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Tag Archives: Methow wildflowers

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.

Dicentra uniflora – Steershead or longhorn steer’s-head. As long as I have lived here, nearly seven years now, I have wanted to see this tiny wildflower. I told people I knew who had seen it that I’d really, really like to see one. I searched in vain on my own for it. Last year, with good advice from an ‘authority’ I scoured all over our hillside. He’d seen them on Signal Hill, the next road downstream from here and he thought I had a good chance of finding it. All to no avail. The tiny plant blooms as soon as the snow melts. When we left on our vacation, snow covered our hill. when we returned, it was all gone. I was overwhelmed with stuff to do but continued to look. Others had already seen it in different places. I knew it was out there. I photographed leaves and shared the images with others. No, they said, that’s not it. Darn. Another friend searched in the hills above Wenatchee. And then, yesterday. Yesterday, I found one still in bloom. Just feet from our driveway. In my front yard, so to speak. And today I found another. The blooms are faded, for sure, and setting seeds, but there they were. Very obvious. What a relief to be done with this search. I will probably see them everywhere next spring!


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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