The other day I revisited Dog Gun Lake to see if I couldn't find any wolf tracks after my initial wolf encounter. I did find some tracks, but they were hard to distinguish from a large dog. Scoping more around a hillside, my attention then turned to these bright purple flowers growing in the shelter of a rock. This area is particularly windswept, so much so that you're hard pressed to find anything standing upright. The pine trees even grow close to the ground, shrub-like, their trunks and branches snaking eastward away from the mountains.
Being a sucker for poetic symbolism, I couldn't help admire the flowers' tenacity. It reminded me of a short poem I like to share with my students, "The Rose that Grew From Concrete," by Tupac. It goes like this:
Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk with out having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.
These flowers, to me, represented the rose for this place, surviving and even thriving in a challenging environment like many of the people here. I don't yet know the name of the flower, but I emailed a retired professor and friend of mine who would. When he emails me back, I'll post the update.
Also, here's the track.