Out There friend Rhonda Van Pelt was working on a trail in Aiken Canyon on Saturday. She says there's an amazing display of wildflowers, and she sent these pix.
This looks like a mountain bluebell in my book. It's pretty and fairylike, regardless. No, says OT friend Zen, they're "Leather Flower in the genus Clematis L. which are in the buttercup family."
The paintbrush is really vibrant set against these tiny violet blooms. Rhonda says when she was a kid they called them wild snapdragons. Our friend Zen says: "Based on the leaf structure, the one labeled snapdragon looks an American Vetch sometimes called a Climbing Vetch. Vetches are in the pea family and there are tons of variations making it very difficult to get an exact identification."
Aiken Canyon can use some more friends like Rhonda. Workdays are the third Saturdays of the month. Rhonda says the gang meets at the visitors center between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and heads out with tools (furnished) about 9 a.m. They get back about noon and enjoy a potluck lunch with plenty of beverages (adult and otherwise).
Forgot to label the prickly poppy. Purdy.
How to find Aiken Canyon: From Interstate 25, take exit 135 (Academy Boulevard) to get to Highway 115. Go south 11.5 miles to Turkey Canyon Ranch Road (0.1 mile south of milepost 32, across the highway from the sign for the Turkey Canyon Recreation Area). Turn right (west) and drive 200 yards to the preserve parking area on the right, and watch for the Nature Conservancy sign