I saw many plants I’m familiar with on this tour. Some I knew the names of, others I was like, “Uh… what was your name again?” Fortunately, the plants were labeled or the person whose garden it was could tell you.
Here are some old friends.Continue reading
I enjoy watching these roses growing along the Mill A Loop trail along the Deschutes River in Bend, Oregon. They produce a bounty in the summer and the fall for walkers and wildlife.
“A light wind swept over the corn, and all nature laughed in the sunshine.”
Pretty but invasive
These honeysuckle blossoms are pretty but they are on an introduced plant that has been so successful it’s considered invasive in some parts of the country. These tall shrubs are growing along the Deschutes River and they produce a lot of berries later in the summer.
Tiny worlds beneath me
I often have to remind myself to look down and notice the worlds beneath me when I’m taking pictures. Here’s a picture of aquatic plants being combed by the waves and highlighted by the sun.
Here’s a picture of a lichen “forest” growing on weathered wood. Worlds of wonder exist in landscapes large and small.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Wonder
I often stop to look at the succulent wall at my favorite plant nursery. Varied in their colors, shapes, and textures, these prolific plants always impress me.
Weekly Photo Challenge – Prolific
I noticed this crazy quilt of colors along the shores of Little Lava Lake in September. The sedges and rushes varied in their color and had interesting forms. It was almost as if they formed a single living organism.
Weekly Photo Challenge – Variations on a Theme
Though barriers may sometimes block your way, if you persist you can find your way around them.
Weekly Photography Challenge – Against the odds
Bursting with color
Explosions of warms and cools
Reflecting the last rays of summer
On a quest towards the
Cold crispness to come
Weekly Photo Challenge – Quest
Is this Mendel’s garden? I think the Gene Jeannie has been at work in my backyard. I planted one purple and white lupine and it has multiplied. Now I have a violet and purple one, two purple and white ones, a violet and white one, and an all white one.
Some put everything they have into making the world a better place.
What are successful invaders?
There are certain members of the plant and animal world that I call successful invaders. Some are admired; others are reviled. A few are both liked and despised at the same time.
Where I live, the Western juniper, Juniperus occidentalis, fits into that last category. It is a native species but due to fire suppression and habitat destruction, it has spread like -excuse the reference- wildfire. Juniper has taken advantage of the situation and has significantly expanded its range. I have heard a lot about how much water it can suck out of the landscape – supposedly 30 gallons a day. Its root system taps downwards and outwards to effectively use the available water. Many people don’t like them for that reason and because at times they have a not-so-pleasant scent. I’ll always remember listening to a person that lives in the wealthy part of town saying that she eliminated all 18 junipers on her property as soon as she moved in. Eighteen trees.
However, juniper also has its good side. As it ages it epitomizes the image many people associate with the Wild West. I love to photograph them. The form of the tree generally changes from a pyramid-like shape to a twisted, sprawling irregular one. It can be covered by purplish berries (that are really cones) and these are used in gin production. Wildlife loves it for cover, nesting, and food. Its wood is bi-colored and long lasting.Continue reading
Indian Ford Preserve Field Trip
In late October I visited the Indian Ford Preserve, which is located several miles northeast of Sisters, Oregon, with Deschutes Land Trust (DLT) leader Kelly Madden. This is the flagship property of the group and it was purchased in 1995. Preserves are purchased outright, donated, or are protected through easement agreements with the owners. This property is 63 acres in size and consists of meadow, forest, and stream habitat. Indian Ford Creek meanders through the property. It is on the border of land dominated by Ponderosa pine or Western juniper.Continue reading
My favorite bouquets are the ones Mother Nature gives me.
Last week I went on a Metolius Preserve hike with the Deschutes Land Trust (DLT). This 1,240 acre preserve is located about ten miles west of Sisters, OR and was acquired by the DLT in 2003.
Ponderosa pine trees dominate the landscape but there are also Douglas fir, grand fir, incense cedar, and western larch trees. The pine trees near the kiosk are spaced about 30-40 feet apart and bunchgrass forms the dominant ground cover. Though the habitat appears natural, the forest has been restored with the help of Pacific Stewardship. The forest has been thinned and prescribed burns will foster an old-growth type of habitat. They have even created snags so that some of the 13 types of woodpeckers that live here find a good place to feed and nest. DLT also planted bunchgrass.Continue reading
Fall begins with joyous laughter and warm caresses that
Nod and wink as they cloak you with a touch of frost
Standing there entranced, you are enveloped by color
Yellow, orange, and crimson
North winds swirl about you encircling you
Snaps and crackles sound under your feet
Inviting you to grab handfuls and throw them into the air
Warmed by a shower of brilliant laughing tones
Emanating from falling leaves readying themselves for winter
If you type “John C. Frémont” into a search engine, you will turn up places named after him in over a dozen states in the U.S. So who was this guy and why were so many things named after him? To find out, I visited the Deschutes Historical Museum in Bend, Oregon to see their current exhibit about Frémont. The Museum was lucky to get the exhibit and it will be on display there until the end of December 2015.
This exhibit focuses on Frémont’s Second Exploring Expedition that occurred in 1843-1844. Many consider it to be the apex of his career. The purpose of this trip was to explore the Oregon country. Frémont, together with 27 handpicked men, including the explorer Kit Carson, set out to map the second half of the Oregon Trail.Continue reading
I had several comments on my Facebook page about how to caption the tree photo I posted here a couple of days ago. If I was guessing what was going on, I might have said, “Tree Hugging 101 class”. Here are captions from Facebook:
“Black Legged Sap Sucker – very rare, and that’s for sure”.
Lady sniffing tree. “Yes Harry, this is the tree that farted”
“Stand back, hide behind a tree and maybe the grizzly bear and the black legged sap sucker won’t notice us”.
“My first boyfriend wrote our initials on one of these trees”.
The thing that was really happening in the photo was that a volunteer naturalist at the High Desert Museum was leading a walk and he had people smelling the Ponderosa pine’s bark. It has a sweet cinnamon-like smell.
Here’s a link to an article that talks more about the tree and its unique scent. Ponderosa pines sweet smell.
Cling on to leaves all seasons
Brilliant leaves dropping in fall
Profusions of big, bold flowers
Flowers that are quiet and small
Cones that depend upon fire
Tiny, but intoxicating cones
Juicy, sweet abundant fruit
Fruit that is dry as a bone
Delicate and ephemeral
Resilient and strong
Twisting and rough
Straight and long
Furrows in the bark
Bark peeling and red
Running near the surface roots
Deep-reaching roots that are more widespread