Accessible Early Summer Wildflowers
Trails that wind through the ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests have finally dried out and are now lined with a bumper crop of early summer wildflowers. Purple is the dominant color right now (wild iris, lupine, and larkspur), which is complemented by the large, yellow mule ears.
The lupine and mule ears are intermixed with the oakbrush or in sunny spots between the ponderosa. Fields of wild iris are blooming in most wetlands, which are often found upstream of stock ponds. The Coyote Hill Loop has several large iris fields, but they are also plentiful at Round Park. Lupine and mule ears are also easily spotted along the Coyote Hill Loop.
I found the highest concentration of larkspur on the edge of the open park near the junction of Turkey Springs Trail with Park Avenue Trail. They are shorter than those that grow at higher elevations later in the summer. Larkspur is highly toxic to livestock.
After such a wet spring it doesn't take long to encounter all four of these early bloomers as well as a few others. So get out and admire these beauties while they last!