Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Catherine Creek

Tuesday, June 12th, my wife and I drove down to the Columbia River gorge from Spokane, arriving at Catherine Creek, our first destination, very early in the morning.  We slept for several hours there in the back of our van and at dawn hiked the trails in the area.  We went to see the Western Ladies' Tresses, a native orchid which grows only there in Washington State.  We knew they would not be blooming yet but wanted to see how far along they were.  We found them but they were only just starting to send up flower spikes.  Catherine Creek is one of our favorite places, however, and so we spent most of the morning there photographing the wildflowers, the insects, the creek and magnificent scenery of the Columbia gorge.  These are some of our pictures.

Forktooth Ookow

Klamthweed Beetles on Klamathweed

Large-flowered Brodiaea

Catherine Creek was once a homestead of some kind and that is still evident in the remains of old wooden fences and flowers that are not native to our state.


Moth Mullein

Rose Thorns

Yellow Salsify

Sweet Pea


  1. Ron,
    That utterly ravishing picture of the rose thorns is such a great shot! And the drench of color in the sweet pea photo is delicious.
    I think you must wash and blow dry these flowers before you take their mug shots--they are so angelic.
    The flower names are neat as well--"yellow salsify" sounds vaguely an unfaithful a bloom and
    the moth mullein is fun to say, the wally basket sounds so different, and are there big black beetles on those yellow flowers slumbering on the blooms?
    Very neat.
    The trees look like arrowheads. The third eye you folks have is simply perfect.

    1. Hi Julie,
      Thanks for commenting. We are just back from another jaunt - 1500 miles and 1500 pictures. We went down the Oregon coast (fabulous) into Norther California to see the redwoods (incredible) and then up through eastern Oregon orchid hunting with a stop at Crater Lake (just simply unbelievable).
      As to the flowers, their common names are so much more satisfying than the botanical names. Yellow Salsify is also known as Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon because it closes its flowers at noon or as Goatsbeard for its fluffy white seedheads. And, yes, those are beetles on the yellow flowers - they were covered with these beetles.


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