Then in late November, our early winter season kicked off to a good start with snow in the mountains and rain again at areas below 7000 feet. The rest of the winter was a bit dry, but a front which arrived the first weekend of March dropped over a half-inch of rain as nice, gentle, soaking moisture. A little bit more (though less than 0.4 inches) also fell later in March and April.
Although winter temperatures and precipitation certainly matter, the moisture in September and March squarely impacted all our native plants during their growing season. As a result, many plants are blooming or are set to bloom more profusely than in many years! In several locations, plants are being noticed for the first time–like Cliffrose (Purshia mexicana) in the Cerrillos area. Hiking around Santa Fe has become a sort of treasure hunt for new wildflowers.
Wafer parsnip (Cymopterus bulbosus), Golden Smoke (Corydalis aurea), Easter daisy (Townsendia exscapa) and Scorpionweed (Phacelia neomexicana) have all come and gone in profusion this spring. The verbenas are making lush purple carpets instead of individual clumps. And the cactus, especially various Prickly Pear, are loaded with flower buds. I can hardly wait to see what else will burst forth!