Male Horned Lark singing on a Moth Mullein stemMale Horned Lark singing on a Moth Mullein stem

There are seasonal cycles on Antelope Island State park, winter turns to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall and fall to winter but there are also yearly cycles for the wildflowers that bloom on the island too. This year appears to be the year of the Moth Mullein (a biennial invasive weed)  whereas two years ago it was the wild Sunflowers that came on strong.  A few days ago I spotted this male Horned Lark on a Moth Mullein stem and we had to turn around to get images of it, not that many birds actually perch on Moth Mullein and I don’t know why that is.

Moth MulleinMoth Mullein

While photographing Sage Thrashers last week I couldn’t resist taking a few close up images of the Moth Mullein from the pickup window. The stalk on the left is in bloom and the one on the right has finished blooming and has begun to set seeds. The purplish-red round seed pods will get a bit larger and then as the stalk dries they will turn brown before the pods open to spill the seeds.

Moth Mullein covered hillside near Buffalo PointMoth Mullein covered hillside near Buffalo Point

The lower elevations of this slope that goes up to Buffalo Point was covered in Moth Mullein blooms a few weeks ago when I took this photo. Two years ago this same slope was covered with wild Sunflowers, both of them yellow wildflowers but very different in shape and growth habit.

Yellow does seem to be the predominant color of wildflowers on Antelope Island State Park though I am not sure why, I’ll be Mullein that over.