My husband, Bernie Nagy, and I co-published our second award-winning coffee table book, South Park, Colorado: Nature’s Paradise in 2012 that included photographs and common names of over 100 wildflowers. Soon afterwards, we began receiving many inquiries for a smaller book of wildflowers to take on trails. I began working on Rocky Mountains Wildflowers Field Guide to fulfill those requests.
Bernie had taken a several thousand photographs of Colorado Wildflowers over the past few years, so I began writing a compact guide with the idea to have detailed clear photographs, names, and a brief description of each wildflower. A simple guide for Colorado Rocky Mountain Wildflowers became a real challenge for me. I began gathering information from every print and web source I could find. Over the past 3 years, I had acquired a library of over 50 wildflower books because I couldn’t find many of the wildflowers I was seeing on the trails and in meadows. My goal was to write my book in such a way that it could be understood by lay people. Slowly and painstakingly the book was pieced together. Looking for additional help and confirmation of my research, I joined the Colorado Native Plant Society and researched additionally online.
Photographing and identifying wildflowers can be a challenging task. Some are so tiny that it requires getting down on your belly or knees to be face to face with the flower, or to photograph a nodding species from the ground up to capture an image. Also many flowers, like yellow sunflowers, are so similar that notes have to be made of leaf shape, arrangement, number and shape of petals, etc.
The wildflowers images in the guide were taken from the Rocky Mountain National Park, Front Range, Gore Range, Continental Divide to the Mosquito Range and from Crested Butte to the Southern San Juan Mountain Range and Sangre de Christo Mountains and feature the most common plus some uncommon wildflowers found along trails, meadows and roadsides. Over 225 plant species are featured in the book. I grouped the wildflowers according to color so that you can quickly find and identify an unfamiliar flower. I also added illustrations of flower parts, arrangements and leaf parts to help clarify some terms used throughout the guide.
Rocky Mountain Wildflowers Field Guideis a pocket-sized bookis for all nature enthusiasts who want to learn and identify wildflowers throughout Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Region. The handy, 224-page soft cover, 4”x 6” guide fits easily in a shirt or back pocket and is value-priced at $11.95. It is available at www.highcountryartworks.com and by mid-April 2014 will be at book stores in South Park, Buena Vista, Conifer, Salida, Frisco, Breckenridge, and many other gift and book store locations throughout the Colorado Rockies.