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Category Archives: wildflowers

The girls and I drove a few miles out of Winthrop in hopes of finding the Lewisia tweedyi wildflowers. They have a narrow habitat and bloom early and I usually miss seeing them in this generally busy time of year. But since I am not as busy as normal, I made sure to get out and see them. According to my wildflower guide, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest, ‘they grow in rocky slopes or cliffs at low and mid elevations only in the Wenatchee mountains in Washington and adjacent British Columbia. This rare plant is named for its discoverer, Frank Tweedy, a government railway surveyor working on the Wenatchee Range near Mount Stuart in 1882.’ These are not the Wenatchee mountains so perhaps, in the next revision of the book, that can be expanded to include the North Cascades.

After getting my fill of the flowers we skirted the Forest Service trailhead (all USFS facilities are closed but trails are open, if that makes any sense at all) and walked about 7 miles, round trip, through an old burned area with a nice creek and plenty of opportunities for the dogs to get a drink and cool off. There were more wildflowers along the trail including my first of the year fairy slipper orchids. It was a beautiful day.

Lots of birds have successfully nested on our hillside this year – American Robins, Say’s Phoebes, Western and Mountain Bluebirds, House Wrens, Tree and Violet-green Swallows, Bullock’s Orioles and more. The biggest highlight has been our Nice Nests kestrel box hosting its first successful nest of American Kestrels. Four birds were raised and got out of the box and were standing around on branches up until a few days ago. That is the branchling stage. Now they are out doing flying and hunting lessons. I hope they stay here and work on our rodent population. And I hope they return next year. We have another kestrel box that hasn’t been used yet!

The girls and I, along with Red Molly went out on a new road the other day. It’s always fun to explore new places. It was good timing because the wildflowers were still quite nice. Of course, the mosquitoes were still quite numerous and hungry. A person just can’t stand still for long.

After our beach trip, we had to go to Virginia for the sad occasion of my father-in-law’s funeral. It was not an unexpected death but saying those final goodbyes is always difficult.

So with that, we were gone most of the month of June. As you might imagine we came home to lots of things that needed to be done and our dogs, who were well cared for in our absence. Molly was here for a long weekend while her family went to a wedding.

After suburban northern Virginia, it was incredible to be walking on our own hill with mostly peace and quiet.

The weather has been chilly and unsettled and there’s even been some rain. Mosquitoes are loving this. Loving it! They make it challenging to enjoy a walk in lots of my favorite places this time of year. If I stand still too long, the whining bugs are all around threatening to make me miserable.

The wildflowers are liking this weather too. Lots of color along the trails and by the lakes and streams. The same places that the mosquitoes like. Oh well. I’m glad for the flowers.

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