This weekend, people in Southwest Colorado are encouraged to take a drive or go on a hike in the high country to view wildflowers, which are in full bloom. Wildflower watchers can do this themselves or participate in a walk and stewardship project Saturday with Mountain Studies Institute on Coal Bank Pass.
Wildflowers begin to peak in the area’s high-country meadows and valleys during mid-July and remain vibrant through August. With that in mind, this weekend is a great opportunity to get out of the house and take in some beautiful views of the summer wildflowers native to Southwest Colorado.
The San Juan Skyway – “the most beautiful drive in America” – is particularly spectacular this time of year. North from Durango on U.S. Highway 550 to highways 62 and 145, the scenic route loops 236 miles around the San Juan, Uncompahgre, Wilson and Sneffels mountain ranges, taking travelers through the towns of Silverton, Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, Rico, Dolores, Cortez and Mancos.
Mountain Studies Institute will hold a wildflower walk and a removal stewardship project for the invasive oxeye daisy from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to help restore the alpine ecosystem on Coal Bank Pass.
The wildflower walk will be led by Candace Carson from MSI. Experts will distinguish native species from nonnative species, and participants will learn about how invasive species, such as the oxeye daisy, alter alpine landscapes and threaten biodiversity.
Oxeye daisies are invasive in the area and reproduce quickly to form dense populations that limit foraging availability for sheep, cattle and elk.
The event is open to all.
To register, visit https://bit.ly/2Lag8PZ. For more information and the meeting location, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wildflowers that bloom in the area include Parry’s gentian (Pneumonanthe parryi), white marsh marigold (Psychrophila leptosepala), Colorado false hellebore (Veratrum tenuipetalum), bluebell bellflower (Campanula rotundifolia) and elephanthead lousewort (Pedicularis groenlandica).
Open Enrollment and Community Resource Fair, 8 a.m., Tri-County Head Start, 1315 Main Ave.
Fourth annual Animas Splash ’n’ Dash, 9 a.m., $0-$50, La Plata County Fairgrounds, 2500 Main Ave., 749-5582.
Hammers and High Heels, 7 p.m., $25, Ska Brewing Co., 225 Girard St., 247-5792.
Bee Heroic “Pollen Nation Tour” geoengineering education event, 6 p.m., The Living Tree, 680 Main Ave.