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Mar 29

It was a dark and stormy day…

The rumor is that March goes out like a lamb. Ha! But Finn was promised a hike and I know the Trilliums are blooming, so to Canemah we went.

This is the beginning of one of my favorite seasons in Canemah. I swear if you miss a day you can miss a whole life cycle of some plant you never knew existed.

Bittercress

Bittercress

I don’t remember ever seeing this plant before, but when I looked it up I identified it as Bittercress, a bog-loving Northwest relative of watercress.

The plants that I call “fairy wands” are starting to come out as well. I stopped at the library after our hike and checked out a book that helped me identify them as “Twin Flower” (Linnaea bordealis) with this charming description:

What I call fairy wand is really "Twin Flower"

What I call fairy wand is really “Twin Flower”

“The twin peak bells are delightfully fragrant. The plant makes a beautiful ground cover. Carolus Linnaeus of Sweden helped develop the system of combining a generic and a specific name to form the species name of plants and animals. It is said the the Twin Flower bears his name because it was his favorite flower.” (Wildflowers of the Inland Northwest, page 91)

Madrone

Madrone

Everything–the trees, the trail, the flowers–was wet to the extreme. But in the case of the madrone trees, it helped show off their exquisite color.

Sure enough, the Western Trilliums were blooming. The first time I remember hearing about this plant was in high school when one of my classmates did a presentation about why it was important not to pick them (when picked, they won’t rebloom). I thought I remember a little legend she told about the flower to remind people not to pick them, but when I went online to look for the legend the only one I was able to find was this one: Do not pick the flower or you will have bad luck; but kissing a trillium means you will find love.

In spite of the weather, everything is just about to bloom.

This young twig waits for better weather before releasing its leaves and setting its blooms.

This young twig waits for better weather before releasing its leaves and setting its blooms.