|Winter was not over yet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Santa Fe.|
|The famous Rocky Mountain aspens|
were still bare and snowbound.
At first it looked rather barren. There had not been a lot of rain recently, and I wondered whether there was in fact a spring (botanically speaking) in the semi-arid parts of the state. A little research on the internet shows that there is much more rain in the summer and fall than in the winter and spring.
|At the Rio Grande Botanical Garden,|
native redbud (Cercis) trees are
paired with cultivated pansies.
|Tulip species from the Mediterranean|
region were a highlight at the botanical
At Bandelier National Monument along the Rio Grande, the cottonwoods, relatives of the aspens, were just coming into bloom. Hummingbirds buzzing and fighting with one another around the feeders at the visitor's center were a great treat. Perhaps they also fed on the currant flowers that were also coming into bloom. Along the river were also thickets of Tamarisk, a shrub with scale-like leaves and tiny flowers.
|Hummingbirds put on a constant show around the feeders|
at Bandelier National Monument.
|Low to mid-elevations around Santa Fe were dominated by pinyon pines,|
and appeared to be quite dry in April of 1998.
|Currants, or Gooseberries (genus Ribes) are shrubs growing along rivers.|
|The flowers of the cottonwood tree, Populus fremontii, were|
emerging in April
|Penstemon pseudospectabils in the river floodplain.|
|The male flowers of the box elder|
(Acer negundo) dangle on long stems.
The wind will disperse their pollen with
a small chance that some will land on
a female flower.
|Astragalus missouriensis provides bright color along|
|Descurainia richardsonii is in the mustard|
|Feather dalea, Dalea formosa, in the legume family, is common along|
|Astragalus mollissimus, also a legume.|
|The prairie evening primrose, Oenothera albicaulis|
|Melampodium leucanthum, or plains blackfoot, is in the sunflower |
|A horsetail, genus Equisetum, is a distant|
relative of ferns
|Spectacle pod, Dimorphocarpa wislizeni, is a member|
of the mustard family, Brassicaceae
|Waterleaf, Nama hispidum|