Wild Flowers in Paradise

It is wildflower season in the mountains. Having seen some fabulous photos of wildflowers from Mt. Rainier N.P., I really wanted to go up there during the peak in early August. Having just sprained my ankle a few days before on a trail run, I figured that the paved and relatively flat (for mountains) around Paradise would be a great place to go limp around a bit and photograph flowers. In addition, the weather forecast was for wet – which mean that at 5400 feet in elevation, Paradise would be in the clouds and would provide real nice soft and interesting light.

The paved trail would become a factor in an unexpected way…

As soon I set foot out of the parking lot there were flowers all around. I was tempted to start shooting pictures immediately, but resisted and strolled (fast as I could move) down the trail about a 1/4 mile into a meadow. I have been to this meadow previously, but only when it was under the cover of feet of snow and I had boards fastened to my feet.

To my pleasant surprise there were acres of flowers, most of which I’d seen before, but not in this volume. The meadow was filled with mopheads, which created a kind of ‘overstory’, with daisies and other flowers beneath.

The clouds were coming in and out, changing the photo possibilities by the minute. I could have spent all day doing this, and planned to at least spend a few hours.

After about an hour in the meadow, I thought I’d see what other areas presented and strolled back to the parking lot and made my way up another trail and discovered a field of paint brushes and daisies.

The ‘field’ of flowers was filled with the paint brushes and subalpine daisies along the fringes. I planned to work my way around first with the telephoto, doing close-ups and other close compositions, then come back around with the wide angle for a different perspective.

Shortly after taking this photo, was strolling down the trail carrying the camera on the the tripod, when I heard a click, and saw my camera with it’s 7 lb lens fall to the paved path and land with a thud. I instantly knew the significance of that moment (broken camera = $$$). The camera landed hard and I saw pieces of plastic laying next to it. I stood there stunned and speechless, didn’t say a word, picked up the camera, turned it back on to see what worked and didn’t (more than did), and strolled back to the car and went home with a sick feeling in my gut.

All I could think about was how I allowed this to happen. The camera disengaged from the tripod. Did I not flip the safety ‘bolt’ on the cam-lock? After some examination of tripod head I discovered that in the way I was holding the two together it is possible to trip both the safety and the cam-lock with just a bit of pressure by my hand. I am confident that is how it came off the tripod. Ooff. I am still waiting for the repair estimate. Hopefully I can have it back by the time Ben and I do the Selkirk Traverse, ankle permitting.

About jacobvenard

Father, husband, fisheries biologist, fisherman, photographer...
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