First Wildflower of 2022: It’s Springtime!


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Grass Widow

Some gardeners believe the first crocus in bloom is the official harbinger of spring. Other folks wait until the 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. On the last weekend of January, on a cold and stormy day, I was successful.

Grass Widow

That’s pretty amazing when you consider we live north of the 45th parallel.

The Catherine Creek area in the eastern Columbia River Gorge always makes for a fine place to spot early wildflowers. It took me awhile but I finally spotted one grass widow in bloom in an open, south-facing area that absorbs whatever sunshine is available. Grass widows are a showy, small member of the iris family. And, they are always a joy to see in the middle of winter.

Is it time to put away the winter parkas and break out the polo shirts?

Small waterfall on Catherine Creek

Grass Widows

A stormy look down the Columbia River

Small pond along the trail

Trailhead, it’s a popular place even in the middle of winter

Oak leaves floating in a small pond

Categories: Columbia River Gorge Hikes

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