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Tag Archives: paintbrush

Being a desert area with little rain, what grows there? Turns out, lots of stuff. We were not there at the peak of the flower bloom (we missed the cactus flowers for sure) but we still saw lots of color. The reds really stand out. Red paintbrush and a red milkvetch. Most of the other plants were new to me. The purple and white low growing flowers sometimes carpeted an area of granite gravel. It was a harsh place for pretty things. We didn’t see a lot of pollinator type insects. Most of the bugs we saw were tiny no-see-ums that came out in clouds around dusk and were quite annoying.

The unsettled weather of May and June and even into July has left us with some impressive and long-lasting wildflowers. I drove to 6000′ elevation and saw quite a variety.

This is my busy season. I’ve had two weddings to photograph within one week so that means LOTS of computer time. It is important that I continue to get out and enjoy the beautiful place where I live for my overall fitness – both physically and mentally.

Last week Jennifer and her horse and two dogs joined Luna and me for a walk on the four mile long Black Lake trail. It follows Lake Creek on a gentle grade making for easy walking without huffing and puffing. This was a test for Luna to see if she could tolerate being around a horse. She has a long-standing fear of large ungulates stemming from an incident when she was less than a year old and managed to anger a large draft horse so much that the normally gentle animal turned and appeared to try to run Luna into the ground. Never mind that the horse was behind a fence and Luna was barking her fool head off. You can imagine how immense this draft horse was from her point of view. And those hooves! Luna turned and ran all the way back to the house where she waited under the porch til Betty and I went back for her. So now, along comes Jennifer and her horses and she suggests that we all go riding together. Luna is friends with Jennifer and her dogs so when they were all fine with the big animal Luna sort of fell into step with the rest of the group although she did not like it when the Whiskey, the horse fluttered her lips and made that funny horse noise and she was mostly sure to keep a good distance between herself and the horse.


For the life of me, I cannot find this flower in my field guides. I know I’ve looked it up before and figured out its ID but not this time



It is a vine with clematis-like flowers



Riding through the burned forest



My, what big eyes you have!



Lovely wildflowers in this burned forest



Since it is a burned forest, every year, more snags fall across the trail. Here, we were near the lake but were turned back by the deadfall.



Jennifer manages to keep the dogs’ attention with a good story or maybe the promise of treats



It burned in 2003



Paintbrush and lupine and Luna wondering why I have to stop to look at all the flowers!



The dogs found comfort in this old beaver pond. Unfortunately, Luna chose to get out in a mud hole, and emerged coated in mud up to her belly.



Jennifer got a good laugh out of that, especially knowing I’d have to take Luna down to the raging creek to wash her off before we could get in the truck.



Lake Creek


Yesterday I hiked to Tiffany Mountain again. You may recall that Luna and I walked that trail back in July. Pictures are here. This time, my friend Marcy and her dog Guthrie went along. It started out fairly chilly with Marcy wearing a wool sweater but soon we were warm and enjoying the trail. It was good to be at a high elevation. Our valley is full of smoke from forest fires burning in various places throughought north central Washington. It looks like some will burn til the snow falls. Right now, there is no rain in the forecast to dampen them.

Tiffany looks much different than it did in July. At that time the snow was newly melted and the ground was moist and wildflowers were coming in to bloom. Yesterday, the trail was dusty; most flowers were dried and the grass was crisp. The verdant greens were gone replaced with dusty yellows and oranges. The first larch trees have turned yellow.


Exuberant dogs, happy to out of the car and on the trail


Stopping for a break in the sun, Guthrie expressed interest in my snacks


Layers of forest fire smoke fill the valleys and obliterate the views


A cool rock


If there’s an edge, Luna will stand next to it and look down


Tiffany Lake in the distance


Lunch away from the edge and sheltered from the breeze. The smoke is getting higher.


Looking back at the mountain top


Lots to photograph along the trail


We both enjoyed this red leafed plant with tiny leaves.


Fall colors


And still some paintbrush in bloom!


The first yellow larch trees


We were late for the fireweed flowers


The seedheads are pretty interesting and still colorful


An old burned forest.


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