Captivating Darlingtonia

Plants that eat bugs. Just the thought of them and I am instantly transported back to third grade, when our teacher brought several carnivorous plants into our classroom. I’m not sure I ever saw one eat a bug because, of course, the third grade boys liked to poke the plants to make them close. Regardless, as a nine-year-old I was captivated. While I may have been captivated, it took about 40 years before I finally saw my first carnivorous plant in the wild -- the "Darlingtonia Californica" … [Read more...]

Spring Has Sprung

For me, spring isn't so much about a date on the calendar or the alignment of the earth; instead, it is about spring wildflowers. After our visit to Bake Stewart Park last weekend, I can say with confidence that spring has sprung! The annual parade of wildflowers which will be appearing in our forest, woodlands, parks, and prairies has kicked off and should be with us into June. Here's a sampling of what is blooming right now at Bake … [Read more...]

Hinsdale Rhododendron Garden: Reedsport

Earlier this month we headed to Reedsport to experience something new, the O.H. Hinsdale Rhododendron Garden. Located 3 miles east of Reedsport on Highway 38, the garden is currently being restored by a joint partnership between the BLM and the “Friends of Hinsdale Garden.” This hidden treasure was a labor of love for one man, O. Howard Hinsdale. Saved from demolition in the late 1990s, over 700 of the original plants in this garden have since been identified. And, while the garden is beautiful, … [Read more...]

Changes at Bake Stewart Park

Last spring I wrote numerous times about Bake Stewart Park and the glorious wildflowers growing there. For many years, we visited this park only occasionally, however since our wildflower discovery we've made a point to go out there more often. Over the past year we've watched as the Army Corps of Engineers worked to revitalize the habitat for the native prairie wildflowers as well as Roemer's fescue, a native grass. They have adjusted their mowing schedule to allow the wildflowers the time … [Read more...]

Hendricks Park: Rhododendrons

Recently, I took the opportunity to spend time at Hendricks Park in Eugene. It has been years since I’ve been to the Park and even longer since I’ve been there during peak bloom. I wasn’t disappointed during my early morning stroll along the gravel paths: the birds were singing, the sun was shining, and the light, spicy fragrance of rhododendrons and azaleas filled the air. For the most part, I had the paths to myself, so I took my time with my camera and tripod. My goal on this trip was … [Read more...]