Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sunflowers and Wildflowers

Design - "Monthly Mania - July"
Designer - Heart in Hand
Fabric - 16 count Aida
Fibers - GAST - 2 strands
Started - late July 2012
Completed - 3 September 2012

This is the piece my Mom has been stitching on for the last month or so.  She recently finished it up and is pretty pleased with how it turned out. 

It turned out to be a timely piece too.  Congrats Mom!  Nice work!

Crater Lake National Park is largely alpine in nature. Because of the high elevation and the heavy winter snows, the growing season for wildflowers is greatly condensed. Plants that bloom in April or May or June in the Willamette Valley are in full flush from mid-July to late August at Crater Lake. Thus, the Columbine bloom at the same time the Elderberry is setting its berries! It makes for an exuberant, if fleeting, show of color.  

Come along and I'll show you! 
Continuing on our walk, we haven't far to go now...

...until we are rewarded with the sight and sounds of this small rushing waterfall...

...and all the wildflowers flourishing alongside it.

See what I mean?  The stream banks are awash in wildflowers - Lewis' Monkeyflower, Scarlet Paintbrush, Asters, and Streambank Arnica.

Scarlet Paintbrush or Slender Paintbrush(Castilleja miniata) is bright red to orange-red.  It likes wet meadows and stream banks at mid elevation in the mountains. 

The banks along side the waterfall are covered with Streambank Arnica (Arnica amplexicaulis).    

I always am pleased when I see a wildflower that the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806 documented.  This little beauty is called Lewis's Monkeyflower (Mimulus lewisii). It grows in wet areas, along stream banks, and in moist meadow at mid to high elevation in the mountains.  There are lots of clumps of it along side the waterfall. 

Pacific Columbine (Aquiligia formosa) blooms happily along the edge of our trail.  Here in the Willamette Valley the Columbine are done blooming and have set seed. 

I love the name Pearly-Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea).  Doesn't that sound like it should be included in a medieval woman's "Herbalist"?

Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium) is a very common plant in the Pacific NW.  It grows in open or disturbed sites, often one of the first plant to return after a recent fire.

This is Cascade Aster (Aster ledophyllus).  It is a native plant which grows in meadows and open woods at sub-alpine elevations.

I am fancinated to see that the Pacific Red Elder (Sambucus racemosa var. microbotrys) have already set their berries.  We have a couple of Red Elder at home, and there is no sign yet of the bright red berries.  The Elder at Crater Lake were about 3'-4' tall - our Elders are much taller - 20' perhaps.  One of the ways plants cope with higher elevation is by becoming more dwarf in nature.  

Against the backdrop of Lupin leaves, I found this Columbia Monkshood (Aconitum columbainum) blooming still.  It too prefers moist, wet places, and though lovely, is poisonous.  

As we head back out to the car, there is a large stand of Green Corn Lily (Veratrum viride).  Again due to the short growing season, and high altitude, these plants were much shorter than the ones I've seen near my home.  

This I think is my favorite 'new' wildflower.  The irony is that I'm loving it even though it is no longer blooming.  The puffy white drum-heads are the seedpods of the Western Pasqueflower (Anemone occidentalis). Flowering begins soon after the plant emerges from the snowmelt.   The seed heads are on very showy cylinder-shaped stalks and have long, silky feather-like hairs attached to the seed.  Aren't they something else? 

I hope you enjoyed our visit to Crater Lake National Park.  I think it's time for a picnic lunch.

10 comments:

cucki said...

hello deary, i love sun flowers so much..
all these flowers pictures are so lovely..
thank you for sharing..
have a lovely day.hugs x

geeky Heather said...

What a wonderful walk! And so many cool wildflowers. I would have been excited to see a Lewis & Clark flower as well. =) I wish I could join you for a picnic right about now!

Ann at Beadlework. said...

A lovely mix of flowers and a very pretty waterfall too. I do enjoy the nature you share with us every day.

Carol said...

You know I love sunflowers, Beth, and your mom's finish is so pretty... And the real-life sunflowers look great, too. Ours have about finished up here, but the birds will be enjoying the seeds for a while yet :)

Lovely wildflowers on your walk today--there seems to be one of every color!

gilly said...

thank you for taking us through Crater National Park I loved it :)

Mouse said...

ooo your mums finish is very pretty and love the beautiful flowers you have captured this time ... love the pompom flower stalks at the end too :)
love mouse xxxx

Pam in IL said...

I've really enjoyed the visit to Crater Lake National Park. Those Western Pasqueflowers remind me of characters in an animated movie.

Your mom's sunflower finish is cute as is your mouse from the previous post.

Patty C. said...

Enjoyed the photos - the sunflower is beautiful ;)

Barb said...

I love the sun flower that you stitched. The flowers are just beautiful.

Melanie said...

Very nice piece by your Mum! :)