Wildflower Adventures



Stories in the eMagazine mention the wildflowers I have come across during my adventures.  But if you really enjoy wildflowers,  you can create your own adventure around them.  In much of the northern hemisphere,  now is the time to be getting out and searching for them.

Western Columbine Crater Lake National Park

Western Columbine
Crater Lake National Park

Some people like to collect samples and press and dry them for preservation.  I like to combine wildflower adventures with my interest in photography and bring back only photos.  Whatever your preference,  you can have a great time outdoors searching for and enjoying the beauty of wildflowers.

Finding Wildflowers

For the most part, you will want to look for wildflowers on public lands or along roads, so you aren’t trespassing on private property.  If you can visit a National Forest check out the Forest Service’s “Wildflower Viewing Areas” page.   At that website you can specify your state, National forest or Forest Service administrative region and get a list of links to information about recommended viewing sites.  You will learn when to look, what to look for and find photos to help you identify your discoveries.

White FlowerThe Bureau of Land Management doesn’t have an organized repository of wildflower information, but if you go to blm.gov and search for wildflowers you will find links to many locales and a lot of information about wildflowers to be found.  Habitats tend to be different between BLM and Forest Service sites so you will likely find different flowers depending upon which lands you explore.

Like the BLM, the Park Service lacks a central repository for wildflower information.  A search of the Service’s website reveals a long list of links to wildflower information at individual National Parks.

Downingia bella

Downingia bella
Kilgore Reservoir, Oregon

If you are looking for a specific flower,  you can use the database at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to get information about it.  The same database will take information about your location, time of year and other characteristics and provide you with a list, with photos, of the plants you might find there.

There are also a lot of field guides for wildflowers and some of them are specific to certain areas like Wildflowers of Georgia, Wildflowers of Colorado, Wildflowers of New England, Southern California Mountains Wildflowers and many more.

Get Out and Explore

Dead Indian Memorial RoadOnce you have done the research,  you will have a pretty good idea of where to look for wildflowers.  Then it’s just a matter of getting out to those places and searching.  Success can be quite variable because site specific conditions can vary with the weather, even day to day.  Still, with your eyes wide open you are likely to find wildflowers of some sort.  Some are tiny, but just as interesting as their larger, showy cousins, so look closely.  All in all,  wildflower hunting is a great way to get outside and explore.



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