DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Blue Columbine. Indian Blanket. Spider Wort. If you think Colorado wildflowers have colorful names, wait until you see them in person.

“It’s a good time to be a flower fanatic in Colorado,” said Don Mammoser, one of Colorado’s best known nature photographers.

Mammoser’s work has been published in magazines such as “National Geographic Adventure” and he is the author of “The Photographer’s Guide to the Colorado Rockies” and “Wildflowers of Colorado Field Guide.” Educated as a zoologist, he taught himself to take pictures and has spent years studying Colorado’s native flowers.

He said this stands to be one of our most bountiful years for wildflowers, so it’s time to take advantage of the natural sights.

“We had a good snow season, and when we have good snow, we have good summer flowers,” said Mammoser. “You don’t have to drive far out of Denver to find these places where you can see flowers. July is a great time.”

Some of Mammoser’s favorite spots close to the Denver Metro area include Meyer Ranch, Red Rocks, and Jefferson County open spaces. In the mountains, he loves Crested Butte, Ouray, and many others.

He particularly loves the diversity Colorado offers, since different species grow on the prairies than in the mountains, and one can drive from the plains to Alpine Tundra conditions in less than a day. He said breathtaking carpets of wildflowers are easily found throughout Colorado.

“We can have it in the plains, then we can go into the mountains and we can see the same sort of things with different species and there will be thousands of plants and hundreds of species jammed together,” Mammoser said.

Best of all, wildflower viewing and photography is a great way to beat the recession with a low or no-cost trip. Plus, you’ll have memories of Colorado beauty that last a lifetime.

“To take the pictures is free. You’re going to spend a little bit in gas, but say, somewhere like Rocky Mountain National Park, you pay a small entrance fee and you’re there,” said Mammoser. “You don’t need a fancy camera or special lenses. A point and shoot camera that you can just put in your pocket can give you great images. It’s an experience that will last forever.”

Mammoser pointed out, printing your wildflower pictures costs just a few dollars, as well. Though the Columbine is his favorite flower, he’s constantly finding something new through his lens.

“There’s so much here still to discover,” said Mammoser. “You see thousands of flowers blooming all at once and it blows your mind how beautiful this can be.”


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