Columbia Gorge Wildflowers

April 16-17, 2016
My family took a weekend trip last weekend to the east end
of the Columbia Gorge where the wildflowers are in full
force.  Many say that this is an epic year for the balsam
root sunflowers, and I do believe I'd agree - as we drove
to the area we could see entire mountains looking like they
were painted gold.  We hiked the lower trail at the Tom
McCall Preserve, where I had once been on a college botany
field trip some 18 years ago.  This trail traverses volcanic
mesa tops and rounds a beautiful pond where many birds
were twittering away.  Then on Sunday we went across the
river to Columbia Hills State Park and were blown away by
the beauty of the flowers set against a backdrop of
stunning blue sky and brilliantly white snow-covered Mt.
Hood.  We could also see Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Adams in
the distance.  We hiked about 2 miles there (would've gone
further, but my son sprained his ankle a few weeks ago and
he can only hike so far, and he's getting big so I can't
carry him much further!) Besides the balsam root we also
saw lupine, phlox, filaree, camas, poppies, and parsley in
bloom.  My son loved the tiny filaree and phlox flowers
most of all.  He also found a little acorn at a creek crossing
that he wanted to take home. I am trying to teach him LNT
so persuaded him to leave it there, planting it and watering
it beneath its "Mommy Tree".  We also had fun talking to
fellow photographers and flower nuts.  What a weekend!  
Just what I needed, as we've been spending a lot of time
fixing up and moving into our new home.
T found this little acorn and didn't want to leave it
behind, but we planted it next to the "Mommy"
tree and he was okay with that
Mt. Hood in the distance
He was so excited to see a big bunch of phlox!
More photos here!

More about Tom McCall Preserve
More about Columbia Hills State Park

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Any idea what species this lily is?