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Jun 24 2011

Okay, Sometimes the Biology’s All Right, Too

Never fear, I’ll have more rocks up in the not-too-distant future.  But seeing as how I’ve got research to do and Aunty Flow’s here, we’ll have an interlude for biology.  Some of it’s awfully pretty, even though it gets in the way of all the nice geology.  I can even identify some of it, thanks to my handy-dandy copy of Wildflowers of the Olympics and Cascades – a book wonderfully organized and sized just right for a messenger bag.



These fabulous ox-eye daisies were blooming all along the road in Monroe.  They’re not native plants, but they’ve made a happy home here, and they’re pretty.



American Brooklime, I think.  These were growing happily by the Skykomish River at Al Borlin Park.



I’m pretty sure this is an Herb Robert.  Apparently, it’s an invasive species.  Damn them for being so pretty!



I have no idea what this is.  Both book and website have failed me, but these were spectacular, popping out all over the trail, and I love them.



Another beauty whose name I don’t know.  But, spectacular.



More American Brooklime, this time in the shade, so you can really appreciate their delicate blueness.



Yet more unidentified beauties.  Damn it, Jim, I’m no botanist!



I’m super-excited over these.  I’d never seen them before, and they’re unusual, and I love them.  They’re Pacific Bleeding Heart.  They like shady spots, and apparently animals shouldn’t eat them because they’ve got poisonous alkaloids.  But they’re lovely, so we’ll just skip over the deadly part.



Sublime, aren’t they just?



And now we’re out by Gold Bar, on the riverbank, and we’ve got some lovely lupines.  These are either Broadleaf or Large-Leaved Lupine, I suspect – I’m not rightly sure how to tell the difference.  “Lupine” comes from the Latin for “wolf,” which refers to these beauties’ ability to out-compete other plants.  Neato, right?



And there you are.  Lots of flowers.  That’s one of the many things I love about living up here.  There’s always something showing off, whether it’s the geology or the biology or both.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Suzanne

    see, biology isn't all bad :) lovely eye candy dana — i don't know what they are either but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the named and un-named beauties you shared tonight. thank you.

  2. 2
    Stephanie Zvan

    I can't see enough foliage to be sure, but some or all of your unidentified flowers may be dame's rocket. The color range on it can be spectacular, even in a single location.

  3. 3
    mike b

    Bleeding hearts always make me think of Linneaus:http://tinyurl.com/622h7dz

  4. 4
    mike b

    err Linnaeus. e finger is faster than the a finger….

  5. 5
    viajera

    As we biology-types say, Lupines are Loopy – they're darn hard to tell apart in the field! You have to count leaflets, distinguish stipule types, and estimate relative hairyness. Some of the PNW species are all but impossible to distinguish, unless you're a botanist specializing in legumes.Beautiful photos and writing. I'm a PNW native and a biologist (gasp!) with a love of rocks and mountains, relocated to the Deep South far away from rocks, let alone mountains. Reading your work takes me back to my itinerant biologist days in the NW. Love it!

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