In summer, I traveled to Mono Lake basin on several occasions for work. I would rise early each day before the sun cast its pastel palette upon that salty lake. With binoculars and field notebook, I set off in search of birds. Catching the dawn songs of many and flitting glimpses of others, I chased them until the hot summer afternoon set in and drove the birds to mid day shelter.
One hot afternoon, after surveying above the shores of Mono Lake, I took myself for a hike in the cool mountain air near Yosemite and found this vibrant patch of flowering Bog Laurel (Kalmia polifolia), on the edge of Gardisky Lake. I revisited this meadow about a month later and found most of the flowers to be gone. This small subshrub is commonly found throughout wetlands across North America.