|Northern Anemone or Windflower Anemone canadensis|
As a Forest Service Volunteer, I led two wildflower walks June 4 and June 11 in Cienega Canyon. We found Windflowers, or Northern Anemone, along both sides of the road by the picnic table with two parking spaces before you get to the last parking area of Cienega Picnic Grounds. There is water seepage and shade here to support their abundant growth.
We parked in the last parking area just up from the Windflowers at the trailhead which is at about 7400 feet elevation. Volunteers from Friends of the Sandia Mountains (Friends of the Forest) have worked hard to remove dead and fallen trees in the canyon where the trailhead begins just a short walk from the Sandia Wilderness area. The hike along the creek just above the last parking lot has been greatly disturbed and the tree canopy had been largely removed to reveal many new wildflowers growing in the sunny exposed areas. After passing the beginning of the trail with it's Box Elder, Aspen, One-Seed and Alligator Juniper, Gambel and Wavyleaf Oak and New Mexico Locust trees, I found Ninebark, Wood's Rose, Hoptree, Chokecherry or Capulin, and Red Elderberry blooming. Smooth Sumac and New Mexico Locust weren't blooming yet but are evident here close to the trailhead.
|Chokecherry or Capulin Prunus virgiana|
|Red Elderberry Sambuscus microbotrys|
|Ninebark Physocarpus monogynus|
|Wood's Rose Rosa woodii|
The trail is initially a concrete path until you arrive at the first bridge over the creek bed. The following flowers were found here.
|Hoptree Ptelea trifoliata|
|Mountain Figwort Scrophylaria montana |
|Leaf of Mountain Figwort|
|Sweet Cicely Osmorhiza obtusa|
|Leaf of New Mexican Scorpianweed|
|New Mexican Scorpianweed Phacelia neomexicana|
|Golden Smoke Corydalis aureus|
|Purple Geranium Geranium caespitosum|
|Double nut seed pod of Goosegrass or Cleaver|
Hooked hairs on stems and leaves
|Leaf of Goosegrass or Cleavers Galium mexicanum|
|Northern Bog Violet in wet area on trail|
|Northern Bog Violet Viola americana|
|Shephard's Purse Capsella bursa-pastoris|
Distinctive heart-shaped seed pod
As you walk a little further on the trail, you will encounter more trees allowing for shade that encourages the growth of wildflowers that are more sensitive to sunny and dry conditions.
|Tuber Starwort Stellaria jamesiana|
|Star Solomon's Seal Maianthemum stellatum|
|Canada Violet Viola canadensis|
|Richardson's Geranium Geranium richardsonii|
|Oregon Grape Holly or Creeping Mahonia Mahonia repens|
|Dragonhead is a member of the Mint Family|
|Dragonhead Dracocephalum parviflorum|
|Drab Buttercup or Crowfoot Ranunculus inamoensis|
Doing well, despite the drought, were Jacob's Ladder (both blue and white varieties) and Meadow Rue as were many species of Fleabane.
|Jacob's Ladder Polemonium foliosissimum|
|Meadow Rue Thalictrum fendler|
|Spreading Fleabane Erigeron divergens|
Update June 30, 2011: The Forest Service has closed Sandia Crest Road, so all of the Sandia Mountains are closed except for the Sandia Tramway. This is necessary due to the very high fire danger.