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Balsamroot sunflowers are in full bloom this week. Their sunny color paints the hillsides of the Methow valley with vivid pigments that invite you to get up and go outdoors. If you’re not out in the hills this week, you are making a mistake. MA and I took the dogs to Patterson Mountain, a popular and easily accessible hiking trail near here.  There were several cars at the trailhead so we knew others were out ahead of us and we did see them but mostly they were leaving as we were arriving so on top of the mountain we had it mostly to ourselves, except for a talkative raven.

The contrast of green hills crowned with yellow and the snow-covered mountains and blue skies surely make this the prettiest time of the year. There were other flowers – rock cress, shooting stars, blue bells, serviceberry, even a late twin flower. The bitterroot were not yet blooming. That surprised me. But the star of the day was the Balsamroot.

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