On Monday morning I noticed that one of the yarrow flowers had been neatly cut, and was lying on the ground. Odd, I thought. Why would someone cut one of my flowers, and then why leave it behind after doing so?
You’re cruising through one of our national parks when you come across a traffic jam. Cars are pulled to the side, their occupants pointing at… something. More people are darting between vehicles, cameras in hand. What in the world has caught their attention? Bears? Elk?
No, it’s a single female mule deer.
When I first saw the dark clouds building over the mountains to the west, I was elated. My newly-planted perennials were thirsty, and now I could let Mother Nature do the watering. However, as the cloud mass grew and darkened, I quickly realized that rain wasn’t the only precipitation I could expect. The rounded pumps on the undersides of the thunderheads—the bottoms of convection cells—meant hail was on the way.
Sure enough, the storm that day did major damage in much of Colorado Springs. We were fortunate in that we missed the worst hail, but with hailstones up to an inch in diameter, we too took a beating. While my husband stared dejectedly at our pock-marked car, I ran to the window to see how my flowers fared.
Incredibly, I didn’t lose a single plant.
Tropical vines with huge, brilliantly colored flowers don’t normally grow in Colorado, but Trumpet Vine is an enjoyable exception. A vigorous grower, Trumpet Vine can reach 30 feet, with dark green compound leaves that drop in fall to reveal the vine’s light brown papery bark. From mid-summer to frost, three-inch long vase-shaped flowers of fiery orange-red grow in clusters of four or more. In fall, hundreds of papery seeds develop in five-inch long capsules.