2/09/2007

The Year's First Wildflower, Right On Schedule

It's been a snowy winter, but the last few days have been warm, and I had a feeling that all this sunshine created the right conditions for spring beauties to begin blooming. So, a quick hike up the Tower Trail, and sure enough, right where I always see the first bloom of the year, there was one Claytonia rosea, pale white and in bloom (pictured above)! The flower (less than an inch wide, only a few inches tall) was tucked against the stem of a Gambel oak, growing through last year's fallen oak leaves. Just a few feet from the bloom, a deep snowbank was melting its water into the minerally soil. Typical of this species, as soon as the days warm in late January or early February here in the park's south-facing shrublands, the spring beauty is ready to let us all know that, winter or not, snowy or not, spring is around the corner. So, if the winter cold and snow has you down, hike a quarter mile or so up the Tower Trail, look carefully on the west (right) side of the trail, and get a taste of spring! Several other spring beauty plants appear to be ready to bloom in the next week or so! ~ Ranger Dave

1 comment:

Tana said...

Keep up the good work.