Monday, May 6, 2013

Sagebrush Buttercup Report #2

Really?! (click photo to view).
A month ago (April 4) we came across the first sagebrush buttercups of the season, growing on a rocky slope in the Laramie Mountains at about 8000 feet elevation.  These are one of our showiest wild buttercups -- especially in the drab early-spring landscapes where they grow.
Glossy petals of a sagebrush buttercup were shining in spring sunshine a month ago.
Then it snowed.  I predicted the buttercups would hang out, protected from sub-freezing temperatures by snow cover, and that they would be blooming brightly the next visit.
Is the sagebrush buttercup still hanging out under the snow? (slope near center of photo).
Since then several spring blizzards have passed through, leaving nice blankets of wet snow ... “nice” because we really need the moisture.  The most recent one didn’t bring much, so I headed up to Vedauwoo to see if there were any patches of open ground with sagebrush buttercups blooming.
Surprise!  That blizzard dumped a lot of snow on the crest and east side of the range.  We couldn’t even drive to the trailhead.  Looks like it will be at least several weeks before the next sagebrush buttercup report.

In the meantime ... even with all the snow, it still was fun to shoot photos.
The "potato chip" dipped in snow.
Buck-and-rail fence,
up close.
Wet spring snow.

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