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Ferns, and Trees
to this web site
Welcome to my web site; I hope it shows you the beauty of the plants of the Four Corners states and helps you identify these plants.
Photographs and descriptions of 1000 species of wildflowers, ferns, and trees found within a 150 mile radius of the Four Corners area of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah appear in this educational/reference web site. Each plant appears in a number of photographs showing the entire plant and distinctive parts of the plant such as the flower, leaf, and hairs. Photographs are accompanied by details about the plant's blooming time and place, unusual plant characteristics, interesting growth habits, when and where the plant was first found for science, the meaning of the plant's scientific name, etc.
Click your way into these plants and you will find photos and descriptions of Cactus in deserts and Spruce in 14,000 foot mountains, flowering shrubs in canyons and short-lived flowers in dry washes, plants hanging on sandstone rock faces, and dwarf wildflowers in alpine meadows. This diversity thrives in the approximately 9,000 square miles encompassed by this web site. The area includes Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, Arches, and Canyon De Chelly National Parks; Escalante/Grand Staircase, Natural Bridges, Hovenweep, Canyons of the Ancients, El Malpais, and El Moro National Monuments; the San Juan, Chuska, Abajo, and La Sal Mountains; and many other wild areas of and near the Colorado Plateau, those lands drained by the middle section of the Colorado River.
Many of the plants found in the Four Corners area are also found in nearby states, even in distant states, and even in other countries -- we live on a green and blue sphere where everything is related to everything else.
I hope your visit to this web site is profitable and enjoyable and gives you some idea of the wild beauty of the Four Corners.
I further hope this web site promotes an appreciation for plant diversity and beauty and contributes to the protection of plant habitat and to the protection of the creatures that thrive on these plants. If we each become involved in planning efforts of the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management and if we each work locally for the protection of open spaces and the control of urban and rural sprawl, we can protect plants and their habitat. Joining national organizations such as the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, Nature Conservancy, and Audubon Society; local organizations such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and San Juan Citizen Alliance; and other national and local environmental groups is a further way to ensure that the plants remain.
Taking walks in the wild is the best way to ensure that we remember the value of wild beauty and what brings us happiness.
Join the Native Plant Society in your state and enjoy, learn about, and help to preserve the native plants of your area. See the Links page for Native Plant Societies in the Four Corners area.
When you are on
public land please remember:
If you wish to
own wild plants,
Photographs, written material, design, and all other aspects of this web site are © Al Schneider. No aspect of this web site may be used for any purpose -- personal, not-for-profit, governmental, or commercial -- without the permission of Al Schneider.
1) On the opening page you will find several methods for searching: you can search or browse photos by color, by plant type, by plant characteristics, by plant name, or you can search this entire web site by any word or phrase.
2) If you are trying to identify a plant you have found, you will find a data base on the opening page that allows you to identify a plant by clicking on key characteristics, such as, color, leaf arrangement, habitat, altitude, etc.
3) If you are searching for a particular flower by color, be sure to look in several color sections, especially if the flower color is light blue, light pink, or white.
4) Remember too that because of variations in growing factors almost any species can look dramatically different from one location to another.
5) Handy points to remember when searching and browsing this web site:
A) If you do not find a plant in this web site under the name you normally use for it, type that name in the "Search" box to see if the name has been changed.
B) To move to the top of a page,
C) Most links open in new tabs or new pages.
I want you to derive maximum enjoyment from the descriptive information and photographs on my web site, but your enjoyment can be hampered by aspects of recent computers which use very high resolution monitor display settings which can result in small print and small photographs on your monitor. You can leave the resolution at the manufacturer's recommended high setting for sharpness and clarity and still increase the font and photograph size for better viewing. To do this when you are on a web page, click the magnifier in the bottom right of your screen (for Internet Explorer) or in the tools and options in some other browsers.
If you do not see the magnifier in the bottom right of Internet Explorer, it may not be available for your version of Windows, OR right click on a tool bar at the top of your screen, click on "Status Bar", and the magnifier will appear at bottom right.
You can magnify each web site you visit and your computer will remember each setting.
You also can temporarily increase web page size by placing your cursor on the screen, holding down the ctrl or apple key, and scrolling with your mouse scroll wheel.
You will find the text and photographs in my web site much easier to view if you significantly magnify the display of your computer monitor.
This web site provides photographs and descriptions of about 1000 wildflowers, shrubs, ferns, and trees of the area within a 150 mile radius of the Four Corners.
1) There are two major sets of photographs: thumbnails and full-sized.
Several dozen thumbnail pages contain numerous close-up photographs of the flower, leaf, or some other key identifying characteristic of each plant. These thumbnails are grouped by color and then alphabetized by family, genus, and species.
Clicking on a thumbnail photograph will take you to a page with a number of full-sized photographs of the plant shown in the thumbnail.
Descriptive text accompanies each page of full-sized photographs.
2) This is an educational/reference web site and the intent of the photographs and descriptions is to assist you in identifying and enjoying plants of the Four Corners area.
3) Plant names in bold are those listed in BONAP and the Synthesis of the North American Flora, products of 40 years of labor by national plant authority John Kartesz. These names are almost always in accord with those used by the Flora of North America and are usually in accord with the USDA Plants Database and local plant authorities William Weber (Colorado Flora) and Stanley Welsh (A Utah Flora). Synonyms in use by Weber, Welsh, and other botanists are listed but they are not bold. As noted above, if you do not find a plant name in this web site, type that name in the "Search" box to see if the name is considered a synonym.
4) Many factors affect plant growth and, therefore, the plant you find in the field could vary in appearance from the ones shown on this web site. The plant you encounter could be taller or shorter, and it could have more or fewer flowers, be a different shade or color, be solitary or in groups, etc.
5) I often add new photographs and text to this web site.
In the first three lines of each plantís description
you will find basic information:
Each of these is discussed below.
AUTHOR and ORIGIN OF THIS WEB SITE
Hello. My name is Al Schneider and I am the creator of this web site. My wife, Betty, and I live in Southwest Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park with our pup and constant companion, Willi Coyote, and our feline friend, Mr. Outdoors. Before retiring, I was an English Professor, Ozark Trail designer with Missouri State Parks, backcountry guide in my own business, and computer-based educator with the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Tribe.
Betty was a Special Education teacher and paramedic firefighter. Betty continues to teach CPR and First Aid classes and she loves hiking and snow shoeing. In wildflower season she turns on her superb eye and spots hard to find flowers. Year-round Betty is a passionate and expert chef and beader. Click to see her beadwork on this web site.
This web site grew out of a volunteer project that Betty and I undertook in 2000 to produce two volumes of wildflower, fern, and tree photographs and descriptions for the San Juan National Forest Visitor Information Services in Southwest Colorado. The volumes are available for visitors to view in the Dolores and Durango Offices of the San Juan National Forest.
In February of 2001 I published this web site so the beauty of the Four Corners region could be enjoyed by an even wider audience.
During the summers of 2004 and 2005 I replaced about 1,000 film photos with digital photos taken with my very nice digital Olympus C-750 camera. During each of these summers, I also added about 1,000 new photographs, including photographs of several hundred new species. In each of the following years I added new species and several hundred new photographs of plants already on the web site.
In April of 2010 I began photographing with the very good Panasonic FZ35 camera which, unfortunately, stopped working in July of 2014. In August of 2014 I purchased the excellent Sony RX10. I have never had a camera that produced such sharp photographs under all conditions.
Each year new photographs are shown in the Recent Additions section of this web site.
Why don't I use an SLR?
I grant that high quality SLRs do produce remarkably sharp photographs, but the quality comes with a price, not just a dollar price.
1) Inevitably, especially here in the southwest U.S., dust will get into the SLR camera body when lenses are changed.
2) SLRs and lenses take up too much space in the pack, weigh too much, and are very awkward to carry around your neck. I stop and shoot photos as I enjoy hikes, so I always keep my camera around my neck on a binocular double shoulder strap.
Also, since all of my photos are reduced in size for my wildflower web site, I do not need the largest file size, highest quality photographs.
Web making software: I designed the original Four Corners Wildflower web site with Microsoft's Front Page web-making software which made many aspects of web design easy and fluid, but which also had a number of serious flaws. In September of 2008 I switched from Front Page to Dreamweaver, a much more versatile web page software.
Statistics about this web site: There are over 1,200 pages, 250,000 words, 5,000 photographs of 1,000 species, and several thousand links (internal and external). The web site is nearing one gigabyte. As of 2016, I estimate that I have enjoyed over 13,000 hours of pleasurable work on this web site. And I have been so fortunate in being able to spend additional hundreds of hours in the field finding plants to photograph for this web site.
Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are by Al with Betty's assistance -- that's her (just out of view) holding the ruler in many photographs. Text, web site design, and web maintenance are by Al.
Since September 2015, my web site has been hosted by the
I give a big thanks to
Ed and Michele Fink of
The Red Pepper, petroglyphs, and Southwestern strip design are from RT Graphics.
See my bibliography for the expert floras that I am indebted to.
The first name given for all plants comes from John Kartesz's web site, BONAP, and his DVD, Synthesis of the North American Flora, a labor of love for over 40 years. The BONAP web site now presents almost all the detail contained in the DVD. Kartesz is the ultimate authority for plant names on this web site and his names are always in bold.
Click to read about John Kartesz's Synthesis of the North American Flora, which will soon be available on a DVD. The DVD will include amazing details on every plant in the United States and Canada. It will have maps showing county by county occurrences of every plant, keys to plants, 150,000 photographs, etc. I thank John for sharing early versions of his Synthesis with me and for sharing many hours of botanical conversations via telephone between North Carolina and Colorado.
My love and thanks to my wife, Betty the beader, superb chef, amazing wildflower spotter, and my constant companion. Betty is always a joy and surprise to be with.
And my gratitude to Willi Coyote, first dog in my life. Willi adopted Betty and me in 2006 and she has been our constant companion since then. If only we human beings would emulate the wild critters of our beautiful world.
And, of course, unending thanks to all the wild plants.
Photographs, written material, design, and all other aspects of this web site are
Proceeds from the sale of Al's photographs pay for this web site.
SEARCH & WILDFLOWER HOME PAGE
FERNS PINK/RED/ORANGE FLOWERS TREES WHITE FLOWERS YELLOW FLOWERS CONTACT US