Monday, August 31, 2015

Nature's Garden

This week I thought I'd share photos from a four-mile hike my hubby and I took yesterday. Of course I had my camera and had to stop for photos every two seconds, which tried the patience of my ever-mellow husband, snicker, chortle. 

So let's go hiking! 

First through grassy fields...

Then through a deciduous forest.

I was very impressed with the Snowberries, (Symphoricarpos albus)
When I grew this plant, the berries looked more like parking lot, melting snow.

These were pristine.

I was surprised to see Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).

There was quite a little clump of it.
I didn't know it was growing here in Oregon.

We (I) quickly decided we needed to come back next spring.
The flowers on this clover must have been stunning.

Here's another reason to come back in the spring.
What was this flower?
Kind of looks like Columbine seedpods, (Aquilegia canadensis)

We saw lots of Twinberry (Lonicera involucrata)

And lots of Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

Such pretty flowers...

Mostly in white...

And a few in pink.

Before my wits returned, I was actually thinking of digging a clump of this one.
You know me and pink flowers!

One lone clump of Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)

A type of indigenous Aster

Chicory (Cichorium intybus)

The sky-blue flowers belie this plant's tough demeanor

A sprinkling of yellow California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

And a little party of two

I've never seen Virgin's Bower or Wild Clematis growing here in Oregon
(Clematis virginiana)

Lots of seed heads to guarantee more plants next year.
No, I didn't collect any.

And, no, we didn't get near this monstrosity either.

Such a menacing orb. I think the hornets built it to be terrifying on purpose.
We were surprised to see it on the ground. Maybe the branch it was on had broken off.

Nearby, was another one! This one was still up high.

Finally, our destination!

The beautiful Willamette River!

And a stately resident!
Do you see him?

So regal!

Downstream (looking north)

Upstream (looking south)

A boat of speedy passersby... the only people we saw here.

And their wake

A few more wild plantings...

A nice clump of Wild or Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)

Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

This little beauty was a surprise, growing right on the rocks!
(Amaranthus hypochondriacus)
I sure hope it's not going to be on next year's invasive weed list.

This might be Carex hystericina. I'm not sure.

Anyone know which grass this might be?

A Descampsus maybe? Isn't it pretty?
Addendum: Scott Weber, THE Grass Guru says it's
Eragrostis spectabilis 'Purple Love Grass'
Now I wish I would have dug it up. It was small but very cool.

This plant looks suspiciously like Bowle's Golden Grass. (Milium effusum 'Aureum')

I had it for several years in my garden--in several places.
It's a prolific self-seeder.

Don't know what this curiosity is but I thought the red spots
on the leaves were kind of sweet.

I found this rare Aviana featheriosis!

What I think is Hairy Goldaster (Hetherotheca villosa)

After collecting a few interesting rocks...

We decided to head back.

Another reason to visit in the spring...

Bush after bush of lovely rose hips.
I want to see the roses!

On the way back, I was mesmerized by these gorgeous, glowing
White Pine trees. (Pinus strobus, I think.)

There was an entire row of them lining the side of the pathway! 

A tired looking mint. I think it's Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
but by now, I was too tired to smell the leaves to be sure.

On the way back, I kept telling Steve that we should grow this ground cover weed instead of a lawn
in our front yard. So little water and yet verdant and healthy!

It's Prostrate Spurge, (Euphorbia maculata)...

And unfortunately it's a summer (warm-season) annual, meaning my "lawn"
albeit lush and green in summer would be a muddy mess in winter.

See how lush and pretty it is?

Around the bend and a few more miles ahead, (not really but it was starting to feel like it) we were back at the parking lot and headed back to civilization. It was a well-spent afternoon.

Next week we'll be back in my garden.


  1. It's so funny you had a picture of one, because I found a random Amaranthus seedling in my garden this year...and I have NO idea where it came from! I think your first mystery grass is likely Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple Love Grass).

  2. What fun! Thanks for taking us along on your walk in the woods. We have so many cool wildflowers in this region. I have that weedy spurge popping up in my garden too. I bet this area in spring has even more pretty flowers.

  3. Wonderful scenery! I can't say we have any natural areas with wildflowers like that. And our Los Angeles River doesn't hold up next to the Willamette River.

  4. Wow, those plants growing in the rocks are pretty nifty! That looks like a great place to hike. You have many of the same wildflowers that we have here in Southern Wisconsin. Thanks for taking us along on your hike!

  5. You've found some sweet surprises popping out of the wildness. Nice wildflower photography.
    I hope you'll come link up at

  6. Hi Grace,
    I enjoyed seeing the photos taken during your hike. I didn't realize bindweed had such a big range. I remember thinking how pretty the ones I used to see blooming on a fence on my walk to school were.

    We don't go on walks on our local trails often enough. We did have a little over 1 mile hike with our grandsons a week or two ago. It was fun, and I took a number of photos. Some of the time, when the 7 year old saw my iphone out, he said, "No technology, grandma!" LOL

  7. Hi, a wonderful walk, we have many of those plants here in S. Oregon too. I think your mystery grass is Witch Grass, Panicum capillare. Johnny's selected seeds sells one for the garden and it makes a beautiful cut flower with big heads like fireworks, however the common weed does the same thing in the garden. Both are quite prolific but easy to pull out.

  8. Ciao, fun to go on your hike with you! I loved seeing the Great Blue Heron in his natural habitat, what a gorgeous sight. Lucky you. (Don't they just look like they should bring luck?!?) I couldn't help but notice how dry everything is....I know it is August, but still, such dry fuels everywhere. Stunning height on those rose hips, I'm with ya, it will be fun to go back in spring. Kind of surprised you didn't see any blue flax (I'm sorry I don't know its proper name.) A lot of lovely finds. thanks for sharing...

  9. My favorite was your "Aviana featheriosis" but I suppose I should be more serious, when I now know how informed you are. I mostly know common names. Love your photographing all along your walk!

  10. That was fun to see your native plants for a change. My hubby is in Oregon right now, as a matter of fact. He goes there often. He's in Bend this week, but also goes to Redmond and Hillsboro.

  11. I'll be watching for your return visit in the spring, but this post would be hard to beat.

  12. Gracie girl that was quite a nice hike ... phew ! I am a bit tired though ? LOL
    I too will be waiting for your return here in the Spring (especially since I will be locked in winter still for your time a head of us) .. I want to see those roses ... I bet they smell amazing and look gorgeous too!
    I am on my own this week .. Garden PA is off to Cuba for his get-a-way.
    Today is going to be HOT and HUMID .. 40 C ... I am hiding in the house.
    But ? ... I did a deep water of all the gardens yesterday so I am guilt free for a while !! haha
    Take care girl
    Joy : )


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