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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Afternoon Walk At Lime Kiln

After spending eight hours in the office at work today, it was time to get out and enjoy the end of the sunny Sunday afternoon. I decided to drive out to the west side of the island to go for a walk. Before I even got there, I had to pull over to the side of the road to investigate these red flowers that have sprung up along several roadside ditches:

These are red columbine (Aquilegia formosa), amazingly intricate yellow and red flowers when examined up close. The name columbine is derived from the Latin word for "dove", because someone with a bit of imagination thought the petals and spurs looked like five doves perched in a circle.

Out at Lime Kiln Point State Park another new flower had come into bloom: baldhip rose (Rose gymnocarpa). These flowers emerged on a plant I was waiting to bloom, because the leaves and branches had intrigued me but I wasn't able to ID it. It turns out the flowers look nearly identical to Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana), an abundant shrub that I was familiar with:

The difference comes in the spines along the stems:

It wasn't just the flowers that were worth photographing today. The clouds over Haro Strait looked pretty stunning, too:

They've done some clearing out of madrone trees along the trails to open up the view a little bit. On my way out, the pattern of this stump caught my eye. It has some Oregon grape leaves peaking around the edge, but it was amazing how many of the stumps were already sprouting little madrone branchlets.


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Heather said...

I like that Columbine shot - those are one of my favorite spring flowers (even though they don't like my garden very well!) And what a beautiful sky you shared!