Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Early April in the Southern Willamette Valley

Forgive me - no stitching update today.  Tuesday was a cool and windy day - but a blue-sky day, so the Great Outdoors hearkened!

While some of us could only observe, my Mom and I decided to go out and take a stroll around the property.

As we left the house we were watched by a Violet-green Swallow.

Just across from the house is the wildflower I posted about a couple of days ago.  I've researched it further and decided it is Cynoglossum grande - common name Pacific Hound's Tongue.  It's a member of the borage family and grows in shady areas in woodlands - though ours are in full sun. 

This is Oregon Grape - Mahonia aquifolium - an Oregon evergreen shrub.  It has yellow blossoms in the spring and deep purple berries in the Fall. 

This is one of my favorite trees.  Long dead, I can't help but wonder how many kinds of birds and other animals have contributed to all the different sized holes - I half expect a little face to pop out of one of the larger ones. 

We call this season stream Dorothy's Creek in honor of Howard and Dorothy McBeth who owned the property previously.  It is running fast and making a cheerful rushing sound.

This is Omeleria ceraisformis - the Indian Plum or Osoberry.  We have several of these shrubs / small trees.  It is one of the first plants to leaf out and flower in the Spring.   Native Americans used to eat them, make tea of the bark, and chew its twigs to use as a mild anesthetic. I've not tried any of that! 

Spring time is wildflower time!  I'm not sure, but I believe we have two kinds of Trillium on the property.  I think this is Trillium parviflorum and we also have the larger clump-growing T. albidum.  

I had to stop and take a picture of this polypore fungus-covered log...
If you are interested in more information about polypore fungus (a kind of mushroom) click on this link.

This is another Oregon native - not yet in bloom - Erythronium oregonum - commonly known as Oregon Fawn Lily, or Lamb's Tongue ,or Trout Lily.

And this is the funkiest wildflower on the property.
Veratrum californicum - the Corn Lily.  It grows in wetlands along one of our creeks where the ground is under standing water for most of the year.  It is a lovely bright green as it emerges in the Spring.  It will grow to 3'-6' and produce small white flowers on a long stock.  On the downside - it is poisonous, though some of the local nurseries like to sell it as a "native".   

My last shot is of an extremely small bird working on the new buds and blossoms of a Maple tree.  Early in the morning I observed 8-12 of the tiny birds - flitting around about the tree.  I've no idea who the birds are or what the attraction might have been...

I hope the weather has allowed you to be outside, if not you might enjoy reading other Outdoor Wednesday Posts at a Southern Daydreamer.


Ann at Beadlework. said...

Lovely mix of photos today. I particularly like the photo of the Indian Plum tree/shrub - it looks very pretty.

mckinney37397 said...

did you buy stone and thread a flower and a bunny recently

Cross Stitch Crazy Mum said...

gorgeous photos. A few which would look nice as a cross stitch themselves :-)