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Tag Archives: balsamroot

Yesterday was our sixth wedding anniversary! To celebrate, we hiked to our wedding spot and then on to Aspen Lake. It was a gloriously warm morning – we are finally getting nice weather. The wildflowers are at the peak of their bloom. Yes, it really was that vibrant. Bird song filled the air.

September marks the unofficial end of summer around here. Kids returned to school this week and most vacations are over. Harvest season is in full swing. The weather is beginning to feel like fall. Birds are flocking up for migration. And we try to squeeze in a few more hikes. Here are a few scenes from the end of summer.

 

The wildflowers have been been stunning these last few weeks. They started early and as expected, they are fading early too. Maybe the morning’s rainfall will bring on a new flush of color. Hummingbirds and swallows continue to be a big presence at our house. I thought the hummers would not settle in after last year’s fire but they seem to be just about as numerous and as ravenous for the juice I put in the feeders each day. I’m afraid I’ve created a bunch of tiny sugar addicts. There are Rufous, Calliope and now Black-chinned Hummingbirds here. Occasionally, especially in the fall, we see Anna’s Hummingbirds. Here are a few images from the past couple of weeks.

We have been away for two weeks on a road trip to California. There are many, many photos from that trip to edit and I have yet to get started. Lots of images of dogs playing in the surf. Prepare yourself. But for the moment I thought I’d share a few flower photos.

When we left, most of the ground on our hillside was covered with snow. Now it’s all gone. The ash-covered dirt is ready for spring and in some places it is already covered with a fresh blush of new green grasses. And if I look closely I can find tiny wildflowers. Some of them seem to be flourishing after last year’s fire. It’s a relief to see color on our landscape again.

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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