Arriving at the semi-secret location, the dew was still on the plants. Fringed Gentians keep their blooms tightly closed until the sun warms them. That way the pollen is protected until bees are active. The early sun bathed the flower heads in a warm light. Note the frilly edges on the curled petals.
Fringed Gentians are an uncommon biennial that requires a moist, calcareous soil of neutral pH. It seems to me the soil is often shallow.
With about an hour before the sun reached enough elevation to activate the unfurling, I explored the interesting form as the light shifted from the extremely warm to a daylight color. The purple color is very difficult to get correct. You can see on the next image that the petals are just beginning to spread. How amazing they are.
By shooting into the sun, I captured the sparkle of the dew drops on the fringes.
Some of the plants I had been working were close to a treeline, and tree shadows shifted across them to delay the opening. Looking farther out in the field, I realized some were now mostly open.
See how the color shifted as the sun climbed higher? The bees began to show up, though they seemed to mostly like the Asters nearby. (None of them cooperated, sadly.)
Here's an earlier image from 2014 that shows a wonderful cluster of Aster blooms awaiting a bee's visit.