On one of the first days of spring with the promise of some sunshine, I drove to Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Less than five miles southeast of home, the 670-acre tract is the only Oregon state park within a major metropolitan area.
Last year The Oregonian newspaper published an article of mine where I recommended visiting the Park for its Trillium Festival in early April. Trillium (wake robins to those of you from the Midwest) are three-petaled, showy white flowers belonging to the lily family. They like damp places in the forest floor.
This year I made a 5 ½ mile (1,000-foot elevation gain) loop hike through the Park, including reaching both ends of the Iron Mountain Trail. Many trilliums were in bloom and the Indian plums were resplendent with their delicate, dangling white blossoms. Yellow stream violets, golden skunk-cabbage and reddish salmonberry wildflowers also added welcome splashes of color along the trail.
Spring has certainly arrived, bringing new life and beautiful wildflowers.