It’s spring!

Although it officially became spring over a month ago the wildflowers have just recently begun displaying their beauty on the hillsides of the Gorge. The bright yellow of the Balsam Root and the deep purple of the Lupine have been capturing the eye of our camera lens lately. They have also captured the mind and sense of wonder of the students that we’ve had outside! We’ll be doing our best to soak in the colors and aromas this time of year has to offer while sharing our discoveries on our Facebook page and website.

April has marked the beginning of our field trips this year. Last week the nice weather provided an excellent opportunity for us to create an outdoor classroom for over 160 students! We were also obliged to have a group of extraordinary volunteers helping us create unique learning opportunities for these enthusiastic students. In the mix of all the excitement that a field trip brings to our staff and certainly the students were were able to identify several types of wildflowers. The list is long but a few that you may find familiar are Desert Parsley, Yarrow, Filaree, Saxifrage, Death Camas, Shooting Star, Miner’s Lettuce, and Wild Cucumber along with the aforementioned Balsam Root and Lupine. We also had a few unsubstantiated claims such as Kentucky Bluegrass.

Along with all of the flowers we were graced by Red-Tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, Meadowlarks, Chickadees, Scrub Jays, Kestrels, Turkey Vultures, Gopher Snakes, Rattlesnakes, Alligator Lizards, Blue-Bellied Lizards, Scorpions, Centipedes, Squirrels, and Deer. We again had a claim of a Killer Bird being spotted, however, that was never confirmed.

As you can see we’ve been enjoying our spring thus far and look forward to several more field trips before summer begins. There are many more wildflowers to be found and hundreds of students to take into the outdoor classrooms of the Gorge.

If you find yourself in front of your favorite flower or if you have a wonder about a specific species that you happen upon we’d like to invite you to take a picture and share it on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear your stories of discovery and identify your photos of organisms.

Leave A Comment