Wonders of Wonders, a Naked Broomrape

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Catherine Creek

Oak savannah, eastern Columbia River Gorge, hit-and-miss sunshine on southern-facing slopes and it’s late March.

Mix all the ingredients together and you have the makings for a wildflower extravaganza.

Purple grass widows were in bloom by the hundreds as I readied my daypack at the Catherine Creek Trailhead.

Hiking west of the creek, looking to gain 1,900 feet of elevation over the next few miles, little wildflowers were everywhere – – – naked broomrape, small-flowered prairie stars, gold stars, desert parsley, Columbia desert parsley and western saxifrage.

As I gained elevation, the wildflowers slowly disappeared and were replaced with much sign of wild turkeys and blacktail deer.

After reaching the top of the mountain underneath a high-voltage transmission tower, I ate a light snack and enjoyed the views all the way down to the Columbia River.

On the initial part of my trek downhill, I was treated to the wonderful sound of wild turkeys in the nearby oak trees. A nice lullaby indeed.

Naked Broomrape

My 4″ Buck next to the tracks of a large Blacktail Buck


View down the Columbia River Gorge

Columbia Desert Parsley

Mt. Hood

Shooting Star

Natural arch in the basalt cliffs

Desert Parsley


Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , ,


  1. That poor lil flower needs a less salacious name—sounds like a prison experience. 🤪

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