Gray Rabbitbrush and Lupine in June

Gray Rabbitbrush (aka rubber rabbitbrush) looks like wild sage paintbrushes loaded up densely with vibrant sunshine-colored pigments and left out in the sun to dry.

Not to be outdone, stunning bluish-purple lupine putting on quite a show as well…

These photos were taken June 13th near Bridgeport, WA

Blessings! ~ EK

Achillea millefolium – Common yarrow

Common yarrow – Okanogan-Wanatchee National Forest, June 2021

One of my favorite pastimes is to identify plants from photos I’ve taken while hiking.

Some plants are common and easy to identify; the yarrow pictured above for example.

Other plants are trickier… I’ve got a funky lookin’ Larkspur that’s been giving me the run around for a month, haha.

What’s blooming in your neck of the woods?

I’d love to read about it in the comments 🙂

~ EK

Fiddlenecks in early June // Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Some photos I captured on a walk earlier this month of a plant I was able to later identify as a type of Amsinckia, commonly known as Fiddlenecks.

After a fair amount of comparison and research online, I still wasn’t able to distinguish the exact species. I suspect most likely Amsinckia tessellata or possibly Amsinckia menziesii, but this plant is new to me and the variations are subtle and numerous.

Common fiddleneck is a member of the borage family, aka the forget-me-not family.

Adorable, hairy tendrils growing toward the light…

Hey, that sounds a lot like us fuzzy little humans 🙂

Keep growing! ~ EK


LIRIODENDRON TULIPIFERA in Spring

If the title of this post looks familiar to you, you are very observant and deserve a high five.

Back at the beginning of this year (January 2nd to be exact) I shared some very different pictures of this tree in a post called LIRIODENDRON TULIPIFERA IN SNOW

Well, it’s May…

The snow has melted, the hot sun is making regular appearances again, and wouldn’t you know it, this Tulip Tree is now in full spring bloom.

Liriodendron tulipifera, aka Tulip Tree or Yellow Poplar, is native to Eastern North America (far from where this one is planted) and is the state tree of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana.

Tulip Trees bloom May through June.

Big showy yellow flowers banded in bright orange at the base of each petal.

What a gift to witness these blooms! Almost surreal looking.

Generous cups of cold sherbet, vanilla and orange…

Perhaps a shaded feast for some lucky pollinators on a hot day.

As colorful as they are, it’s easy to scan the tree and not see the flowers because they don’t open up until after the leaves are fully formed, and by then they are fairly tucked in and hidden.

I’m glad I got a chance to snap these photos; I’ve never seen a Tulip Tree bloom and I was excited to share it with you. 🙂 For reference (for myself as much as anyone else) I took these with my old Pentax K-500 with an inexpensive CPL filter.

What’s blooming in your world? 🙂

Love! EK

Cold and accomplished – first camping trip of the season

Long before I opened my eyes to the calm blue light of tent walls dotted with sunlit glassy raindrops, the honking of geese overhead stirred me to consciousness and a sleepy smile spread across my slightly chapped lips.

First sight of the day, wet tent fabric

These early morning moments are what I camp for.

Waking up in a tent to the smell of wet earth.

Crisp air nips at my cheeks and reminds me of my vitality.

The sounds of animals bustling around me on a thick carpet of damp ponderosa pine needles reminds me I am but one part of a large web of deeply connected beings.

Waking up to a new day alongside non-human siblings – the grasses, the trees, the bugs, the birds, the deer, the rocks. Whew! What a privilege.

looking up inside the tent
out of the warm tent and into the wet cold morning
boots on…
and ready to face the day
sunrise over camp
Foggy sunrise over Lake Roosevelt, May 8th

First camping trip of the year… CHECK!

How beautiful is that fog rolling off the lake? 🙂

Stay curious, friends! ~ EK

Liriodendron tulipifera in snow

Last weekend I noticed snow had collected in the dried remains of the fruit on this Tulipwood Tree. I was struck by how much they looked like tiny snow cones and attempted to capture their adorableness with my old-but-new-to-me 75-300mm zoom lens.

Liriodendron tulipifera aka Tulip Tree, Tulipwood Tree or Yellow Poplar produces a cone shaped fruit comprised of many samaras – dry, single cell fruit which are dispersed by the wind.

Too charming not to share 🙂

Happy New Year and all the best, Bette