Monday, August 26, 2013

Never Too Late To Get Healthy and Physically Fit

My oldest daughter, Amanda, ran her first Triathlon on Saturday. She did a 5K Run, followed by a 10 mile Bike Ride, and finished with a 400 yard Swim. She finished 4th for the 30-34 year old age group.

My daughter, Mary, and I ,
congratulating Amanda at the end of the triathlon

I'm in awe of her dedication to get back in shape.  She was an athlete as a youngster.  She had a swimming scholarship her first year of college.  After some rough years in her 20's, she is back to living a healthy life-style.  It hasn't been easy.  She had many ups and downs. Life is like that.

Her first competitive run was when she was 12

She made a conscious choice to become healthy, both mentally and physically.  She asked for help and she got a lot of support from others. Life is like that.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wildflowers Growing By My House in Sandia Park

For those who know me, you know I like wildflowers.  I am a Wildflower Interpreter for the Cibola National Forest Sandia Ranger District.  I don't have to go far to see wildflowers because I live in the mountains east of Albuquerque.  I live in the Sandia Knolls in Sandia Park, New Mexico. My elevation is 6900 feet (2103 meters). We've had some wildflower species growing on my lot that I've not yet seen growing here before.  That doesn't mean they don't normally grow here. It's just that with a winter, spring and early summer drought and then a bountiful monsoon rainy season beginning in July, conditions were right for many different plant species growing here.  Here are some of the flowers growing here this month:

Tassel Flower - Brickellia grandiflora

Rocky Mountain Sage -  Salvia reflexa.  A delicate light blue flowering plant and a fragrant member of the Mint Family
blooming in late summer after a rain

Pepperweed  Lipidium alyssoides

Perky Sue Tetraneuris argentea

Copper Globemallow Sphaeralcea angustifolia

Cowpen Daisy - Verbesina encelioides

Paper Daisy Psilotrphe targetina var. targetina

Snakeweed  Gutierrezia sarothrae

Gumweed Grindelia squarrosa

Five-eyes, False Nightshade Chamaesaracha coronopus

Many-flowered Gilia Ipomopsis multiflora

Sanvitalia Sanvitalia abertii

Sanvitalia Sanvitalia abertii

Poison Milkweed Asclepias subverticillata
 (yellow is aphid colony)

New England Aster and Perky Sue

New England Aster Aster novae-angliae

New England Aster

White Ragweed Hymenopappus filiforius

Ivy-leafed Ground Cherry Physalis hederifolia var. cardifolia

Ivy-leafed Ground Cherry Physalis hederifolia var. cardifolia

Moradilla Verbena Glandularia bipinnatifida

Moradilla Verbena

Moradilla Verbena

Moradilla Verbena


Pigweed/Green Amaranth - Amaranthus hybridus

Hairy Golden Aster Heterotheca villosa


Bindweed Conolvulusarvensis

I also have other wildflowers including Fetid Marigold and lots of varieties of Goosefoot and Ragweed.   I also have my cultivated flower garden of lavender, sages, germanders, butterfly bushes, harebells, red-twig dogwood/Osier,  red yucca, datil yucca, day lilies, red and yellow Columbine Hartwegg's Sundrops, Mexican Hat, Indian Blanket, lilac, Rock Moss, roses, Japanese Honeysuckle, Wild Honeysuckle, Mock Orange Bush, Holly,  Alegre/Yellow Barberry, and more....


Red Sage

Butterfly Bush

Greek Germander and Purple Sage

Greek Germander, Harebells,and Perky Sue

Butterfly Bush

Cat Mint

Indian Blanket and Yarrow

Day Lily


Mexican Hat

Day Lilly

Japanese Honeysuckle
Evening brings the promise of more rain....and more wildflowers by my house.

August Wildflowers in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico

Baneberry along the North Crest Trail

Our drought-stricken State of New Mexico had a bountiful rainfall in July due to the monsoon rains and the wildflowers currently blooming show it. New Mexico has now received 71% of its normal precipitation from January-July 2013, although we are still in "extreme to exceptional drought" in 2/3 of the state, including Sandia Park where I live. Locally, we were overjoyed by the more than 3 inches of rain in July.

It's not a banner year for the wildflowers, but there are species showing up that I've not seen growing in these locales before.  I led a Cibola National Forest Wildflower Walk last Saturday morning.  Eleven people showed up and we walked the North Crest Trail. Here are some of the flowers we encountered:


  1. Aster, New EnglandAster novae-angliaeAster Family
  2. Baneberry –  Actaea rubra – Buttercup Family 

  3. Buttercup, Fanleaf/Crowfoot – Ranunculus inamoenus – Buttercup Family  

  4. Cicely, Sweet - Osmorhiza obtusaParsley Family  

  5. Cinquefoil, PrettyPotentilla pulcherrimaRose Family 

  6. Cinquefoil, WoolyPotentilla hippianaRose Family 

  7. Clover, Yellow Sweet – Melilotus officinalis – Pea Family 
  8. Columbine, Red Aquilega triternataButtercup Family 

  9. CoralbellsHeuchera pulchella Saxifrage Family 

  10. Current, Wolf – Ribes wolfi – Gooseberry Family 

  11. Draba, Twisted PodDraba helleriana Mustard Family 

  12. Dragonhead – Dracocephalum parviflorum – Mint Family 

  13. Elderberry, Red/Flor SaucoSambucus racemoseHoneysuckle Family 

  14. Fireweed – Epilobium angustifolium – Evening Primrose Family 

  15. Fleabane, Beautiful Daisy - Erigeron formosissimus – Aster Family 

  16. Fleabane, Spreading – Erigeron divergens- Aster Family  

  17. Fleabane, Trailing - Erigeron flagellaris- Aster Family 

  18. Gentian, Green/Deer’s EarsFrasera speciosa Gentian Family 

  19. Geranium, Richardson’sGeranium richardsoniiGeranium Family 

  20. Goldenrod, Parry’s -  Oreochrysum parryi – Aster Family 

  21. Groundsel, Nodding – Senecio bigelovii Aster Family 

  22. Groundsel, Notchleaf – Senecio fendleri – Aster Family
  23. Groundsel, Threadleaf – Senecio flaccidus var. flaccidus – Aster Family 

  24. Harebells Campanula rotundifolia Bellflower Family 

  25. Jacob’s LadderPolemonium  foliosissimumPhlox Family 
  26. Jasmine, Northern Rock Androsace septentrionalisPrimrose Family 

  27. Larkspur, Sapello CanyonDelphinium sapellonis Buttercup Family 

  28. Ninebark – Physocarpus monogynus Rose Family 

  29. Onion, Geyer’s – Allium geyeri – Lily Family 

  30. Oshá Ligusticum porteriParsley Family 

  31. Paintbrush, ScarletCastilleja miniata Figwort Family 

  32. Parsley, Mountain Pseudocymopterus montanaParsley Family 

  33. Penstemon, Whipple’s Penstemon whippleanus Figwort Family 

  34. Rue, Meadow – Thalictrum fendleriButtercup Family
  35. SnowberrySymphoricarpos oreophilusHoneysuckle Family
  36. Solomon Seal, StarMaianthemum stellatumLily Family
  37. Starwort, Tuber Stellaria jamesianaPink Family
  38. Umbrellawort, Velvet – Mirabilis oblongifolia – Four o’clock Family 

  39. Violet, CanadaViola canadensisViolet Family 
  40. Western WallflowerErysimum capitatumMustard Family 

  41. Woodsorrel, Violet – Oxalis violacea –Woodsorrel Family 

  42. YarrowAchillea lanulosa Aster Family

  43. Fendler's Sandwort - Arenaria fendleri – Pink Family 

  44. Showy Goldeneye - Heliomeris multiflora - Aster Family  

    There are many trails to hike in the Sandias. Here are some views to the west from the South Crest  Trail
    The switchbacks of the La Luz Trail ascending the mountain from Albuquerque

    Looking north from the South CrestTrail toward the Crest House

    Looking at Albuquerque at the base of the Sandia Mountains

    If you like wildflowers, I have a lot of wildflowers growing around my house which you can see here.