Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Among the Wildflowers

Wild Columbine

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free-Tom Petty
Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake

    We live in the Pacific Northwest, arguably one of the loveliest areas of the United States. Tucked in a valley between the Cascades and the Coastal Range, we can be either at the coast or in the mountains in about an hour. Yes, it rains (a lot) in the winter and we miss the sun. But it's beautiful here, and we love getting out and exploring, hiking, and playing in our Northwest wonderland. 

    This valley is also the Grass Seed Capital of the World, and just north of us are several grass farms. There are about three weeks in the spring where pollen billows through the air, funneling south toward us, and we are routinely proclaimed "worst in the nation" for pollen allergens. A few members of my family are quite miserable during this season, and we're always glad to escape when we can. This year we spent ten days near Mount Hood, about an hour east of Portland. It was a relaxing and fun time for our family. One of my favorite things was the hikes we were able to do. The wildflowers were in full bloom, and it was fun to walk slowly through the woods, pausing often to admire their delicate loveliness and appreciate the newness of life springing happily from the ground. Walk with me? 

These tiny little flowers were in a marshy area near a lake we walked around on our last day. There was also a lot of camas growing in this area.

I love the color variations on this one!

Wild blueberries!

Somehow I missed the trillium at lower elevations this year, as we haven't been out hiking in a while. I was happy to find a few varieties of white trillium near Mount Hood, plus pink and purple! 

Foxglove... so many beautiful stalks of foxglove in bloom!

Unfurled Fern Fronds... you will get that if you've read The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. We've enjoyed the first five books in the series over the last several months and are looking forward to the last book coming out later this year.

I think this is False Solomon's Seal. Correct me if I'm wrong!

We watched this little beetle with delight as he climbed a spiny leaf.

I have no idea what this one is.

Wild Strawberries... in can almost taste their sharp sweetness in a few more weeks!

I think this is Indian Paintbrush... not sure. 

We have a large Bleeding Heart in our front yard, so it was fun to see it in the wild!

There were so many tiny things springing forth from the earth, little things that I would have missed if I were more focused on the destination.
Wild Raspberry.

More Unfurled Fern Fronds. Come on... say it three times fast!

Purple Trillium. I normally only see the white where we are, so it was exciting to spot different colors!

And lastly, Rhododendron, which grow abundantly in the forests here.

    A walk in the forest, for me, is such a beautiful and restorative experience. I love to be surrounded by the sights and sounds of wild things. Springtime walks among the wildflowers, far from the clouds of pollen, were a beautiful gifts I enjoyed this year, and I'm so thankful for these little bursts of beauty and color. I hope you enjoyed them as well!