjoy the color of these flowers, but the intensity of their greens is what grabs my attention, filling in the gaps in between the blueness.

The yellow was so stark in between these rocks as I ascended this mountain trail, greeting me as I walked by continuing our trek to the top of Kerby Peak.

I’m thinking about doing a separate post about the animals I encountered along the way, but this butterfly taking a break on the purple flowers was worth including here.

I always remember California poppies because of their color, but also because someone threatened to have me arrested for picking them when I was a kid, stating they are the California state flower–luckily I was in Oregon. ;-)

Nothing too amazing here, but I enjoyed these flowers saying hello in this very rugged landscape as we were making our way off the beaten path.

A reminder of how the flowers hitch a ride on the wind to spread their seed around the wild countryside, while also allowing some of us to make wishes.

The pink of this flower grabbed my attention, begging for a picture as we walked through this moist landscape on a spring day.

This wasn’t a wild flower, but the deep purple colors were worth capturing while we rested at McMenamins Hotel after the long summer.

I remember this spot because I fell to the grounded and was leaning against some rocks exhausted, while the kid flew the front to the top of the mountain for some reconnaissance work.

These Indian Paintbrushes always grab me since I learned about them as a young Boy Scout in the early 1980s, and until this day I still see them as paintbrushes for the wild landscape.

This was an artichoke at McMenamins Hotel, but the bees roaming around in it the purple colors was worth me snapping a shot.

This photo doesn’t do this flower justice, but the white flower with the light pink was simply beautiful within this moist thicket covered landscape.

I have no idea what these were but the flower, greens, and stems were delicately amazing, pushing up in this very dry and rugged landscape.

This was captured from a low flying drone shot across the meadow, which didn’t seem to bother the butterfly too much as it buzzed the tops of these flowers.

The yellow in this meadow seemed endless, coloring the meadow from end to end, only being broken up by the occasional blue and purple dotting the landscape.

I remember these flowers were just waking up one day as we started our journey. We got an earlier start this morning because we had camped nearby.

Sometimes the grass and weeds in-between the flowers provide a nice filler in between the color, giving it a different texture than just the flowers are capable of.

Another shot from McMenamins Hotel towards the end of our journey, but the poppies always make me stop and look, especially when they are such a brilliant orange.

These flowers were in the middle of a wetlands as we made our way across a bridge constructed to make sure we didn’t disrupt the vegetation, and ensure we actually could make it across.

This location is one of my most absolutely favorite places on earth despite the rugged landscape in which it sits, which has been scarred by fire over the years–haven’t we all.

I am always a big fan of wild Azaleas which are smaller and more petite than their domesticated version. These were in a clearing in between giant redwood trees in the California woods.

More yellow brilliance in the rugged rocky landscape of Kerby Peak. This mountain near broke us, giving us one of the most exhausting 15 mile hikes wee had done until this day.

Ok, not a flower, but I thought this little mushroom was worth including as it fed off this downed tree.

More ruggedness from Kerby Peak as we actually began to reach the top and finally able to enjoy the amazing view of the Illinois Valley.

These pink little guys were working hard to make their way into the trail, daring us to step on them, but also forcing us to stop and notice they were there.

Heading up above the Oregon Caves National Monument on the Big Tree Loop Trail we encountered a whole meadow filled with these as water moistened the ground below.

These little pink guys were in between the limestone rocks above the mountain where I grew up. Making their home in between the moss covered rocks I climbed on in my youth.

In the pine covered forest floor these red beasts would rise up amongst the other flowers to make themselves known.

Another shot from McMenamins Hotel showing the poppy gardens. Because of the nature of our journey, I feel like these flowers play an outsized role in painting the landscape for us.

One last poppy shot, tempting us to bleed them dry, helping dot the landscape of our recovery journey, showing how far we’ve come.

This was from the Balch Hotel after got the kid set back up in a place in Portland, where Audrey and I sat in the garden enjoying the contrast between the living and the metal flowers behind them.

Another shot from my favorite place, with the purple contrasting the fire destroyed landscape behind it along the unforgiving Diamond Creek.

Some of the days in the spring we spent entire days soaked from either the rain, or the water we acquired from overgrown tree branches on the path, as this dripping pink vertical flower growth shows.

I felt like these blue flowers were almost trying to hide from us in the grass, acting like they were there in this massive meadow.

This meadow was interesting to me because the wildflowers in the front were competing with the domesticated flowers in the back from this now gone pioneer home that used to sit here over a hundred years ago.

Look closely at the yellow on this flower. It just blew my mind the detail on this flower as I sat there catching my breathe on this hike.

These little guys were pushing up in a very thorny and unforgiving landscape where we couldn’t even sit because of the hostile environment.

I was impressed with these flowers ability to split open this rock, and make their way across the landscape, doing battle with the geological landscape.

More flowers growing out of the rocks in this unforgiving trek to the top of Kerby Peak–pushing rocks out into the path making our journey slower.

We caught this lighthouse outside of Crescent City at the right moment–ensuring that the whole outcropping around it was covered in pink.

More sunflowers from the Balach Hotel, marking the end of our journey, allowing us to finally relax and get some writing down in the end of the summer heat.

More Indian Paintbrushes popping up as part of the rugged foliage by this pine tree, slowly covering up the rocks alongside of the trail.

I have no idea what these things are, but they were really amazing how they popped up out of the pine and madrone mulch, pushing up so brilliantly in the June sun.

You just gotta give this guy credit for making the way up in between the rocks on this sunny early summer day, saying hello tour as we walked by.

More diversity in the meadow as we made our way through this old homestead, and as we found later on, a more contemporary place for someone to grow their marijuana.

A beautiful white flower growing up in between the wild raspberry bushes which we paused and pick a few as we made our way up to the top of Gold and Silver Falls.

These were amazing as they dotted the wetlands landscape of Frog pond. You couldn’t physically walk out here, but I managed to capture with my zoom lens.

I loved the yellow and white of these flowers within this very thorny landscape which I could hardly make my way through without getting torn up.

Another amazing flower which I have no idea of what it is, but they were so brilliant along this dry and broken landscape that we had to stop and take a moment to enjoy.

More of these pointing towards the sun coming out in between the clouds. We were laying down catching our breath, trying to warm up in the some as well.

Some more of the wild Azaleas in the cracks of the redwoods, showing their pink brilliance to use as we came out into the sunshine from the old growth.

It can be difficult to find a full Azalea like we are used to in a domestic environment, because they are much smaller, skinnier, and further apart when in the wild.

Finally t o the end of this meadow as we made our back to the trail. You can’t tell from this picture, but there are 3-4 marijuanas holes with irrigation from the creek in the corner.

I realize that most of these photos are not “good” photos of flowers, but it doesn’t change the fact that each one has a memory attached to them for me. When I look at each one I can recall the place where they were taken, the feeling of the sunshine on my face, and miles I walked to get to that particular place. Experiences that have forever changed my life, and make this summer something I will never ever forget.

It is enjoyable to walk through a flower garden, and purchase bouquet of flowers from time to time, but there is something that exists with wildflowers for me that brings out a different set of emotions for me. Especially when you are 10 miles into a 20+ mile hike and as you are laying on the side of the trail thinking you might die, and you look up and there is a beautiful flower looking back at you from between the rocks, or amongst the unforgiving landscape that you are making your way through.