I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.


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Friday, June 4, 2010

Transitions into Spring on the Colorado Plateau

I don’t consider going to town a “fun” day, especially when it involves having very expensive brakes put on the front of my truck. But it’s good for stopping.

01 Kaibab Plateau Hwy 67 S Kaibab NF AZ (1024x595)

And on the drive back climbing out of the hot valley through the Pinyon/Juniper woodlands to the plateau I had cause to stop and smell the roses so to speak.

02 Cliff Rose Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (707x1024)

The Cliffroses are in full bloom and smell as sweet as any rose.

03 Cliff Rose Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (751x1024)

This shrub or small tree is part of the rose family displaying spring and summer flowers .75-1 inch (2-2.5 cm). The later fruit produces a cluster of showy, whitish, feathery tails.

04 Cliff Rose & bug Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (1024x758)

Cliffrose provides an important browse plant for deer especially in winter.

05 Bark of Clifrose Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (1024x988)

In the past, Native Americans used the shreddy bark to make rope, sandals and clothing.

06 Cliff Rose, Juniper & pinyon Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (918x1024)

Not the only bloom found in this dry, limestone rock under the pinyons and junipers.

07 Pink Sego Lilys Hwy 67 S Kaibab NF AZ (1024x768)

I discovered a true delight in the various shades of pinks the Sego Lilies exhibited.

08 White Sego Lily Hwy 67 S Kaibab NF AZ (1024x964)

I usually see only white Segos at a higher altitude in the park and later in June.

09 Pink Sego Lilys Hwy 67 S Kaibab NF AZ (768x1024)

This 3-petaled beauty can occasionally be seen in magenta or tinged with lilac.

10 Pink Sego Lilys Hwy 67 S Kaibab NF AZ (1024x768)

The Sego Lily is neighboring Utah’s state flower.

11 Yucca in bloom Hwy 67 S Kaibab NF AZ (768x1024)

The long creamy Banana Yucca blooms are starting to turn into a pod-like fruit that looks much like squash and is edible as are the very moist flowers.

12 Desert Globemallow along Hwy 67 S Kaibab NF AZ (755x1024)

After a wet winter, the Desert Globemallow has formed a spectacular exuberance as it lines the highway.

13 Desert Globemallow Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (1024x768)

The many stems offer clusters of bright orange-red .5-1.5 inch (1.3-3.8 cm) flowers well into June.

14 Pinyon&Juniper woodlands Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (1024x768)

The Juniper/Pinyon woodlands grow from 5000-7000 feet (1524-2134 m) in a transition zone between desert and forest.

15 Pinyon Pine with cones Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (1024x765)

The “two-leaf” or “Colorado” Pinyon grows to 15-35 feet (4.6-10.7 m) tall on open, orchard-like slopes of the plateau.

16 Pinyon Pine cone against sky Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (768x1024)

The delicious edible seeds, known as pine nuts or Indian nuts, can be eaten raw or roasted and once provided a staple food for southwestern Indians. I love to gather them in the fall if I can beat the pinyon jays, wild turkeys, packrats and deer to the harvest.

17 Utah Juniper Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (1024x933)

The Utah Juniper, also called a cedar, has scale-like leaves and produces bluish green berries which are edible but I find them a little bitter.

18 Shoe on rock along Hwy 67 Kaibab NF AZ (1024x768)

I also found a “shoealongroadside” looking a rather dull gray beside a Desert Sage. I believe it to be an invasive species, not the sage which smells rather nice in comparison. Sure wish travelers wouldn’t leave these things behind. And there’s probably one hopping child somewhere.


Unknown said...

A lovely botanical post Gaelyn, especially the shoe! All jokes aside though, the roadside flowers are especially good over here this year too.

Have a great weekend.

Diane said...

WOW, what beautiful pictures, I want to come and smell the cliff rose:) The shreddy bark is interesting. The invasive shoe is very out of place!! Other then the latter you live in such a beautiful place. Hope the brakes work!! Diane

nonizamboni said...

Be still my heart!! I haven't seen Sego lilies since I lived in Idaho. Your photos of the desert in bloom for sharing your [expensive] trip to town.
Happy weekend!

Aron said...

Colorado truly seems like a special place. I haven't spent nearly enough time there.

Janie said...

The cliffrose are beautiful. I always enjoy seeing them when we go south this time of year.
You really found some interesting shades of pink sego lily.
Lovely post, Gaelyn.

Carolyn said...

Gaelyn, what a wonderful tour of your beautiful flora. The little orange flowers remind me of the ones I saw in the Conservatory in Toronto this winter in the "cactus room". Simply beautiful. By the way your header photo is absolutely stunning...I wish I was standing where you were when that photo was taken. Have a wonderful weekend.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

These are wonderful Gaelyn and not like anything we have here. I am always amazed to find such beauty in the desert.

Anonymous said...

Amazing set of flower photos. All are pretty.

Small City Scenes said...

It is so interesting to see the special flora of any place. these shots are wonderful. Where my daughter lives in the Scablands in ritzville Wa. one of the first flower to bloom is the Mariposa Lily so similar to the sego I wonder if they are the same. or nearly.

Every place has it own beauty and is so special.

Thanks for the tour. MB

A human kind of human said...

Does the “shoealongroadside” also bear fruit? (lol). Those "roses" and lilies are stunning.

blog with no name said...

The pinons are great roasted, don't eat them raw though, they'll give you a sore throat...
all the photos are almost as beautiful as you!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Gaelyn: Beautiful captures of all the blooms.

Elaine said...

Ah, at last you are seeing some spring blooms! Beautiful photos! I love the Cliffrose and the Sego Lilies. Interestingly enough, there is only one roadside wildflower we share--the Shoealongroadside. I have always marveled at the strange places you see shoes along the roadside, and why it is so very common.

Rambling Woods said...

I am amazed at what can grow in a dry the shreddy bark...

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

I am amazed at the variety of flowers and plants you have in the desert. Amazing.

Barb said...

Oh, yippee, Gaelyn! I'm so glad you went to town. What great flower photos - only wish I could catch a whiff of them.

Zane said...

I did comment on the beautiful pastel scene that you captured and posted on the previous post - my comment is not visible.

Love the bright detailed flowers - must be spring in the USA :)

Jeannette StG said...

The flowers are gorgeous! And how smart of the Native Americans to use the shreddy bark for clothes, sandals and rope:)

Kathie Brown said...

Love this post and the picture of the pink sego lily! Marvelous!

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