Last time we visited Steamboat Springs, Colorado we skied and played in the snow.
Family joined us in this beautiful winter wonderland.
What would we do on a summer visit by ourselves? We counted on wonderful hiking…
We visited three times during our week in Steamboat Springs – partly because it was conveniently located on the walking path that winds along the Yampa River but also because it was one of the best botanical gardens we’ve ever visited.
The first plant we photographed was Miss Willmott’s Ghost (Eryngium gigantism). The white-tinged-with-green color contrasted so beautifully with all the other plants around it.
Photography was more challenging than we expected. Light on the flowers was variable: deep shade under trees, bright sunlight, finding just the right blossom in peak condition…
The garden looked perfectly maintained and when we rounded a corner we knew why.
We’d never heard of a crevice garden, which formally began in the Czech Republic. A placard explained that crevice gardens “literally turn rock gardens on their side and place flat stones pushed into the soil vertically.”
After photographing flowers, we turned the camera to a faster shutter speed as we started to notice just how many winged creatures were in the garden.
What are these butterflies? They flitted around the garden in great numbers, but, in endless searches, we couldn’t find their identity.
The Botanic Park had a chalkboard at the entrance and told us to look for the white-lined sphinx moth. It took awhile to get a photo that we found acceptable since the lines on the moth are a bit “fuzzy.”
We sat on a bench to watch the three species of hummingbirds (broad-billed, calliope, and rufous-sided) flit around some favorite flowers. It took awhile before we realized a black-capped chickadee was right beside us at a feeder.
On our last visit to the garden – and toward the end of that visit – we were rewarded with three little Woodland skippers moving quickly and rarely stopping. We trailed them for a while and, finally, one landed on a flower. Got you!
So many of our travel photos have required no more than putting the camera up, make an adjustment or two, and clicking. We discovered that photography in the Botanic Park took more effort and thought than we expected. Conditions kept changing. It was time consuming.
As with many places on our travels, there wasn’t enough time to see all the plants (let alone butterflies and birds who visit) and to do all the photography we would have liked. Still, the memory of the Yampa River Botanic Park will stay with us – aided by all of our photos.