Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower
Albert Camus

October 18, 2017

The leaves are turning so it is time to add the species I have found this year to the website. I explored the wetlands of the San Luis Valley in Colorado in the summer which yielded several new species for me. One in particular was exciting, the delicate Slender Spiderflower, which is quite uncommon. Another was the result of an inquiry from a neighbor for identification of a flower in her yard, it was new to me too. If you live in the area, you may find another season of the Abiquiu News Bloom Blog of interest.

October 21, 2016

The first frosts came early in the month, the wind has taken the glorious golden leaves from the cottonwood trees and the only wildflowers blooming here in Northern New Mexico are the late-blooming Fall Tansyaster and Gooseberry-leaf Globemallow. Fall has arrived so it is time to update the website with new (for me) species I have found this year. I have also added the Abiquiu News Bloom Blog to the website, there is a link at the top of the page.

April 14, 2016

Wildflower season has begun in Northern New Mexico. Despite no moisture to speak of this winter there are those hardy species that emerge from this harsh environment; parsleys and milkvetches were the first to appear, soon followed by cryptantha, wallflowers and bladderpods. I have started a Bloom Blog in the Abiquiu News to let folks know what is blooming every week in the area. This led to photos of flowers being sent for identification. To help in the process I have added a How to Photograph Wildflowers for Identification page to the website.  There is also a link to the page from How To.

August 15, 2015

There has been above average rainfall this spring and summer in both Colorado and New Mexico and the flowers are loving it. The profusion and variety of blooms was spectacular. Mariposa Lilies and Giant Hyssop had a bumper year in Colorado, Globemallows had their year in northern New Mexico.

June 11, 2015

An early season update, mostly because of Google who have declared the web site "not mobile friendly". I didn't design it to be viewed on a smartphone held vertically, and I am not changing it, but I have taken steps to make pages load faster for all devices. I hope you can see the difference. The more new species I find the bigger the web site gets. Included in this update are this season's finds, 17 so far, not bad for early June. They also take me over the 1,000 mark. Amazing! I only have about 2,500 more to find.

March 20, 2015

I received an email request, "include a list in your family sections that explains why the families have changed and which genera have gone where - so that people can cross reference from the traditional families that they are familiar with". So I have produced a list of Plant Family Changes which reflects the changes I made to the website in January 2013. It is accessed from the Plants by Family and Plant Families lists. I cannot answer the "Why?" in the request but maybe this article in Wikipedia does.

Today is the first day of Spring. Yeh! The dandelions are blooming and I already have a new (for me) species of parsley.

November 4, 2014

I am pleasantly surprised by the number of new species I found this year, over 80! Admittedly some are noxious weeds, but they were blooming. Quite a few were grasses, rushes or sedges and they were blooming too. 25% were found in Colorado, the rest in New Mexico, mainly because I was in the same old places but at different times of the year. There are also some corrections and reclassifications, and some identification of what were previously UFOs. I have also added a slideshow of wildflower portraits in the Gallery. Thanks for the emails, it is nice to feel appreciated and useful.

January 3, 2014

This update was a monumental effort. I have completely redone all the pages and photographs for the high-definition mobile devices that everyone has these days. Some of the pages were created seven years ago, the iPad wasn't introduced until 2010! In the process of editing every page I checked details and found some wrong identifications, changes of family and changes of name. For example, the Penstemon genus has been moved to the Plantain family and Paintbrushes are now Broomrapes, the Goosefoot, Waterleaf and Wintergreen families have been absorbed into other families. It seems that taxonomy is an evolving science; hard for an amateur to keep up with. If you want to know more and see the changes go to Wikipedia. I also added arrow when there is more to see down the page. I have added more than 40 species that I found in the past year. Where it exists, I have also added a link to the Flora of North America website which gives more botanical detail than I. Happy New Year and Happy Botanizing!

November 23, 2012

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and have plenty to be thankful for. I am thankful to be in a new home by the Rio Chama in northern New Mexico. This has meant a new flower finding opportunity for me as many of my 32 new species this year have been found in my new environs. The days are sunny, dry and warm for November. I don't know what this will mean for the flora, we will have to wait for next Spring to find out.

January 29, 2012

Well, I did it. Updating the website today with 54 grasses, sedges and rushes. They are so much harder to identify because they look so different at their various stages of growth. I also discovered a whole new vocabulary related to them; stems are culms, the petals can be a palea or lemma, the bracts are glumes, parts of the stem and leaves, the sheath, nodes, ligule and auricles, are also used for identification. Wow! A magnifying lens or even a microscope is needed for some identification, so my classifications may be not entirely accurate but I am pretty certain I have the right genus. I would appreciate any corrections, as always.

January 10, 2012

Another year of happy flower hunting in beautiful places. 2011 bought the number of species on the site up to 774. Because the monsoon rains fell late in New Mexico flowers were blooming into November, and spring bloomers showed their faces again; strange but delightful. I also photographed grasses, difficult to photograph and to identify, so they will be my next update. There has not been much snow this winter so far in New Mexico and Colorado, but it is early days yet. Not good for the flowers or the skiers but gentle on us humans. Who said there was no such thing as climate change? Ask the flowers!

January 17, 2011

Happy New Year! 2010 was a good year for new species, I found 70 making the head count 735. The Fall was particularly productive; I found new species, for me, in Eastern Colorado and New Mexico, all identified and added to the website. Now the ground is blanketed with snow, providing precious moisture for the sleeping plants below. What will this year bring, I wonder. 

August 10, 2010

July in Colorado is all about the flowers which are at their glorious peak so I was leading hikes for the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival and on the trails with friends. I got reacquainted with many old flower friends, too many to list, and discovered some new ones. All the Utah flowers are identified, they were Basin Fleabane, Naturita Milkvetch and Slender Milkvetch, but I have two new Milkvetch to identify; they really are extremely challenging. Click on the links above to see what I have seen and all the new additions to the website.

June 21, 2010

Travels have kept me from the flowers but now the Utah flowers are identified, all but two milkvetch and a white composite are UFO's, I am going to take the big step and replace the old website and burn the 2010 CD.

May 12, 2010

I am just back from a rafting trip on the Colorado River in Utah. Lots of sightings and new flowers. Though not strictly in the Southern Rockies I am including them in the website and CD because they occur in northern New Mexico and southwest Colorado. Among the finds were Yellow Beeplant, Utah Penstemon, Yellow Cryptantha, Scalloped Phacelia, Longleaf Phlox and Two-grooved Milkvetch.

April 30, 2010

Despite a drop in temperature, snow flurries and 50mph wind gusts I have seen Claret Cup Cactus, Desert Verbena, Golden Smoke, Wallflower, Blue Flax, Perky Sue, False Salsify and three more species of Milkvetch, as yet to be identified.

April 26, 2010

Spring has arrived in the Southern Rockies, in New Mexico at least. With sunny days following a snowy winter and recent rains the flowers are blooming. This early in the season they tend to be small and low to the ground. This week I have seen Easter Daisies, Scarlet Mallow, Missouri Milkvetch, Tansy Mustard, Beggar's Tick, Fringed Puccoon, Filaree, Rocky Mountain Spurge, Rockcress, Thicksepal Cryptantha, Wafer-Parsnip and of course, Dandelions.

November 4, 2009

Today I put my world of flowers on the web to share with the rest of the world. I will also share what I see, new finds, identified or not, and any other snippets I think might be of interest in this blog.