Thursday, March 15, 2012

3/15/12 Wildflowers Exploding, Good Elk Viewing

Morning Rue Anemone, Lost Valley
To Get Dewdrops, Get Up
Wildflower viewing is really picking up steam. Early warm weather and rain has many species blooming early. Many of what I would call mid-season species are now in bloom. Some of the marquee species like Dutchman's Breeches and Jacob's Ladder are kicking off or will be by the weekend. This weekend should be a perfect time to visit to get photos. Two of the very early species, White Trout Lilies and Harbinger of Spring are about done. If you dig around you might see some here or there, but  after last week, they are done for 2012. Lost Valley and Smith Creek are both very good now. Red bud trees and wild cherry trees are also in bloom now.

Elk viewing is quite good as well. We are now in what I call the "bookends" pattern with 2 mostly cow herds at opposite ends of the valley. There is also a small bull herd at the intersection of 43 and 21.
With the heat and sunlight we have now, expect elk viewing to be pretty close to a summer pattern. This means that by 8 or 9AM viewing will be done until about 4 or 5PM.

If you are a waterfall fan, there is plenty of flow right now.

A good itinerary now would be to come watch the elk, then move to lost valley to see the outstanding wildflower bloom. After that there would be time for a float if you got an early start. The float from Ponca to Kyles Landing has to be as scenic as any. We are definitely in floating season and this year looks like it could be exceptional.

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