Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Granite Gilia brightens May's fields in Lincoln County Washington

Granite Gilia (Photo by D. Grant Haynes)

This spring's wildflowers are a full month later blooming than last year's in Eastern Washington. I wrote of seeing Granite Gilia on April 4, 2010. Today--May 4, 2011--I saw it in abundance for the first time this year, due to the unusually severe and prolonged winter now ending.

In its own quiet and unobtrusive way, this year's Granite Gilia gladdens the heart of all who yearn for a cessation of winter's siege.

No, at best, it's never a good place nor a good year for the roses in Eastern Washington.

But we'll take any roses we can get on the windswept Columbia Plateau and be grateful.

There is always an object lesson in nature that we humans would do well to imbibe.

The timid and unspectacular Granite Gilia plant does not whine, "why wasn't I born an azalea bush in Mobile's Bellingrath Gardens?" Rather, she accepts gracefully her role as a hardscrabble little plant growing in rocky volcanic soil on the windswept Columbia Plateau of Eastern Washington. She brightens the landscape for a few weeks, upon receiving her cue, and then retreats back into the soil to await another, perhaps more propitious, spring. No grumbling about her lot or her role in the grander scheme.

I would that we were all as wise.

D. Grant Haynes