Monday, June 1, 2015

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument Beauties

For the past week the PUPS, Evin and I have been down in the Rio Grande Gorge camping near the river's edge in Pilar about 17 miles south of Taos, New Mexico. It is southern edge of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. There have been no PUPPY PATHS' posts because we did not have cell or Internet service. 

From our campsite we took several drives and several hikes. We did not go a third of a mile from our campsite and I caught a glimpse of red, so, I pulled over...

Claret Cup Hedgehog Cactus
or Echinocereus Triglochidiatus

Yellow also caught my eye...

Opuntia or Desert Prickly Pear Cactus

According to Wikipedia, the fruit of prickly pears is edible, although it must be peeled carefully to remove the small spines on the outer skin before consumption. Cactus figs are often used to make candy, jelly, or drinks. 

Later we walked from our campsite... the La Senda del Medio Trail-head where near the entrance I saw purple...

Xylorhiza tortifolia or Mojave Aster

Looking at the PATH ahead one would think there are no flowers on this walk. BUT, within a few steps on the trail I spied red...

Soon, we saw more flowers. Can you see the scarlet claret cup hedgehog cactus under the bush on the right of the above photo?

We walked a little further and Evin called to me that she could see white flowers off to her right...

Sego Lily
According to Wikipedia, the calochortus nuttallii or "Sego Lily" is the state flower of Utah. Native Americans had culinary uses for the bulbs,seeds, and flowers of the plant. Bulbs were roasted, boiled, or made into porridge by the Hopi, Havasupai, Navajo, Paiute, Gosiute, and Ute peoples.

I then spied a familiar pink color, so tiny I almost missed it...

Coryphantha or Beehive Cactus

Yellow was everywhere that I looked...

All the flowers featured on this post were within an easy walk from where we camped. Many of our neighbors in the campground never left the immediate area and didn't have a clue what was just a few steps away!! I told everyone I met, but, I never met anyone on the trail.


  1. Laurie Schattler % BLM PilarJune 8, 2015 at 8:10 AM

    Wonderful photos! Glad you stayed with us. May I use some for our bulletin board (and give you credit, of course?)

    1. Of course. I am so glad you like them. Randy hopes to do a slide show of them in the Visitor's Center.