It’s the beginning of wildflower season, which draws hikers to the hillsides to gawk at blooms that sprout by happenstance. I joined Mike, Kathy, Joanne & Peggy on Saturday at Joseph D. Grant County Park — soon to be Wildflower Central — on a six-miler across rolling hills that were just beginning to show flashes of color. Kathy promised us that in a few weeks it’ll look like a painting by a French Impressionist (no, that’s not a comedian imitating Jerry Lewis, for all you who missed Art Appreciation 101).

Before we got too far, somebody noticed this old truck rusting away the years at the bottom of a hillside. I had to take a closer look

I love the colors on the doors and fenders … a few Photoshop tricks could make it look like an Impressionist painting, but I’m all about the unvarnished truth. Have to admire the bullet holes in the door, and the caved-in roof. From here it looks like the truck might’ve been rolled over, but it’s more likely that kids climbed up there and jumped on it till it gave way. Well, if I were 10, it’s what I’d have done.

We started seeing flowers as we headed up the trail. Among hikers it’s a sort of sign of coolness to know the names of all these things — when I get energetic I’ll look ‘em up.

The truth is, photographers prefer flowers and plants because the roots keep ‘em from running off, which is what wild animals tend to do.

Nevertheless, taking flower pictures can be a crap shoot — the breeze keeps the petals moving ever so slightly, making it hard to keep ‘em all in focus.

Fog on the hilltops on the mountain range across the way.

A batch of purple cuties.

Sometimes you just take a picture of a clump of stuff and hope you can crop in on something interesting.

The poppies at the park were not terribly numerous, but they were huge.

If our hiking group ever imitates one of those ’70s cartoons and starts a rock ‘n’ roll band, this’ll be our album cover art. Mike took the picture; I converted it to black and white and juiced the contrast to make it all arty-looking.