Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fern fiddleheads unfurling

(Photo by D. Grant Haynes)

I know some of my viewers expect a new spectacular every few days. Those spectaculars are becoming more difficult to produce as spring drifts into summer and the flowering stage for wild plants subsides.

However, I am sharing a photo of fern fiddleheads that were opening June 16 when I hiked in Pacific County, Washington, near Long Beach. The woodlands of the Cape Disappointment headland were replete with such ferns.

Fern fiddleheads are considered a delicacy by some. They are steamed or otherwise cooked slightly before being consumed.

I have not had an opportunity to identify, specifically, this particular fern variety, so I cannot recommend it as a food source. More research would be required on my part before I would eat it or any other wild plant.

D. Grant Haynes

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Moon, June, Spoon, Honeymoon...

(Photo by D. Grant Haynes)

The June 11 moon was beautiful, uncompromised by clouds or mist. She reached the quarter phase on June 9 and will be full June 15.

Regardless of how neurotic and self-destructive the human species becomes, some natural phenomena remain unchanged, thereby offering solace in a world seemingly gone mad.

This beautiful moon, our faithful earth companion through all the ages, cares not one whit what Anthony Weiner sent a woman on Twitter. That puts things into perspective for me.

D. Grant Haynes

Friday, June 10, 2011

And possibly the last spring flower of the season--the death camas

Photo by D. Grant Haynes

A terrible name for a pleasant little plant of the meadow, but I am told it is so named because someone mistook it (Zigadenus paniculatus) once for an edible camas and became ill.

In any case, this particular plant lent sunlight and joy to what was possibly my last afternoon looking for spring flowers in Wilbur, Washington.

God bless the natural world and all it has given me. -- DGH

Silky lupine blooming

(Photo by D. Grant Haynes)

The spring and early summer wildflower show is waning in Lincoln County, but silky lupine (Lupinus sericeus Pursh var. fikeranus) now lends its delicate beauty to mid-June landscapes.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pageant of wildflowers continues

(Photo by D. Grant Haynes)

Today's featured plant is the desert yellow daisy, (Erigeron linearis).

This tiny daisy is actually expected to bloom in July or August in Eastern Washington, but is appearing already in Lincoln County.

Perhaps they seek to take advantage of the liberal rains of recent days.

D. Grant Haynes

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A propitious beginning for summer

The backyard of the apartment where I dwell is dominated all summer by a pleasant little bush that produces hundreds of yellow flowers from the first warm days until the last ones.

Succeeding generations of flowers attract bees and butterflies each lazy summer afternoon for at least three months running.

During the bitter Eastern Washington winter, this brave and uncomplaining little woody plant defies all cold with a certainty that it will be reborn again when soil and air temperatures reach a minimal level in the spring.

Today, June 1, 2011, my cheery bush produced its first four flowers of the 2011 season. Within days now, I can expect the shrub to be covered with five-petaled yellow flowers. Again, they will continue until the days begin to grow short and cold in late September, perhaps.

Being a determined researcher, I am pouring over taxonomic descriptions to learn the botanical name of the plant. I will certainly post that designation here when found.

Until such time, I will simply call the bush my "sunshine flower".

This, because I know the plant will lend a sense of warmth and gentle peace to my life each afternoon as I sit in my backyard listening to bird calls and other comforting sounds of the natural world.

D. Grant Haynes

P.S. -- I have learned from an area nursery that my sunshine flower is a shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa).

P.P.S. -- And 11 days later (June 12), four blooms have been transformed into at least a hundred on the shrubby cinguefoil! Such is the beauty and wonder of the natural world and of spring. -- DGH