Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Spring at last

Finally the snows melted and the flowers are starting coming out.  We're a week or two behind "normal" and about 3 weeks behind last year, when we had a dry, hot Spring.  A few of the earliest bloomers are prolific-- Yellow Violets and Yellow Alyssum (Alyssum parviflorum), especially.  The alyssum has some of the tiniest flowers you'll see, about 1 mm wide.  It's not a native but blooms early and goes to seed, really not bothering the natives.  Like all members of the Mustard family (Brassicaceae), it has four petals.
Yellow Alyssum (Alyssum parviflorum)
Another bright flower that's just coming out is the Mountain Ball Cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii).  The one I saw, on the trail leading up from Utah Dr, is just starting to bloom.  Several others had buds, so catch them this weekend--they don't bloom for long!  There are two other cacti on Green Mountain, Prickly Pear and Hedgehog, but they won't be out for another month or so.
Mountain Ball Cactus (Pediocactus simpsonii)

One more flower that's easy to miss is the Wavyleaf Dandelion (Nothocalais cuspidata).  My friend CG told me about this one, blooming on the trail, right above the Florida Dr parking lot.  It looks like a regular old dandelion at first, but has a more golden color and the leaves are long, thin and pointed, not like the ragged leaves you see in the yard variety.

A few daisies are starting to come out, Cutleaf and Easter Daisy, and a couple vetches, Ground Plum and Early Purple Vetch, but there should be a lot more by next week.  A few Chiming Bells are blooming, too.  

Looks like a warm weekend coming up, the snow, rain and warm sun should make for a Green Mountain.  Get out and enjoy it!

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