Where we live in southeastern Arizona it has been a very wet winter with rain out in the flats and snow in the hills and mountains. All that moisture means run off and that can be seen with flowing creeks or the water that travels out of sight and then gurgles up to the surface in surprising spots.
Small pools of water created by seeps are magical. I know that there are explanations about how and where water travels underground that a geologist or hydrologist can explain. I love that, but I confess that I sometimes catch myself being childlike and going with magical and mysterious.
The botanical name for seep monkey flower is Erythanthe guttata (the former Mimulus guttatus). The genus Erythanthe is from two Greek words and means red flower and the species name guttata is from Latin meaning spots or dropped spots. The red dots on seep monkey-flowers look as if they were made by someone using an eyedropper with red dye.
Seep monkey flower is common all over western North America. Just find some wet bank by a creek or seep and there it is and blooming from March well into the fall. Oh, and if you are interested in ethnobotany, you may like this species, because it’s edible and has some medicinal uses. Do your homework and let me know when I can come over for your monkey flower salad.
The monkey flower photo is by Sue Carnahan. I thank her. The photos of the pool and the monkey flower seedlings in mud are mine.