To see these displaying their jewelry, you must find them at just the right stage of their development and catch them early in the morning after a cool night when the humidity has been just right. For some reason tiny drops of dew will form on them and on nothing else around.
And a member of the Saxifrage family that I have seen before but just now identified.
Peak Saxifrage, Micranthes nidifica
Soon after these photos were take it began to snow…. hard! Five hours later and after about five inches of heavy, wet snow it looked like this:
After taking the previous photo I headed back to the house, then instead of going in, decided to hike down near the river and perhaps get an interesting photo in the storm. On the way, about a quarter of a mile from the house I heard a loud crack and looked toward the sound just in time to see a large dead pine tree fall across the highway. I headed straight for it to stop and direct traffic and perhaps remove enough of the tree to permit traffic flow. There was too much tree on the road, but a pickup stopped and two men got out to help, leaving their truck with flashers on to block the lane that was completely blocked by the tree. I jogged back to the house for my chain saw while they directed traffic. When I returned it took just a few minutes for the three of us to cut enough of the tree to clear the roadway and get traffic moving again. I’m glad the tree didn’t wait until dark to fall!
On April 18th in 2008 I found a place along the Munson Creek trail where Trilliums abound and I’ve visited that place on April 18th every year since. Usually they are in full bloom but today, although they were plentiful, they have just begun their bloom and the flowers are quite small. At that elevation (3,400 feet) small patches of snow still remain on the ground. After photographing a few of the trilliums I hiked on up the trail to 4,100 feet where winter is still in full season and spring is still in the future.
Western White trillium, Pacific Trillium, Wake Robin, Birthroot, Trillium Ovatum
Yesterday in my wanderings I noticed an early blooming bluebell but I had left my camera at home. I thought it might be of interest to post a photo of the flower and another of the place where it is growing and so today The Pointer and I took our walk in that area again, this time with the camera, hoping to find the flower and we did; in the middle of a very nice (and very wet) spring snowstorm.
The bluebell and a whole lot of buttercups live in a sunny spot on this little open ridge just before it slopes down to the stream bottom to the left.
Small Bluebells, Long-flower Bluebells, Mertensia longiflora
There isn’t a white balance setting on my camera for “snow flurries”, but if this little plant can bloom in a driving snow, I am willing to be there to photograph it. Seems the least I can do. And besides, spring-time snowflakes feel oh, so good going down the back of my neck.
The genus name for this flower comes from the Greek dodeka (twelve) and theos (god) and means ‘the plant protected by twelve gods’. I like the thought.