Has Spring Arrived? The First Wildflower of the Year

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 usually.

For me, spring begins when I see the first wildflower. Last year it was the third weekend of January. This year it was the last weekend of February. It’s been a cold and wet winter.

The wildflower (a prairie star) was spotted in the eastern portion of the Columbia River Gorge in the Mosier area.

It was the only wildflower I saw in bloom. Although, I did spot many blacktail deer feeding at the lower elevations while hiking nearby.

Prairie Star

Prairie Star

Blacktail Deer on the alert (hears me but doesn't see me)

Blacktail Deer on the alert (hears me but doesn’t see me)

Looking down the Columbia River Gorge

Looking down the Columbia River Gorge

Blacktail Deer

Blacktail Deer


Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , ,


  1. I enjoyed reading about the way you decide spring has arrived, John, and what a joy it must have been for you to spot this one wildflower in bloom. As a birder, I declare it’s spring when we see the first birds (usually oak titmouse) checking out the nest boxes and singing their courting songs. Spring is so wonderful, isn’t it? Thank you for these lovely photos — that overview of the Columbia Gorge is especially stunning.

    • I may have been a little optimistic about spring in the Columbia Gorge. There is still lots of snow at the lower elevations.
      If I have a chance, I’ll try the east side of the Gorge again soon. Grass widows should begin blooming. And, little songbirds should also be arriving.

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