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Blue Gentian -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com Previous Next

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The Blue Gentian for me defines the color blue.  These flowers grow high in the Cascades mountains in wet areas near timberline and open for a few hours in the afternoon on a sunny day.  They are a long hike from any road.  It is a special day when I can see them open and be able to spend time photographing them.  I feel that I am in the presence of something that is at once fragile and powerful.  This particular flower was found on Washington's Mt. St. Helens which erupted May 18, 1980.  I photographed it twenty years later in an area protected from most of the force of the disaster.  

On this day a light rain had fallen in the morning, decorating the foliage with a few drops.  After finishing my shooting for the day I hiked back to the car but stopped to pick some huckleberries along the way.  Dusk set in and I heard a crashing sound a short distance away.  A herd of ten elk with two bulls came through the area.  Being too dark to take pictures, I simply watched, trying to stay invisible by hiding behind a large tree.  The racks on the bulls were huge.  They knew I was there but were not scared.  Several minutes later they moved on.  I was most grateful for seeing so much of nature's beauty that day.  

Yes, the flower really is that blue.  Even more so, because computer screens and even film cannot capture the depth of color in this flower.  Its botanical name is Gentiana calycosa.


Info:  Chromira digital print of Provia 100F 35mm slide

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