Wildflower hunting was one of the stated intentions of this hike. Nevertheless, I was overwhelmed by the number of little gems that we saw and had never expected to see this many. It seemed as if my whole field guide was spread out and blooming. Flowers I’d never seen before, except in my field guide, were in full bloom, and others that I did know grew in quantities I’d never seen! It was truly stunning. There was absolutely no shortage of wildflowers in the burn area of the Legion Lake Fire. Rather, they were particularly abundant and spectacular. Prickly pear and barrel cacti were also quite abundant, which was some cause for concern: I’ve been accused of “crawling around on the ground” to take pictures of wildflowers. But one encounter with spines today was enough to make me much more cautious, so after that I was careful to look before kneeling down.
White crazyweed – Oxytropis sericea
Tufted milkvetch – Astragalus spatulatus
Desert biscuitroot – Lomatium foeniculaceum
Narrowleaf gromwell – Lithospermum incisum
Meadow deathcamas – Zigadenum venenosus
Missouri pincushion – Coryphantha missouriensis
Low larkspur – Delphinium bicolor
Darkthroat shootingstar – Dodecatheon pulchellum
Downy paintbrush – Castilleja sessiliflora
Prairie smoke – Geum triflorum
Small-leaf pussytoes – Antennaria parvifolia
Mountain blue-eyed grass – Sisyrinchium montanum
Western wallflower – Erysimum asperum
Nuttall’s violet – Viola nuttallii
Other flowers not shown here were the star lily, leafy phlox, prairie golden pea, various milkvetches and legumes, including the groundplum milkvetch (a favorite of mine, with an edible bean), yellow salsify, and a number of others. A beautiful afternoon to stroll in God’s Garden.