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Wildflower Report
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07-23-2008, 06:48 PM Ronald Eberhart
I have been up in the Ouray area this week in many of the basins and here is a summary.
In general the flowers look to be about a week or two late this year. Many are just getting going right now. Columbine are having a banner year in most areas and are peak right now. Many areas look like they are a bit light on flowers, or are just late and will have many more coming on. Some flowers look like they have been burned of may have had a lack of rain. This is certainly not the case this week and afternoon rain has been on the menu every afternoon. Plan to do your photos in the mornings early. Sunrise is at 6am and by noon some days it is over because of rain. Afternoons are good for macros until it rains so plan acordingly. Some days have been gushers and light hail. The hail has not been enough to damage the flowers to any big degree. There is still snow in high areas above 12,000 that close some roads and trails, but most are open. Snow on the mountains does make for more interesting scenes in many places. There are many places that have seen very significant avalanche damage and create some interesting scenes of trees uprooted and debris fields with trees sheared off at 3' - 8' high.
Specifics:
American Basin: Summary by Chuck was that columbine were plentiful and the best he has seen. I have not gone over on this trip because of the weather, but from the other areas I imagine the columbine are fantastic.

Velocity Basin - Storm Mountain: Good columbine, light paintbrush, many more flowers to come. Snow at the lake and on hillside make much more interesting. Some avalanche damage. nice scenic vies and not much traffic.

Red Mountain and Bullion King: Nice Columbine - Red Paintbrush are not developed yet and are very light. I would say a week or two more to go for good flowers. Snow at the lakes to walk over. The falls have LOTs of water.

King Solomon - near Silverton: Lots and Lots of columbine with nice rocks to place with. Some near lake water edge and nice full bushes. Flowers in great shape. Some paintbrush and other mixes of flowers in good shape. Sneezeweed is gone.

Yankee Boy: Flowers are the best here of anywhere, but not quite at peak. Still have a couple of weeks I would think left for sure. Columbine are great and most all flowers except sneezeweed are in really good shape. Lots of avalanche damage in the area going up and in the basin itself. Still plenty of good places to shoot because it is pretty localized. If I had only one place to go I would go here. Lots of traffic in the area. The road up is in pretty good shape, however we got a gusher today and we saw lots of road damage in the making coming out.


Get out and shoot. There are things to see this year that you dont normally get to see.
Ron Eberhart

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