By Summer Bacon
My friend, Tom, and I do a lot of hiking and talking everyday. We stop to smell the beautiful cliff apple flowers, watch ants as they carry objects several times larger than they are, and stand in breathless wonder while watching a raven playing high on the wind currents. Lately we've been checking in on the incredibly beautiful century plant which blooms only once during its lifespan of 30 years. The stalk of the flower looks like a giant asparagus spear, and eventually at the top appears an amazing plume of colorful flowers, starting out a deep orange, and ending up as a vibrant yellow just before the plant begins to die. This particular century plant we estimate has a flower stalk that reaches at least 23 feet high. It has been spectacular to watch.