February Wildflowers above the 45th Parallel


On the last weekend of January I was successful in spotting my first wildflowers of the year in bloom – – – several grass widows and a few salt-and-pepper parsley.

Several weekends later I returned to the lower area of Catherine Creek in the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge.

Catherine Creek always makes for a fine hiking area with its basalt cliffs, oak grasslands, birds to photograph and interesting trails.

It’s also one of the best places to spot early wildflowers. And, as I predicted in blog post from my last visit, by this time thousands of purple grass widows were in bloom alongside many other varieties of spring wildflowers – – – Western saxifrage and three varieties of parsley. I heard rumors of another saxifrage in bloom too, prairie stars.

If you live in the Portland area, now is the time to visit Catherine Creek, Lyle Cherry Orchard, The Dalles Mountain Ranch, Memaloose Hills or McCall Point.

In a couple more weeks, wild lilies and orchids will start to bloom.

What an exciting time of the year!

Salt-and-pepper Parsley (Grass Widow in background)

Salt-and-pepper Parsley (Grass Widow in background)

Columbia RIver

Columbia River

Oak Tree

Oak Tree

Small waterfall on Catherine Creek

Small waterfall on Catherine Creek (notice the green grass in mid-Winter)

Columbia Desert Parsley

Columbia Desert Parsley

Paved trail in Lower Catherine Creek area (the multiple spots of purple are Grass Widows)

Paved trail in Lower Catherine Creek area (the multiple spots of purple are Grass Widows)

Western Saxifrage

Western Saxifrage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , ,

2 comments

  1. Thank you John we are heading up there tomorrow on the Catherine Creek/Coyote Wall loop.

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