You’re racking up the successes, my darlings. Achrachno and Silver Fox finished in a dead heat identifying the flowers from Lava Butte: Ericameria nauseosa. Aspidocelis nailed the pretty purple tree: Paulownia tomentosa. That one almost made me decide to give up the Mystery Flora. It’s depressing to discover that your favorite purple tree is an invasive species. Sigh. Ah, well, ours is all alone in the park, so no sex and evil invasive bebbes. I suppose that’s some consolation.
Having recovered from that upset, I’ve decided I shan’t deprive you of flowers. The major impetus to this decision is simple: I’ve spent my productive writing time tonight scouring the Oregon and Washington Geological Survey sites, along with the USGS, looking for publications to download. That’s the thing about this Kindle Fire: it requires constant feeding. It doesn’t matter how much I pour into it. I finish a book or paper or two, and no matter how many I have left, I feel desperate for more. It’s all about the choices. I now have a fat collection of delicious pdfs and no time left for writing substantial stuff. Therefore, flora. Besides, you all seem to enjoy it.
Today’s selection comes from Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics.
They remind me of working in the bookstore. We used to get herds of people in looking for books. “I don’t know the title, the author or what it’s about,” they’d say, “but it’s this big and blue.” That’s these flowers in a nutshell. This big and blue.
Hurricane Ridge in August is outstanding. I’m sure it’s outstanding any time of year, but in August, the wildflower meadows are full of enormous varieties of wildflowers and butterflies. Add in the fact you’ve got sweeping vistas of some remarkable, rugged mountain terrain, and you’ve got a spot you can spend pretty much the rest of eternity in.
If I had my life to live over again, I’d throw over the easy indoor work and become a naturalist. I can see why the gentlemen scientists of the 1700s and 1800s were so promiscuous in their scientific investigations. It’s kind of hard to settle. I mean, yes, geology is my first love, and you can easily lure me away from a flower by waving a rock at me, but biology is damned fascinating as well.
Very nearly the whole of science could be explored in these lovely little flowers. Geology, for the soils they grow in. Biology, for obvious reasons. Chemistry, for the chemicals that they’re composed of and give them their color. Physics could be worked in there, and meteorology easily, and I’ll bet if we really tried, we could tie any branch of science we wish to these blooms. Even astronomy, if we get creative. After all, they’re made of star stuff.
And, seeing as how it would be cruel to mention mountains and not show you any, thee shall have a view of the Hurricane Ridge Visitor’s Center with the Olympics in the background, and the rim of a glacial cirque in the foreground.