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Oasis of wildflowers

Dan England
Special to the Daily/Leah BluntschliThe prickly pear cactus is in full bloom, one of the best in a decade, due to the recent wet weather over the plains. This cactus was found last week near the Pawnee National Grassland, where the cacti bloom can be seen for miles.
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GREELEY – This year’s soaking-wet spring is transforming Weld County’s plains into an oasis of wildflowers – at least for a little while.”Where there’s a lot of cactus,” said Carol Lynch, who lives on a ranch northeast of Ault, “there’s a lot of yellow.”Lynch and many others are calling this the best wildflower season in years, and the cactus are looking pretty in pink (and yellow).”I’ve been here for six years,” said Steve Currey, district ranger for Pawnee National Grassland, “and this is the best I’ve seen it.”

The prickly pear cactus are peaking, showing off their blooming yellow and pink flowers for the next week or so, until the hot, dry weather finally drains them (and us).In fact, they are so abundant right now, visitors to the Grassland, or many places in northern Weld, for that matter, should spot them.”There are so many out there,” Currey said, “they’re going to see them without any problem right now.”Wildflowers are blooming in many other places. Mary Fagerberg with the Greeley Morning Garden Club visited the Mount McConnell trail and saw all kinds of flowers and also enjoyed watching bunches of purple flowers from her car.”We’re definitely seeing more than usual,” Fagerberg said of the wildflowers.

The Colorado State Parks is promoting a “Tour de Fleur,” and though the wildflowers will peak at various times throughout each park, right now is a good time to go.”The flowers are just amazing,” said Terri Bankemper, spokeswoman for the state parks. “Things are really coming out in full force.”In fact, they are so abundant right now that visitors to the Grassland, or many places in northern Weld, for that matter, should spot them.”There are so many out there,” Currey said, “they’re going to see them without any problem right now.”Wildflowers are blooming in many other places. Mary Fagerberg of the Greeley Morning Garden Club visited the Mount McConnell trail and saw all kinds of flowers.



“We’re definitely seeing more than usual,” Fagerberg said of the wildflowers.The Colorado State Parks is promoting a “Tour de Fleur,” and, although the flowers will peak at various times throughout each park, right now is a good time to go.”The flowers are just amazing,” said Terri Bankemper, spokeswoman for the state parks. “Things are really coming out in full force.”


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