Spring has arrived in the Pacific Northwest


Some gardeners believe the first crocus in bloom is the official harbinger of spring. Other folks wait until the spring equinox.

The local meteorologists contend spring occurs when the average daily temperature exceeds 50 degrees, the third week of February.

For me, spring begins when I see the first wildflower. The third weekend of January I was successful.

Living north of the 45th parallel, I’m always amazed how temperate the climate is near the Portland area.

The wildflowers (grass widows) were spotted in the eastern portion of the Columbia River Gorge in the Catherine Creek area.

How about that?

Grasswidow

Grass Widow

Bald Eagle near the Klickitat River

Bald Eagle near the Klickitat River

"Candy" for Bald Eagles (a spawned-out salmon)

“Candy” for Bald Eagles (a spawned-out salmon)

Ponderosa Pine candle (new growth)

Ponderosa Pine candle (new growth)

Solitary mature Ponderosa Pine along a rough trail in the Catherine Creek area

Solitary mature Ponderosa Pine along a rough trail in the Catherine Creek area

Young Bald Eagle

Young Bald Eagle

Reflections in a small pond

Reflections in a small pond

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , ,

8 comments

  1. For me it always has been when I spot that first crocus 🙂

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    • Crocus and grass widow are both members of the iris family. It wouldn’t surprise me if crocus were blooming today in Lyle and Wishram. It’s a magical time of the year in the eastern side of the Columbia River Gorge.

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  2. I have noticed that is how I feel about spring too. I have noticed plants starting to come up here too. Is it actually early or does it just feel that way? If it is early do you think it has anything to do with the early temperatures in the teens before Thanksgiving?

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    • It does see a little early. I usually begin seeing wildflowers in the first week of February. We’ve had a warm, dry stretch of weather. It’s time to explore the outdoors on the lower eastern slopes of the Cascades. Ticks will be out soon.

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  3. For me it is when the natural gas heating bill drops back to baseline; but that isn’t really within the spirit of this nature blog.

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  4. I’m ecstatic the first day I can go outside with a light jacket, or even when the temperature is just above freezing. I notice how much difference just a few ddegrees can make. Below freezing, it’s all just the same cold to me. Above, I know I can take my dog and walk and walk and not be too cold.
    By the way, your photos are wonderful. Nice to see your beautiful work and spirit. I haven’t really started my blog yet, just getting set up, but this inspires me to get on it!

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    • Thanks for the nice comments. Interestingly enough, it’s 20 degrees with snow on the ground in Portland as I type this. But, in a couple of days the marine influence will return and the crocuses will be in bloom.

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