Early Bloomers

3/31/2012 From Ellen: On a late morning walk in Filing 10 near our house, I spotted Spring Beauties, Pasque Flowers and Ball Cacti in bloom.

4/8/2012 A week later Jim E. wrote this from his walk on April 7: “Well, Saturday afternoon during my usual amble nearby, I spotted this early-blooming Ball Cactus – but seemingly much earlier than I’m aware.  Photographed ~noon today, these three. This Candytuft is another early bloomer – in the mustard family (Brassicaceae, formerly Cruciferae – note the four ‘cross’ petals).  What a pleasant surprise, the day before Easter.  Why the name ‘candytuft’ I won’t get into – too involved taxonomically. This, a real surprise – Sand Lily; and only one spotted! And in gravelly soil; but what else is there up here in this Sherman Granite?And today’s mid-afternoon saunter along the FS’ Mount Margaret Trail near Red Feather Lakes, a repeat of Pasqueflower (in a controlled burn; note charred fragment).  I reported this in bloom on the FS’ Elkhorn Creek Trail on April 2nd of last year, so this year’s blooms aren’t unusually early. Finally, yes – dandelion, which I don’t even have to show.”

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