Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Long Warm Days, Short Cool Nights, Early Summer Wildflowers


We have come to summer, though the nights are cool, and we have yet to turn on our swamp coolers. On our morning walks, I wear a jacket until the sun comes over the ridge, and then the intesity of the rays soon has it tied around my waist. We are seeing so many wildflowers. Some are new on my list, and some I identified last year but couldn't resist their beauty.

The meadow and the trees, the pale blue horizon deeping into that startling New Mexico blue, all speak of the change of season. Summer has come to the high meadow.

Last year I identified #16. Opuntia polycantha, the prickly pear cactus, but it was not in flower. Now it is, and you can see the resemblance of the Cacti to the rose family.

Near the top of the bank is the lavender flower:
37: Phlox hoodii. Carpet Phlox (a.k.a.
Santa Fe Phlox)
In the gravel beneath is:
38. Trogopodon dubius. Yellow Salsify.
One flower had been in seed the night before,
but the rain washed it away before morning.

In many places in the meadows, we find:
39. Erysium capitatum. Western Wallflower.
It is in the Brassicaceae, the Mustard Family.
It has the spicy smell of a mustard.

Blooming in the lower meadow is:
40. Bahia absinthfolia. Sageleaf Bahia.
I've seen this in April south of T or C, but
never until June does it bloom here!

At the edges of the meadow and among the pinyon and juniper tree, there is:
41: Agastache pallidiflora. Mountain Hyssop (sometimes called Giant Hyssop). This is a member of the mint family. You can see last years talks in the foreground, pale and dried.

The paintbrushes are back! This one, growing beneath
a pinyon, has found a beautiful home. I counted
this last year, this is #18. Castilleja applegatei.
Indian Paintbrush, a member of the snapdragon family,

That's all for this week! Late Saturday night, just before midnight, the Summer Solstice will happen in our time zone! We are quickly headed to the longest day of the year!


ChristineMM said...

Nice! Thanks for posting!

Retriever said...

Enjoyed your pictures. Do you have a vegetable garden there, and if so, what stage are your veggies now? Is your growing season long enough for the heat lovers like beefsteak tomatoes, melons, corn, etc.?