The weeks of summer are certainly slipping by, and the park’s current display of wildflowers only confirm that the summer is indeed aging. Gone are the blossoms of spring beauties, low penstemon, and mountain bladdepod. They have been replaced by hairy golden aster, Kansas gayflower, nodding onion, and stiff goldenrod.
It has been a relatively dry summer so far. June and July both saw less than 2″ of rain, and August is off to a slow start. To be more specific, June’s 1.90″ was followed by 1.82″ in July, and August, as of this morning of the 8th, I’ve measure only 0.27″. The flow of tropical moisture from points south, known as the monsoon, has been pretty stingy in delivering those summer rains.
The moisture has apparently been enough for several wildflowers to find their way to blossom, as there is a fair amount of wildflower color out there.
Now in week two of August, the land continues its march towards fall. Hopefully the clouds will deliver a bit more rain (but in doses that the land can handle, please – we had enough flooding a few summers ago to last us awhile) before the turning leaves start adding their earthy colors to the landscape.
I frequently talk about “Nature deficit disorder” in my work as a Nature educator. I recently saw the phrase “noticing deficit disorder” the other day and it immediately registered as another downside to the techy plugged-in world we live in. Here is a wonderful article (click on the image below) on an antidote to these modern-day challenges – a way to reconnect with the other world we all live in – Nature. ~ Ranger Dave
Earth Studies, now in its 11th year, is a comprehensive, outdoor-based Nature education program that takes place among the ponderosa pines of the 611-acre Pueblo Mountain Park. MPEC’s Nature Educators are busy training and getting organized for our first class to arrive on Sept 4th! If you live in Pueblo and have a 5th grader in Pueblo City Schools, then your student will be coming up to spend 6 full days over the course of the upcoming school year. They will learn to identify birds, explore what bioregions are near where they live, hike the Pueblo Mountain Trails and experience MPEC’s wonderful outdoor classroom. Parents are welcome to join their child’s class for the day so we hope to see you!
This photo is from an Earth Studies Day during winter 2011 where eager students gathered during snow falling. ES Students love seeing MPEC’s outdoor classrooms in many different weather forms and cold and snow don’t deter them from being willing to learn!