"Going to the mountains is coming home," said John Muir. "Wilderness is a necessity."
There are some places that call you back year after year.
Lundy Canyon has a pull on my heart like that.
Beavers abound in Lundy Canyon.
As we hike up into the back country, we pause to admire their architecture.
Then a brisk hike to get lungs working and hearts pumping.
There's always a picnic beside the waterfall up canyon, and an hour or two of artistic endeavor accompanied by the song of birds and rushing water.
Then we hike again, past the beaver dam where a long-past thunderstorm struck and left charred remains. You can almost always hear the rat-a-tat of a woodpecker or two.
Nearby the aspens have moved in to bring new life to the forest.
This beauty is so fleeting.
I want to capture it all.
To look carefully and soak it in.
Columbine. Indian paintbrush. Asters of all kinds.
Succulents. Sage. Elephant ears.
Even the gorgeous hues of bare rock.
Afternoon ebbs and we turn back,
soaking up the landscape we've come to know like our own backyard.
We imprint this beauty deep into our minds.
Store up memories for another year.
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread," John Muir wrote, "places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."