Cactus blooms in the Rockies

HPIM1969

When I and my family were up at our Glacier View mountain property over Memorial Day weekend I brought my cameras up, as they pretty much go everywhere with me now, especially up there to our lot. With all the moisture and late snow storms we’ve had the last two to three months the foothills were the greenest I have seen them in years. When we got to our lot, above 9,000 ft. elevation even the wildflowers were already in bloom. One of the types of blooming plants we have up there is this kind of mountain cactus that thrives through all kinds of weather. This one bloom and others like it are at their best right now, with the colorful pretty shades of pink, lavender and yellow. Many years ago I dug up one of our large cactus plants with beautiful yellow blooms on it and transported it back home to Loveland in a bucket with its own soil, then transplanted it with the same soil and mixed in some fresh potting soil. Because these cactus plants have very sharp needles and are too prickly to handle with bare hands I put on leather work gloves to work them carefully down into the soil and large clay pot. The cactus thrived and lived for years, blooming every late spring with beautiful yellow blooms. I took pictures of it in full bloom, but have misplaced that photo and did not have it handy to scan and upload it to this post, so am using this photo to show one of the cactus types that grow in our Colorado Rockies. We have many other wildflower plants too that grow up there and are in full bloom by July. Last year when our mountains suffered so terribly with uncontrolled wildfires that burnt thousands of acres our lot came close to burning too in the High Park fire in June, 2012, but it was spared. That was definitely an answered prayer and when we were able to get back up there again three weeks after the fire was contained I spotted some of our faithful, hearty little wildflowers blooming among the dried, scorched pine needles like these Daisy type blooms. It is sometimes the little things we often overlook because they are/were always there, but in the midst of all the burned areas, a single flower or cactus plant thrives through all, and green shoots come back to remind me to never take any of it for granted.

scan0011

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson

%d bloggers like this: