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.
We’ve had freezing weather for several months and snow is predicted this week. Even though Winter is only half gone I’m looking foreward to Spring. This photo of blue camas was taken in May of last year just a few miles north of Ola in Gem county. May is the ideal time to take a trip to Sagehen Reservoir to see birds and wildflowers. I have been on field trips to this area nearly every year for the last forty. I have never grown tired of Nature in full bloom.
I never paid much attention to this plant before except to identify it at our home in Boise, ID. It apparently came by way of the irrigation ditch or was transported by a bird. I have discovered a lot of these plants along Daggett Creek on our ranch.
Notice the unique notched leaves and the red berries. The flowers are lavender with a yellow center. Do not be tempted to eat the berries. They are deadly poison as are the leaves.
I dug into my files for this one. In the Spring there are so many wild flowers in bloom that I can’t resist taking photos. Here is one of the many paintbrush species. I like the sunlight on the flower and the darker background of the shaded juniper. I love including a lichen-covered rock to help balance the picture. It adds a sort of wildness and antiquity to the scene.
I enjoy shooting photos of flowers. They stand still. You don’t need a blind. They are also very beautiful. There are several stands of Gloriosa Daisies in our yard. They burst into magnificent beauty this time of year. I also like to include wildlife in the picture. Notice the bee on the lower center blossom.
I was out on the road to Prairie yesterday. I was amazed at the display of our state flower along the south fork of the Boise river. The Syringa is also known as Mock Orange. I really enjoyed the fragrance of these beautiful flowers that filled the air as I took many photos.
Every Spring while attending my bluebird trail I come across this beautiful white flower. I just can’t resist stopping to take a picture. It’s name is Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva). This photo was taken June 10, 2011.
Ah! Spring! This is the time of year when wild flowers come forth in all their beauty. Some will fade away in just a few days while others linger on for weeks. The above photo of the Dutchmans Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) is of one of the flowers that blooms briefly. A week later the bloom may have faded away. It seems to thrive in moist areas in heavy shade. A person must be at the right place at the right time to catch this early bloomer.
It was rather cool for our field trip on the last day in April. A light skiff of snow fell a couple days earlier but the temperature stayed low and there was very little melting. On the entire trip 53 species of birds were seen but the number of individuals was down. Our group of birders were good sports and a good time was had by all.
Eleven days earlier I checked all of the bluebird boxes on this route. A couple of the boxes had completed bluebird nests. The majority of the boxes displayed some bluebird activity, if only just a few blades of grass. After that the weather turned cold and stormy. The bluebirds seemed to have lost interest and little or no progress was evident in nest building. Barely a half dozen bluebirds were seen on the day of the field trip.
I am concerned that with this delay in nesting some birds may not nest and those that do may not finish raising their first brood in time to start a second. Broods produced in late summer have to contend with high temperatures, less insect prey and increased numbers of predators. This looks to be a repeat of last year’s problems when nestling production was way down from previous years.
When these little guys make their appearence I know that Spring is here. I would guess I’m about a week late to witness their arrival. Actually first arrivals may be seen when the stem exits the snow and the flourescence is surrounded with white. Now I must get out on the hill and search for the Yellow Fritillary or Fairybell as they are sometimes called. This starts the season of wildflowers!