A few stalks of Gloriosa Daisy fell over from weight and laid prone on the ground. Days later I noticed the blossoms had turned skyward. These flowers are related to sunflowers which we know follow the sun as it arcs from horizon to horizon. It is as though these plants had a brain to tell them to turn and follow the solar source of energy. Nature’s magic is wonderful.
For many years I have led a fieldtrip to Sage Hen Reservoir. We are usually treated to bluebirds nesting in nest boxes along the way.This photo shows part of our group checking out the birdlife on the water. Someone detected a Common Loon out there among the other water fowl. Besides birding we stop to observe the abundance of wild flowers. In the early Spring just after the roads are cleared of snow we see many species of flowers seldom seen on our other field trips. Most participants look forward to this trip each year.
On February 26th I found this hardy little flower already in bloom. This means Spring is just around the corner. With the snow bank just inches away I’m guessing that the plant probably pushed its way through snow before it burst into bloom. The flower is aptly named “Snowdrop.”
Here are some of my girls. Niece Barbra on the left, daughter Pat on the right, me in the middle and great-granddaughter Finley lower middle. They dropped in for a visit the other day. We need to get together more often.
I ventured outside today and strolled by the flower garden. This is only five days after Ground Hog day. To my amazement there in the weeds and grass left over from last fall was this beautiful SnowDrop. I hastely removed most of the unwanted vegetation and broke out the camera. What will be next?
In mid to late summer when I’m driving along some dry dusty mountain road I keep a sharp eye out for flowers. One of the late bloomers is the Blazing Star a member of the Loasa family. A multitude of fine stamens fill the center of the blossom bordered by five narrow petals. The pale yellow blossoms are set on top of light-green stems that resemble some form of thistle. A person has to stop and wonder how a flower as pretty as this can survive the harsh dry rocky environment found along roadsides and disturbed areas.
The Blazingstar Mentzelia laevicaulis shows up in early August along roadsides and other disturbed areas. Its brilliant yellow shows up best in early morning. The blossoms last about a day and are replaced by new ones the next morning. It hardly seems possible that this plant should thrive in such harsh dry environment.
Last Saturday, May 11, 2013 I took a trip to Sagehen reservoir on a birding trip with the Southwestern Idaho Birders Association. Sixty-six species of birds were seen. There were a number of “should have been seen” birds missing from the list. Bird migration is still underway.
Many wildflowers were in bloom. There were fields of blue camas, hillsides covered with arrowleaf balsamroot, yellow muleear and many others. Some had already matured and withered away such as white trillium, grass widow, glacier lily. The most notable blossom of the trip was the fairy slipper. This beautiful orchid stays hidden in the forest and is seldom seen. Its bloom lasts but a few days. I consider myself lucky to find this beautiful flower.
Buttercups in Owyhee County
On April 28, 2013 I made a trip to my Owyhee Bluebird Trail. Many wildflowers were beginning to make their first appearance for the year. Perhaps the most notable species was the wild buttercup. I just had to share the above photo with you.
The country-side seems to be covered with yellow this time of year. The brilliant blues, reds and whites of spring and summer have given way to yellow. Rabbit brush and sunflowers crowd the rural byways with this color. Soon the aspens will join the display. Fall is upon us and winter is on its way. Enjoy this abundance of yellow while you may.