As the heat and drought of mid-summer wither earlier blooms, the flower scene is dominated by several species of the sunflower family. Rubber rabbitbrush comes into bloom now, with clusters of bright yellow flowers held on the ends on the long branches of this dryland shrub. Showy goldeneye blooms mostly along the Sidewalk and upper end of the Putt-putt trail. Its flowers are classic sunflower shape, though smaller than the earlier balsamroot and little sunflower, now going to seed. Herbaceous forms of sage are also in bloom, notably the fringed, or boreal, sagewort. Small flowers on silver-leaved stems. Three species of goldenrod are also adding to the color – the tallest one is Canada goldenrod, found in the lower part of Cache Creek. Blue harebell, showy aster, and the past-peak flowers of sulfur flower (shown here) add to the variety of colors.
For most plants seed-time is upon them, and their many forms from ripening berries to fluffy parachutes attract songbirds and rodents. The fat and protein stored in seeds are important for bird species readying to migrate and rodents heading underground for hibernation or feeding from their food caches.