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What’s in Bloom

Malus ‘Dolgo’ Crabapple
Malus ‘Spring Snow’ Crabapple
Malus ‘Thundercloud’ Crabapple
The first tulips to bloom in the Spring Bulb Garden.
Trillium ovatum is flowering in the Botanic Park. This plant is the inspiration for the Park’s logo. It is an endemic plant in the Park Range of Colorado.
The Botanic Park’s flower gardens are fast asleep but the Evergreens are showing off their spectacular colors under a light dusting of snow!
Peter’s Pond rests under a light layer of ice.
The Wolf by sculptor Lynn Wollfe which honors his daughter, Lynn Mouffe, sits quietly at the top of the stairs of Lynn’s Garden.

The fall blooming crocus was spectacular and robust this past fall. Most Colchicum are deer, rabbit and vole resistant. Colchicum, often called by the common name autumn crocus, is a member of the Lily family, while true Crocuses belong to the Iris family.

Late summer found the Aster Family of Asteraceae bursting with color. Aster seeds are an important source of food for the birds!

In the spring, the Native Harebell, with its distinctive happy nodding heads, grow under the Aspens in the Tranquility Garden and many other locations throughout the Botanic Park.

Spring time means cluster after cluster of spring blooming bulbs! And the Trillium makes its appearance in early spring when the ground is still chilly — along with the Giant Snowdrops who pop up their pretty heads in the late spring snow.

As the name implies, Galanthus elwesii or Giant Snowdrop is one of the first flowers to pop up out of the snow in the Botanic Park. This one can be found in Sascha’s Rock Garden near the Core Trail. The Park opens on April 30!
Draba is a large genus of flowering plants in the Brassicaceae family. Draba grows well in gritty, well-drained soil in full sun and is winter hardy for Zones 4-8. You can find a number of species of Draba growing in the sunny Crevice Garden.

First flowers to open in the Botanic Park. Crocus!

Wildlife

This broad-tailed hummingbird is working hard in the Botanic Park to craft the perfect nest. Steamboat Springs birder David Moulton captured this busy hummer putting the finishing touches to her nest using spider silks. Watch her at: www.flickr.com/photos/29220649@N03/
Photo and video credit: David Moulton

The Botanic Park’s resident Osprey couple returned to their nest within days of one another in late March/early May. Here (possibly the male) is photographed by Harold Kamins carrying a fish to the nest.

Chipmunks enjoying a summer day in the Park.




A female broad-tailed hummingbird sits on her nest nestled in the canopy of the pine trees.
The Osprey nest on the Core Trail is home to Steamboat’s Osprey Family. Four chicks hatched this year. You can still spot some along the river. Visit and bring your binoculars.
Moose and calf visit across the Yampa River.
Baby Broad-tailed hummingbird in the nest!
Hummingbird feeding from the honeysuckle in the Hummingbird Garden.
What do pollinators do for us? According to the USDA, scientists estimate one out of every three bites of food we eat exists because of pollinators like bees, butterflies, birds, bats, beetles and other insects

A pair of Sharp-tailed Grouse visited the Park today! The Grouse are year-round residents in upper northern regions like Alaska and Cananda but according to Bob Enever, the Park’s founder, Northwest Colorado has an outlier population of the Columbian sub-species in Routt and Moffat Counties. The Grouse eat grasses, seeds, and fruit. Young birds eat insects for protein. Bob explains in his book: “Birds of Steamboat Springs & Northwest Colorado” that prior to breading, both sexes gather on grounds called ‘leks’ where the males perform elaborate displays and the females pick mates.
Don’t miss the mink in the Park who have been keeping the Garter Snake population at bay.
Although primarily nocturnal, this beaver has been spotted swimming in the Park’s middle pond.
This bear visited the Botanic Park to try out some of the delicious fruit from the Crabapple Trees!

Don’t Miss!


The trail around Peter’s Pond is being renovated and a new bridge is being constructed for the stream crossing.  The new bridge addresses safety issues, but will also become an focal piece in the Park – we think a new location for many group photos.  Stay tuned! 

It’s been confirmed,  the osprey nest contains three chicks! The nest is getting crowded as the youngsters grow. The chicks fledge about 55 days after hatching so stop by the Park’s osprey viewing station near the Core Trail  soon to see them in the nest. This photo shows the mother and the three chicks. Thank you to David Moulton for the photo.

Update: The osprey family have migrated south. We look forward to the parents’ return sometime in early spring. Look for the Botanic Park’s annual “When will the Osprey Return?” contest to guess the day the osprey return to the nest and be entered to win a complementary annual membership to the Botanic Park!

Steamboat’s Osprey Couple are Home for the Season!

This the sixth year that “Our” Ospreys have occupied the platform nest on the Yampa River at the Yampa River Botanic Park, so they are now experienced parents. They returned early, on March 28, he first and she one day later, after 9 months apart fishing the waters of South America.

Swallow nesting box at the Park

Did you know tree swallows can eat their body weight in mosquitoes everyday? The Park has 10 nesting boxes sized just for swallows using U.S. Fish and Wildlife design guidelines.  According to Park Founder Bob Enever in his book: “Birds of Steamboat Springs & Northwest Colorado,” swallows migrate in large flocks and breed abundantly in Routt County. They nest in existing tree cavities at up to 10,000 feet but they adapt well to nesting boxes like the ones at the Park.

Come out and watch the swallows swooping around the Park as they busily feed and fledge their young.  Stop by the Trillium House and pick up one of Bob’s books for a suggested donation of $30 which goes directly back into the running of the Park!