Monday, April 26, 2010

wildflowers on the bald man's head

Tolmie's pussy ears (Calochortus tolmiei)

After a day of no luck finding a variety of flowers on Mary's Peak, I headed out to Bald Hill in town to try my luck at spotting any at lower elevations. I actually did have a little more success here...and I got to try out my macro lens a bit! 

oregon fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum)

littleleaf montia (Montia parvifolia)...i think

checkered lily (Fritillaria affinis)

checkered lily (Fritillaria affinis)

view of mary's peak from bald hill

I returned from the hike to find a pleasant surprise-- my Venus fly trap had finally bloomed! He's been trying to get these blossoms out for ~2 months now.

venus fly trap (Dionae muscipula)

wet and wild on mary's peak

doug fir

Last Saturday morning I headed out to Mary's Peak with Kerri and Dave to search for wildflowers and (hopeful) for a view of the landforms surrounding the valley.  It was definitely a late spring hike in Oregon...the day started with a light rain which eventually evolved into oversized droplets that resembled diamonds as the sun refracted through each watery sphere. Simultaneous with the giant rain drops and sun was the remainder of the winter's snow falling off the tree tops and crashing into the ground around us.  Yep...spring.  As we continued to gain elevation we reached a level where the rain instantaneously turned to snow and the wind started to pick up.

getting into the snow

After arriving at the clearing on the top wind was howling and we were getting pelted with ice crystals that rushed up and over the summit.  I, as usual, was totally unprepared for the weather and wore a tank top, light hiking pants and a rain coat.

near the top of mary's peak

We attempted to "sled" in the snow while at the top using our rain gear, but with little was too sticky.  Nevertheless it was fun trying.  If it wasn't for the absence of gloves, I would have taken some pictures of this failed attempt, but my fingers told me that it wasn't worth it.

After lunch, we bid farewell to the peak in order to get back in time for Kerri's horn choir performance in Eugene. Strangely, on the way down I saw more way more wildflowers than I  noticed on the way up, but they were all trilliums and violets. Where are all the wildflowers hiding?! Maybe I'm too early?

me, dave and kerri at the top freezing

one of the trilliums from the hike down

Sunday, April 18, 2010

november, december, january, february, march, and april showers bring may flowers

checkered lily
My latest craze has been searching for spring wildflowers!  Today I headed out with Dave to a trail through an old growth forest (without a rain jacket, mind you!) to appreciate the greenery and flowers blooming from all the late fall/winter/spring precipitation. 

some kind of fawn lily?

 western trillium

old growth stand
a white-crowned sparrow

Sunday, April 11, 2010

attempt at finding spring

In high hopes that the fruit blossoms would be out near the Columbia Gorge's "Fruit Loop" area, my friend Kerri and I decided to head up that way and check it out. Unfortunately, we were about 2 weeks too early so we only got to see the very beginnings of the buds coming on. It was also a pretty hazy day, which didn't make for great pictures, but you can imagine from looking at the above photo of the orchards in front of Mt Adams that it's a spectacular site when they're in bloom on a clear day!

Kerri snapping a shot of the buds and Mt Adams
more of mt adams. mt hood was also very visible, but for some reason i never got a photo of it!

After driving around the orchards unsuccessfully searching for a single field of blooms, we decided to instead check out the famous Multnomah Falls just outside of Portland. As beautiful as this place is, it's like a carnival when you arrive.  Hundreds of people are everywhere, eating ice cream, snapping photos of each other, and hiking the many trails in the area.  I also hear this place is pretty notorious for its car break-ins so I don't recommend stopping here...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

these forests make being green look easy

To make the best of the rain and gray/white skies a group of us (David, Kerri, and Dave) headed out for a hike in the Oregon rainforest. Along with the endless shades of green, we saw some powerful waterfalls and the start of the summer's flowers!

South Falls

Dave, me, Kerri, and David

probably the most photogenic of the falls...

...and another waterfall...

winter falls 
trillium! we saw a few others on the hike, but they looked a bit wilted...probably from the cold that soon came back after tricking the flowers into blooming.