Spring in the basin

5 06 2010

This post is a little departure from the usual (!). After a very long winter, it’s finally spring – with summer right around the corner. These are a few of the wildflowers blooming now in the basin.

Prince’s plume – this is all over the basin.

Bear claw cactus – saw this while I was photographing David, Shadow and Wind.

Sego lily and not-very-cooperative globe mallow. Lilies also are everywhere right now. These are such a surprising sight to me every year … it seems so odd to see something so delicate in such a desert environment.

Another sego lily – aren’t they beautiful?

Larkspur – don’t ask me what specific kind. *Purple.*

I know what this one is – *blue” larkspur. 🙂

Wild blue flax … the delicate blue didn’t translate very well to “film” in the sunshine, but they are beautiful blue.

Cliff penstemon

Prince’s plume

Ives four nerved daisies … (aren’t there about 398 different kinds of yellow daisies?)

More of the above.

Navajo fleabane

Another sego lily – can’t resist these!

Skeleton weed

Another one. They’re fairly small – maybe 4-6 inches tall, several pink petals – “fringed” on the tips. I saw one in the interior of the basin, but then there were quite a few when I drove out near the entrance on the west side.

I think the phlox is mostly done – it’s one of the very first to start blooming every year. I’ve seen just a few paintbrush this year, very small, very few and far between. The globe mallow is everywhere now, but I managed to not take a pic of any of the nicely blooming patches – and they’re right along the road – I think I read they like to grow in disturbed areas. The claret cup cacti are trying to bloom – they probably need the very warm weather we just haven’t quite had yet (forecast says 94 tomorrow!). “Four o’clock” also is trying to bloom.

And because it wouldn’t be complete without a little wildlife …

This lovely girl ought to be close to having a calf …

And I don’t know what kind of bird this is (Say’s phoebe), but it (she?) was very curious and perched fairly close to the Jeep on a greasewood bush while I watched Kreacher’s band.

And one more …

Happy spring. 🙂



8 responses

6 06 2010

great photos! we have lots of the Indian Paintbrush this year. I am noticing that the colors seem more vivid this year…..or maybe it is my imagination! I have gotten into bird photos this year. Boy are they hard to get! They hear the camera focusing and off they go!

6 06 2010

The last couple of years, I’ve taken to noting the types of flowers in my calendar as they bloom. If I was really ambitious, I’d look at last year’s calendar and what came up when … We had really vivid paintbrush last year, but this year, hardly any at all. The sego lilies seem more widespread than last year … though not in the area where I mostly found them last year. I think it would be a weird year when prince’s plume was NOT all over the place. That’s our *ubiquitous* plant (I just like to use that word). And I’ve heard that in other places (Moab?) the claret cups are profuse and gorgeous this year … in the basin, they’ve only barely pushed through most of the cacti. Ha – I think taking bird photos makes taking pictures of wild horses seem almost easy! Birds are tough! But fun!

6 06 2010
Janet Ferguson

Does this help? Just found it on a website!


“Mojave Aster”

6 06 2010

Hmm … No, I don’t think that’s it. The center is completely different. It looks more like this … but this isn’t quite it, either. This one has white petals, and the “fringing” is more pronounced, and the center isn’t quite the same, either. But maybe related?: https://www.desertusa.com/may97/du_deschicory.html

7 06 2010
Janet Ferguson

Yes, that isn’t exactly “it.” We have (in Midwest, where we live) something called “chicory” which your plant reminded me of at first. . .

I am going to ask a friend to “come by here” and check it out — back later (she is in a wildflower society in NM)

7 06 2010
Lynn Bauer

TJ –
Beautiful close-up photography!! Really, really good stuff!!

11 06 2010
Leslie Stewart

Hi TJ, the bird is a Say’s phobe, the yellow daisy is Ives’ four nerved daisy, Tetraneuris ivesiana, the white daisy with the yellow center is Navajo fleabane, Erigeron pumilus, the pink unknown is skeleton weed, Lygodesmia grandiflora, both larkspurs are the same species Delphinium scaposum and the ball cactus is actually bear claw cactus Sclerocactus whipplei. It is a beautiful spring indeed!

11 06 2010

Hey, Leslie! I guess I still need to get with you sometime and have you ID plants for me. 🙂 Thanks so much!

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