Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Wildflowers of Cascade Springs

Texans have their Bluebells. And, we Utahns have our Penstamons. The first time I encountered these stunning wildflowers along a hiking trail I fell madly in love. To see such bright beauties happily blooming in a pile of rocks was simply amazing.
 
For the first time in the 10 years I've lived in Utah, 
summer rains are so plentiful I've still not turned on a sprinkler.
 
Quite bee-zarre from the bone dry conditions we're used to. 
I'm not complaining! And, neither are the wildflowers. 
I simply could not bring myself to pull another weed yesterday. So, I tossed Bad Dog in the car and we took a short road trip to our favorite Zen-y place.
Cascade Springs, high in the Wasatch Mountains near Heber, Utah.

This bumpy gravel road is the scene of a wildflower celebration, with brilliant reds and blues speckling the countryside.
It's amazing to me that such breathtaking flowers happily bloom in such inhospitable conditions. Makes me think my garden perennials are wimpy gals, indeed.
Locals: Cascade Springs is along the Alpine Loop Scenic Backway ~ access through Heber City or Provo Canyon. Bring a good book and a picnic lunch. Because once you get there, you may never want to leave!

29 comments:

Titanium said...

I haven't even made it there yet and I don't want to leave! The flowers are simply gorgeous. Makes me want to start packing up right now...

Marsha said...

I don't even want to leave your blog! The wildflowers are just gorgeous - wonderful varieties that I have not ever seen before and the vista of the blooming valley with the snowcapped peaks in the background is simply stunning!

Kiki said...

Wow....what a mega-spellbinding post of beautiful sceneries..yay! one of my faves now..gorgeous!!!
Kiki~

Liz said...

Way pretty! I need to get out hiking before I miss all the penstemons.

Melospiza said...

Oh, sigh...how these photos make me want to pile in the car and get the heck out of the city. Soon, soon.

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

I went last Saturday! I saw no Penstemon there, but there were thousands of Glacier Lilies blooming along the Alpine Loop road.

No picnic lunch! Didn't you notice there's a sign that says no food or drinks at the springs since they don't want you contaminating the water.

I was amazed at the amount of watercress there, and also that it is an invasive from Europe.

Snowcatcher said...

Breathtaking!

My purple ones (like what you're calling pentstemmon) just bloomed this week, but I thought they were beard's tongues?

I also got irises this week, and some kind of bluebelly-looking gem. Oh, and flax, LOVE the shade of those! Wish they made yarn and fabric that color!

Amy said...

Kate, You live in a truly beautiful area. You had to wait quite a while for those beautiful wildflowers to wow you. Utah is our favorite state to meander through - actually, we're planning a road trip later this year to Southern Utah. It's been 4 long years since we've ventured that far - can't wait!

caite said...

they are all lovely photos, the flowers, the mountains, but that last one is my favorite. such a beautiful stop.

Rose said...

What a gorgeous place, Kate! Sophie and I would be in 7th heaven getting to walk through such a beautiful landscape. And the wildflowers--wow! It amazes me, too, that these can grow in the middle of all these rocks. And to think I've been digging up and moving rocks out of my garden:)

Kate said...

Hi, Titanium - As an Alaska girl I'll bet you have a 4WD? You need one to find the best wildflowers around here -- it's a fun adventure to go looking for them.

Kate said...

Hi, Marsha and Kiki!
Glad you enjoyed the flowers. Those blues are my fave... :D

Kate said...

Hi, Liz,
We were riding the horses last night and found them blooming every where in the Trail Ridge areas, too.

Kate said...

Hi, Melospiza;
I'll bet Colorado is just as colorful since you've had tons of moisture, too. Time for a road trip! :D

Kate said...

Hi, Susan;
We find the plentiful wildflowers along the 4WD road accessed through Midway. It's much quicker from PC to there so I'm not sure what is blooming on your side, on the paved road. Once you get into the small springs park it's a little different but I love strolling around those trails once we arrive.

Kate said...

Hi, Snowcatcher!
Beard tounge is a type of penstamon - I think you and I might be growing the same hybridized verion in our gardens! (Blueish-purple?) I hear you about the flax. That is the prettiest pale blue...

Kate said...

Amy;
If your travels make it a bit farther north in UT I'd love to meet you! I can give you a garden tour. Or, a weed tour as that seems to be what's flourishing in most spots this summer. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Caite;
The grass is often greener... :) I drool over your scenery, too.

Kate said...

Hi, Rose;
Sophie would have a blast racing around out there with Bad Dog. I rarely see another car on that back road we take to see the wildflowers -- so I can turn my guy loose to run his little legs off. :D

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Kate, Wow. I'm amazed at the beauty that surrounds you. Apparently the spring rains that have been drowning us are also sharing the joy with you. Beautiful! And how nice that we don't have to water. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Grace;
IMHO - our scenery can't hold a candle to Oregon. Though we do have our moments... :)

sweet bay said...

I lust after those gorgeous western blue penstemons but know there's no point in trying them here; they'd probably melt down like candles.

Cascade Springs and the wildflowers there are amazingly beautiful.

PS Those columbine seeds are ripe. Send me your address to sweetbay at embarqmail.com

Shady Gardener said...

Kate, These photos take my breath away!!! So inspiring! :-)

jan said...

What a beautiful spot! We have seen some unusually bountiful wildflower patches, this year, too! They are an amazing feat of nature!

Avus said...

Just popped by to thank you for visiting my blog, Kate. Glad I did - those images from Cascade Springs are quite beautiful.

Melanie said...

Stunning wildflowers Kate. I haven't made it into the backcountry, this year, either. Our wildflowers are different from yours but just as pretty.

Julie said...

I followed a link from another blog to find you...
Beautiful photos! I had to map you - we aren't too far from one another. It was comforting to see photos of the same kinds of flowers we have here. Penstemons thrill me too, and they're certainly in full bloom!
Thanks for sharing pics of your adventure, sounds like a lovely way to spend a day!

Jennifer said...

You are the first person that I know who gave extra attention to wild flowers... magnificent work and they are just so beautiful. In fact, I have downloaded some as my screen saver.

Kate said...

Hi, Julie!
I'll track back to your blog to see where you are. Hopefully close! :)

Thank you, Jennifer!
Were it not for wildflowers I doubt we'd have much to smile about in the desert SW. :)