Monday, May 12, 2014

Gray Butte Hike and Widlflowers

On Mother's Day I went hiking out at Gray Butte, by Smith Rock, and was happily excited at all the gorgeous scenery.  It was perfect wildflower time, there were whites, yellows, blues, pinks, purples, and even green! 

In addition to the wildflowers, the views were spectacular!  We were looking across the agricultural lands of Central Oregon towards the Cascade Range, and we thought we could even see Mt. Hood.

But back to the wildflowers.  Being a flower in Central Oregon is not an easy thing.  Water gets scarce towards summer so a flower has to get real busy while there is still moisture in the spring.  A lot of them are quite to flower and go to seed before the heat of summer kicks in and they need all their energy to stay alive, no more seed making. 
The flowers are also smaller than others you might see in more wet areas (like the Cascade or Coastal Ranges).  That is one thing I have come to appreciate about the desert, you have to look at the world a little differently and see the beauty in the smaller things, the smaller flowers, the curve of that mature Juniper tree, the way the light catches on the grass at dusk.

Our wildflowers may be small but they sure do pack a punch.  I highly recommend hiking Gray Butte right now while the flowers are still in bloom.  Then in a month or so check out Look Out Mountain in the Ochoco's and Iron Mountain off Hwy 20 West towards the Cascades. 

From Top Right: Field of Spreading Phlox and Nine-Leaved or Desert Parley, Unknown blue flower - do you know it?, Indian Paintbrush with Big Headed Clover and Yellow Salsify (or False Dandelion) , Middle Row: Puccoon, View towards the Cascade Range, Big Headed Clover, Bottom Row: Sage and Fescue meadow with view towards the West, Spreading Phlox with Lupine and Salsify, unknown white flowers - do you know it?

So many more out there that I did not capture, you will have to see them for yourself!

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