The flash of turquoise is so intense it is startling. The Mountain Bluebird flitters past, landing on a knobby plate of peppered Sierra granite. Its color is remarkable, without question a product of the mountains and the sky.
Nearby a yellow-bellied marmot waddles to a favored rock and watches us with a mix of reproach, curiosity and concern. Patience exhausted, he scurries into his den.
The wind is light and the sun bright. At 12,000 feet it is comfortably cool — a perfect day for flying along the crest, scrambling among the rocks, or running a trail.
What better place to be on a fair Fall day than high in the Sierra?