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April showers bring… wait, no, not in the desert.

Hello everyone! I’ve been away a bit (schooling and applying for a program in zoology), but I’m back, and I have some flower photos for you to gaze upon today to rest your weary mind. It’s May Day, the first of May and harbinger of spring (and therefore.. SUMMER!). While folks at my alma mater are running around naked, plants in the lower plains of the sagebrush steppe of Central Oregon to blossom. It’s still cold as all get-out some nights (the peonies are drooping so sadly this morning), but we have that nice blazing sun during the day. Enjoy!

More Golden Currant!

Golden Currant (Ribes aureum)!

Golden Currant.

More Golden Currant!

The fleeting Sand Lily, one of the first flowers of the season in this climate.

The fleeting Sand Lily (Leucocrinum montanum), one of the first flowers of the season.

Backyard crab-apple getting ready to burst forth!

Backyard crab-apple getting ready to burst forth!

 

For those of you that may not know, magnolias are one of my all-time favorite blossoms. While none of them grow in Central Oregon, they are abundant just on the other side of the Cascades in Portland, where I’ve been spending a fair amount of time. I managed to grasp just a few images in my travels of the magnificent flowers.

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Thanks for visiting and happy Wednesday to you!

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This Week (give or take) in Photos

Roaming in the Painted Hills, Oregon

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

I love to roam.

I recently made the trip out to a spectacular spot in Oregon’s “high desert” region called the Painted Hills. The Painted Hills are one of three spots in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, which includes the Sheep Rock Unit loaded with fossils and an AWESOME fossil museum, complete with a glass wall where you can watch paleontologists chipping away at the remains of some million-year-old-something. *drool*

The Painted Hills were an ancient floodplain home to small, ancestral horse species and other early mammals. Erosion has wiped away the more recent layers of soil to reveal this amalgam of clay and minerals, which, true to its name, looks like it was painted with a big red brush.

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Can you say, “Mycotrophic Wildflowers”?

Do you love new vocabulary as much as I do? When I learn a new word I want to work it into my everyday vernacular. Mostly so I can try to sound smart. But this post isn’t about my inferiority complex, it’s about wildflowers! Well, kind of.

What has no chlorophyll, parasitizes the hyphae (filaments) of a mycorrhizal fungus, and looks like alien asparagus?

Why, it’s mycotrophic wildflowers!

Pinedrops (Pterospora andromedea). Or as I like to call them, Freaky Alien Asparagus.

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Roses: One of Mankind’s Favorite Obsessions

Many people don’t realize that there are wild, native rose species, and that some have a scent that rivals any fancy-pants rose bred by a hybridizer. The catch, it seems, is that hybridized roses have intricate and extravagant blooms. David Austin, an English-born hybridizer, helped to revolutionize the rose world by breeding the flowers to have both gorgeous blooms and intoxicating scent.

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