Below is a photo taken in macro mode of an Osha plant in Waterfall Canyon near Ophir, Colorado which has flowered recently. It seems we're pretty much in the peak season with respect to mountain wild flowers in the high country. The roots of the Osha plant are often harvested for medicinal purposes; in particular treating upper respiratory cold and flu symptoms. Osha is the term used for "bear root" by the Ute's who apparently witnessed bears seeking out and consuming Osha root after hibernation or when sick or wounded. Cow parsnip flower looks very similar to that of Osha, but normally has much broader leaves.
According to the San Miguel County website, Ophir Pass is currently closed (as well as Imogene Pass and Black Bear Pass). I did see a jeep tour ride come down the pass yesterday, but they very well could've drove a ways up and turned around. Apparently, the hold up is due to downed trees vs. an overabundance of snowfall. Here is a photo I took of the pass yesterday. There is still plenty of snow visible at the higher elevations. I'm sure there's a fairly tall shaved wall of snow at the summit.
We've finally received an extended blast of warm dry weather which has introduced the summer season in Telluride. I took a very short hike up Bear Creek yesterday. Below is a shot of the rock outcropping which is situated just above the lowest waterfall in Bear Creek (which can be accessed via Telluride Town Park Campground):
This was take out of my car window, I believe near the Vandium clean-up site (in between Fall Creek & Telluride) over a week ago on September 30th. I wonder if there's more to what's going on there than is being officially stated (and there are radioactive concerns known to the public to begin with)? In any case, the fall colors were just about peaking at that time; however, a couple weather fronts with high winds which moved in since have claimed the leaves on a large number of Aspen trees ... which I believe encroached on the true "peak window" this season. In particular, we never quite had that full spectrum of colors present at a single time. Instead, many leaves first turned yellow, then were blown off the trees ...…