Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mountain Wildflowers

Umpqua National Forest, Oregon -- June 2014

I know I promised a series of Yellowstone blogs, but already I want to slip something else in.  The Yellowstone material is incubating.  Today I was talking to a friend about a little mountain meadow we visited earlier in the week.  When I tried to describe all the wonderful wildflowers she begged me to send her some photos.  I’ve decided to share them with all my readers.

But first, I’ll point out how the internet can be a very small world.  Through a blog in Florida I met a fellow sketcher / blogger on the internet, Cris.  She noticed we both live in Oregon and perhaps we actually might live in the same part of the state.  As the crow flies, she only lives about a mile and a half from me! Cris writes a wonderful blog about her country life – her dog, her yard birds, and her five very spoiled hens.  They lay yummy eggs, some of which I had for lunch. 

To see Cris’s blog go to:

Back to the flowers ……

Dale and I were bug hunting on the Umpqua National Forest when a camper commented on a pretty mountain meadow just five minutes walk from the campground.  The campers said the wildflowers were just gorgeous, so we decided to have a look. 

After a short walk through tall conifers the trail skirted a small mountain meadow.  In the opening the forbs were green and lush and sunlight bounced off a rainbow of flowers.  Near the edge we found larkspur (the flower at the beginning of this post).  Off in the distance we saw a field of the same color of blue/purple.  At first I thought it was the same plant, but, no, it was a beautiful stretch of camas, an important plant long used by American Indians.

Columbine grows around the edges of the meadow.  Have you ever eaten the little rounded tips at the top of each blossom?  …. Sweet.

Scattered amongst the camas I found just a few white orchids.

Dale photographed this pale yellow flower ….  Anyone know its name?

And inside he found a crab spider. 

Blue eyed grass grows out in the meadow too.  For some unknown reason blue-eyed grass is one of my favorite wildflowers, maybe because I can remember its name.  Its leaves are skinny, like grass. 

One side of the meadow dried out before the forest took over again.  Lots of these pink flowers grow low to the ground.  A bee fly was busy sipping nectar out of one. 

When we headed back to the car, the forest had several flowers growing in the shade.  One was another orchid, spotted coral-root.  It was so quiet we walked right past it on the way to the meadow.  Several blossoms grow on each stalk.  Each blossom is smaller than my little fingernail. 

Windflowers have big, showy flowers that seem to glow in the dark.  The sunlight was hitting this blossom, but not its leaves. 

There we more flowers, many more and butterflies to go with them.  Such a pretty place!


  1. Oh thank you for posting these delightful wild flowers. They are like little jewels. And thank you for the shout out of my blog. That's actually six very spoiled hens. :)) and aren't those fresh eggs yummy? Loved all the pix here. Thanks again for sharing them.

  2. Oh that spider blended in so well I didn't notice it at first till I read it was there. :)

  3. You are forgiven for Yellowstonewalling. Views of NW wildflowers are an excuse for anything. Also forgiven for not hearing the spotted coral-root. Guess it knew when to "keep Mum". ;o)

  4. What a wonderful collection of wild flowers you have found, all calling out to be sketched. I only ever pick just one of each type to draw and then only if there are plenty of them. The orchids are rare so your photos are the best way to collect to copy from.

  5. Sounds like an amazing find. Beautiful photos!