Thursday, April 19, 2012

4/19/12 New Wildflowers, Mobile Website for Floaters

Shooting Stars Blooming Now in the
Buffalo National River Region
Hot weather early this year pushed the blooming date of all the wildflowers earlier in the year. As a result, the spring wildflower season is already post peak and tailing off for many species at least 3 weeks early.

Mountain azaleas, shooting stars, and lady slippers are now in bloom. If you want to get pictures, you will need to visit this weekend. the blooming window is narrow for these species, although there will be differences in blooming dates across the Buffalo National River region.

Bull elk have dropped their antlers.  The next big event is the elk calving season, beginning just about a month off. It peaks in early June. More on this later.

Floating has been pretty good this year so far. Early rains and warm weather made early floating possible for average folks. The river is down a bit now, but this weekend promises to recharge the river if the weather forecast holds. Weather forecasts are kind of lousy around here so it will be important to pay attention to the actual weather. The good news is the main rain events are set for Friday. It will be a cool weekend if the weather holds.

Floaters will want to check out the revised river gauge pages at and

Mountain Azaleas and Hummingbird Moth
The Buffalo River Chamber's mobile website has been completely revamped and is still being expanded. There are about 120 pages of information on the Buffalo National River. The mobile site serves real-time USGS river gauge information for the entire river, much the same as the regular chamber website. The mobile site is formatted at 320 pixels wide to accommodate smart phones, but the river gauges are also served in wide format. Serious floaters will want to bookmark these gauges on their phones and tablets for up-to-date information. Links to the river outfitters serving the length of the river are integrated into the gauge pages. Information on lodging, places to eat and other services are covered as well.

Remember that floating opportunities exist all along the river. "Shop" the river for good floating conditions. There are expert outfitters to assist you in each area of the river.

This weekend will be great hiking and camping weather and it continues at least through the middle of next week. Serious hikers love the extra stamina that cool weather provides.

Elk report tomorrow and an update on wildflower conditions.

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