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Wildflower Walk Number 1, 2016

posted Feb 20, 2016, 12:18 PM by Lynn Moody
On February 15 our Labrador retriever, Petunia, and I went for our first wildflower walk of the season.  Usually our wildflowers peak in early April but already there are a few blooming.  We walked up (upstream and more or less North) the same small canyon that contains our house.
Be darned if I can remember the name of this one with small white flowers - popcorn flower? - I'll have to look it up - it is very common in our canyon and pretty when it is in full bloom (not that it's not pretty now...as it's just getting started).

Below is Miner's lettuce (Claytonia) which is a common herb, has generally inconspicuous white flower which sprouts up in the center of the "umbrella."  This, I've read, was an important food source for miners and other early European-derived settlers.  We like it too, very nice on sandwiches and in salads.  Nice green flavor, like lettuce.  Sheep like it too.  The photo is a little out of focus, camera on auto had a hard time with all that green, I guess.
Above, and below the Miner's lettuce, is, umm, a plant with yellow flowers.  These flowers are each only about a half-inch across, but nice, each yellow petal has a red spot toward the flower center.
Red maids, I believe this one is.  Really pretty, very small plant and very small blossom - only about a half-inch across.  What a vivid magenta color to it.
This one is a general view of up-canyon, with oaks, grass, forbs (herbs) and some fallen wood.  Interesting, in the sun the grasses and forbs are short, in the shade they are much taller, and moister, and the ground is spongy underfoot with moist organic material.  I just noticed I can see the shadow of my arm in the photo.
There's my dear friend Petunia on our walk. 
Here's Petunia AFTER the walk, in our kitchen lapping up water and cooling off.  It was a warm day!  As Jim's uncle's wife says, a tired dog is a good dog!
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