TREK: In Search of Spring Wildflowers (Photo Essay)
Spring is a busy time for plant lovers: gardens are planted, yardwork begins and spring wildflowers are popping up after winter's rest.
My region had a long cold, snow-filled winter and spring has barely made an appearance. As a protected National Scenic Area, the Columbia River Gorge is known for its plant diversity because of its varied ecosystems and elevations. It is easy to fill your spring weekends with hikes to see a wide range of wildflowers in an array of terrains.
Except for this spring. We are still wearing winter hats, fingerless gloves and fleece jackets. Our local chapters for the Oregon and Washington Native Plant Societies have canceled most regional hikes because the blooms are late to the party. But I managed to find some spring wildflowers, called ephemerals because of their short-lived presence, on the few, sunny & warm days we have had.
Mushroom hunting on a sunny Saturday in the Ponderosa Pine forests of the Blue Mountains of NE Oregon was not successful but I was secretly thrilled to find several species of wildflowers.
Author: Sue Kusch
Sue Kusch, a former community college instructor and academic advisor, incorporates her experiential wisdom, expertise and science-based research garnered from her three decades of growing vegetables, fruit and herbs into her educational writing about plants and how people use them. In addition to her BA in Social Sciences and Masters in Education, she completed the Master Gardener training in 2011 and two permaculture courses in 2001 and 2014. She has studied medicinal and nutritional uses of herbs including studies at Herbmentor.com and East West School of Planetary Herbology since 1997. Sue currently serves as President and newsletter editor of her local chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. An avid reader, lover of historical and folkloric information, and a promising storyteller, Sue writes about the intersection of plants and people at www.plantsnpeople.com