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A Week of Contrasts
Submitted by Pam on Mon, 04/20/2009 - 17:37
Trilliums are blooming!
We just returned from spending a few days in central Oregon along the John Day River looking for basalt flows containing pockets filled with zeolites. As you can readily see from this photo of the river, there is very little in that part of Oregon except...
Although nearly the whole of Oregon is covered in basalt, only a little of it contains zeolite-filled pockets, and most of that is near the John Day river.
Nevetheless, we came home with a carload of sparkling little pockets to sort through! Should keep us entertained for a while!
This beautiful old homestead has been in our host's family for over a hundred years. I love how the house and barns are nestled in a draw with views of the mountains in all directions. I have been told that in a couple months, these fields will be a sea of wildflowers. We are hoping to return - I can't turn down a sea of wildflowers!
I had to get a shot of this beautiful old barn.
Buttercups, protected in a little rock shelter were the only sign of Spring to be seen!
Our host took us hiking to visit the teepee he erected on his property several years ago for Summer camp-outs. We weren't prepared for the snow to begin falling, but I love how the teepee looks with snow dusting the fence and ground.
Since the forecast promised more (lots more) snow, we grabbed our gear and our rocks and headed back home before the roads became impassable.
Snow followed us most of the way home. This little beggar was cold and soaking wet but still looking for a handout from anyone stopping for a quick "rest stop" break.
Ohhhhh... thank you, thank you kind sir.
Three days later the temperature rose to 70 degrees and we immediately headed out to our favorite walking trail near our home. The fruit trees, their flowering time delayed nearly two weeks by the unusually cold weather, literally exploded into full bloom.
The pussy willows, which up until that day had remained tight little furry balls, likewise exploded! And, by the way, that is real blue sky behind the pussy willow branches.
This was the first time we have seen the turtles out this year. Can't you just feel how warm and content they are as they sit on their favorite log soaking up the rays!
Trilliums are carpeting the deeply shaded forest floor.
Here's a closer shot! The air is heavy with their fragrance on warm days.
Trout lillies (also known as fawn lillies) prefer the deep shade under the fir trees. Along with the trilliums, their appearance is a clear sign that Spring is here!
Ribbon snakes are also a sure sign of Spring's arrival. This little guy was stretched out from head to tail on the warm trail but slithered quickly to the edge to hide as we approached.
This quiet marshy pond is the perfect place for Mom and Dad Mallard to start a family. Mom's napping on her nest while Dad's searching for a snack among the grasses and new pond iris.
Aaaaahhhhh. Wild pond iris! The ponds are just full of fresh, green leaves and flower spikes; and in about two weeks, they will look like this!
Spring has officially, begun! Finally!