Get Out!

Looking back to make sure that winter didn’t reach out and take hold of us one last time, I almost missed that spring has arrived.

And what a spring it promises to be! Last September’s torrential rains dumped up to twenty inches of rain in some areas along the Colorado Front Range. Before the rains caused flooding that killed four people, cut off towns, and destroyed homes, it sank deep into the soil, saturating it ten feet deep.


Sand lily, a common early bloomer in the foothills.

Although we had drying winds this winter, we also had cool to cold temperatures and small, evenly spaced snowstorms that kept the soil from drying out and replenished what did evaporate. The soil is still wet deep down. The rains from September are still with us, and this time they’re going to work for us.

Golden banner grows from foothills to alpine. If you go up in altitude a little every week, you can watch this plant bloom throughout the summer.

Saturated soil and ongoing rainstorms mean that Colorado’s as wet as we’ve been in decades. And water in Colorado means wildflowers. The plants have had all winter to absorb the moisture, plumping up before the sun calls them forth.

Tiny flowers on wax current shrubs. Wax currents are common in the mountains and foothills.

So get out and see the wildflowers. Often small, but extra abundant this year, they’ll never be as gorgeous as they are this spring.

Pasque flower are another plant that is found from foothills through alpine. At lower elevations they bloom around Easter. Higher up, they bloom later.

Published by Amy Law

Amy Law is a science geek. She feels about science the way some people feel about music, or art, or sports – a total and complete emotional connection. She thinks in science. For Amy, there’s nothing better than helping people see the beauty of science as she does. She loves to untangle a complicated subject into its parts, explaining it so that anybody can understand what’s happening. Let her show you her world...

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