If you are out in the mountains this summer, exploring and hiking some of the beautiful trails that the San Juans have to offer, chances are you will be dazzled by the multitude of wildflowers decorating the landscape. The San Juan mountains are home to many different wildflowers; here are a few common ones that you are likely to see.
|Wild Iris||Field Chickweed||Kitten Tails|
|Blue Columbine||Rosy Paintbrush||Lupine Bluebell|
|Bluebells||Shooting Star||Columbine Phlox|
When is the best time to go looking for these mountain beauties? Usually, mid to late July through early August is best. The last week of July is usually peak.
Some popular wildflower locations include Yankee Boy Basin, Governor Basin, American Basin, and Stony Gulch. For more information on these 5 areas, go to http:// mycolorado.org/wildflowers.html.
If you are handy with your camera, (and even if you are not!) you can get beautiful photos of the wildflowers. Here are some tips for photographing wildflowers:
1. Use a tripod- you will get sharper, clearer images.
2. Photograph on an overcast or cloudy day.
3. Aim your camera’s sensor so it is directly in line with the part of the flower you are wanting to photograph.
4. Set your shutter speed (if you are not using your auto mode) to 1/200 or faster
5. Look at your background before snapping your shot- avoid distracting backgrounds.
6. Find healthy flowers at their peak.
7. Use your telephoto lens setting
A great way to involve your kids is to hand them the camera and let them experiment with their photography skills. You may be surprised with what they come up with!
Remember, when you are out enjoying the mountains, be careful to leave no trace. Pack out all your trash and tread lightly. Please stay on the trails but if you are photographing wildflowers, be careful not to step on them. Also, please do not pick the wildflowers; leave them looking wild and beautiful so everyone can enjoy them!
To help you identify the wildflowers that you photograph, go to http:// www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/index.htm.
SJPmama is the schemer, founder, and the editor at San Juan Parent. She created San Juan Parent because she wanted to find fun activities for families in the San Juan Mountain Region that would tire her kids out and make them go to bed at a decent hour. She has been banging away on computers for longer than she can remember and freelances at various tech jobs. She considers herself extremely lucky to have such awesome friends and family who are willing to let SJP feature their stories on the interwebs.