It was early Saturday morning, as usual I was up and out before sunrise with a cup of coffee wandering around trying to mentally organize my day when I heard cattle bellowing in the distance to the south east. I grabbed the binoculars from the trailer and started looking for the cattle to see if they were on the estate. I found several head in the distance and it appeared that they were on the property. Cattle on the property is counter to the grassland restoration underway so I loaded the Kubota with fencing supplies and headed out to find the the problem and fix any downed fence. I checked the south fence line, all intact, then the east easement fence along the old railroad bed, all intact, and no sign of cattle. I must have misjudged their location so I headed back to the main estate. While on the east side of the San Simon riverbed where the ranch road passes the old Mimbres hamlet something caught my eye. Sticking up from the ruin were 12-18" stems of a wildflower I had not seen on the estate before. Stopping and wandering over I found a number of unknown plants in bloom scattered about the ruin so I got busy with the camera to document the wildflower and for use in identification. I posted some images and asked if anyone recognized the species as the first step then got back to work on this years crop of tumbleweed. That evening I was rewarded with an identification from the curator of the Louisiana State Arthropod museum identifying the wild flower as Delphinium wootonii, commonly known as Organ Mountain Larkspur or Wooton's Larkspur, a member of the buttercup family. Found in both New Mexico and Arizona the flowers clearly are "buttercup like" and easy to spot on the landscape. I'm constantly finding something new and amazing each time I'm out on the landscape and a big thank you to Victoria, the curator at LSAM for the identification.
Delphinium wootonii, a member of the buttercup family