Ever spring and summer, I look forward to the wildflower display in Colorado. Starting in spring, Pasque flowers and sand lilies dot the foothills. By high summer, blue columbine and Indian Paintbrush are covering the sides of the Rockies in a riot of color. And how to identify all these flowers? I use the Rocky Mountain Wildflowers Pocket Guide by David Dahms.
In 2003, I bought my first digital camera. A modest (but high tech at the time) 3.2 MP Olympus camera. All that spring, I became enamored with the wildflowers found in the foothills surrounding Boulder. As much as I loved the photos, had no idea what I was taking a photo of. Calling a flower the “little yellow flower” and another batch the “small white flowers” did not do the photos or flowers justice.
Pale Purple Flower!
Figuring some wildflower knowledge is a good thing, I went to the Boulder Book Store and perused the wildflower guide book selections. Some were too big and better suited for a coffee table. Others were aimed towards people with a botanist background. Some were not easy to use in field. Then I spotted Rocky Mountain Wildflowers Pocket Guide by David Dahms. Perfect!
The flowers are grouped by color so that the flowers are easy to identify in the field or post-trip when looking at photos. A small description of the flower is included along with leave size, size, season (e.g. June to August) and habitat (“Montane and Subalpine. Grows in moist meadows and open woods, primarily in the Western Slope“. ) All accompanied by a full color photo.
Little Red Flower…oh, wait, page 41 says this flower is a Red Columbine. Cool…
The book is small enough to fit in a cargo pocket if need be. The best part? At less than $10, the book is a bargain.
My copy is a very dog-eared one. It is always on my bookshelf and has been referred to many times and after many trips over the years.
Overall Summary: Highly recommended. Inexpensive, easy to use , comprehensive and detailed. Perfect to carry on day hikes or use after backpacking trips for reference.
Blue Columbine..state flower of Colorado. And a flower even I did not need a book to identify. 😉