When I was a young girl, what I knew about trilliums was that each one will only bloom once every seven years.
I don’t know if that is true, or if it was something to tell a child who wanted to take the treasure of a perfect flower home for her own, or if, maybe, I am remembering something that never happened at all.
I don’t expect I’ll ever punch the buttons to find out.
Because do you know what happens when you find out that this beautiful, this perfectly white, this immaculately formed, miracle first flower of spring in front of you last bloomed in the year you were born?
It creates a miracle in every next time you see it for the rest of a whole life. Something joyful that is only for you.
The first trillium appeared on my trail to the Sandy River on March 26th. Every day, the first was joined by the next and then more, until there were dozens. Right there and just for me. And for the past twenty days, I have hiked that two miles down, two miles up, with more delight than the everyday peace that place is for me.
They are starting to fade. White petals tingeing to lavender, today’s deluge of rain and hail bowing their heads.
It’s okay. The wild strawberries and the salmon berries are blooming and will soon be a different kind of delight. The ferns are showing new furls, and will fan out to obscure their winter-killed fronds. The cottonwoods are leafing and, once again, the understory will contain no clear paths through.
I hope that when my season is done, I turn gently to lavender before I sink back to ground.
Mama, thank you for teaching me this love of wet and green and mud.
Friends of the Columbia Gorge
Flower Frenzy Challenge 2013!
March 1 to July 31, 2013
What a great reason to get boots on the trails, and experience the spring and early summer in our beautiful Columbia Gorge! Every year, I intend to get out to Dog Mountain in the spring, and every year, I miss the window. Rain or shine, I am going this weekend – mark it.
Friends Of The Columbia Gorge has put together a treasure hunt of 25 beautiful flowers that appear briefly in the Gorge in the spring and early summer, and the challenge is to get out there and find as many as you can, with the shyer of the bunch being worth more points. There are prizes, although I would suggest the treasure, in this case, is in the finding more than the winning :). The log has great information on each flower, like:
Register at www.gorgefriends.org/flowerfrenzy , print out your log, and go find some beauty you haven’t seen before. Even if you’re not going to play this time, become a member! Memberships start at 35.00, which is a killer deal and gives you access to great inside information and resources. I also see that if you register now, you get a free copy of Ross Jolley’s “Wildflowers Of The Columbia Gorge”!
Some of the early ones will be disappearing soon (or you’ll have to hike up higher to find them), so start this weekend and I’ll see you on the other side of a cluster of Dutchman’s Breeches!