A Jaunt in the Eastern Columbia River Gorge

We took a long, wet, wandering walk in the hills above the Mosier today, seeking what we wished would be epic fields of wildflowers. What a wonder we wound up in!

Beginning our ascent up the hills of basalt, serviceberry and maple blooms at our flanks.

Orobanche uniflora – a stunning patch of a this beautiful root parasite. Mark Turner writes they feed off of sedums, saxifrages, and species of the Aster family.

Collinsia grandiflora: Blue eyed Mary

Caryophyllaceae – Possibly a Silene?

With meadow as our classroom, we explored the basics of plant anatomy, botanical terminology, and plant ID.

Overlooking the Columbia river, with Castilleja (Indian Paintbrush), Balsamorrhiza careyana  (Carey’s Balsamroot), Delphinium (Larkspur), Dodecatheon (Shooting Star), and Lomatium (lomatium) in the foreground.

Meadows of Ranunculus occidentalis (Western Buttercup)

While it appeared peak bloom was still to come, the diversity we saw was incredible.

Fritillaria affinis (Chocolate Lily) – one of my favorite lilies!

Dodecatheon (Shooting star)

Delphinium (Larkspur) and Claytonia perfoliata (Miner’s lettuce)

After lunching amongst the oaks, we climbed to the top of the hill to prepare our flower essence and connect with the balsam root flowers.

Fields of Balsamorrhiza caryana (Carey’s Balsamroot) just beginning to really start to bloom!

Such a blessing to spend time with other plant lovers eager to learn all they can with and about our plant family.

Amelanchier alnifolia (Serviceberry)

Serviceberry amongst the lava spires.

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