Magnolia liliiflora, Anyone? Plus, New Luna!

I’m taking a short blog break this weekend, but you know I wouldn’t leave you without a little beauty. For instance, here is a lovely view of the Cascades, still winter-clad.

Cascades from somewhere near Gold Bar, WA. Image shows several of the jagged Cascades peaks covered in snow.

Cascades from somewhere near Gold Bar, WA.

Spring is arriving, which means early flowers brightening up the place. Here we have some delightful Magnolia liliiflora getting ready to burst out in its full glory.

Magnolia liliiflora buds. Image shows a lot of large, pink buds against the slender branches.

Magnolia liliiflora buds.

They’re especially gorgeous near-sunset, on a stormy day, during a sunbreak:

Blown Magnolia liliiflora flower. Image shows the opened flower against blue sky and white clouds.

Blown Magnolia liliiflora flower.

Here’s a nice close-up of one of the buds. They’re huge!

Magnolia liliiflora bud. It's a large, pink bud with a cedar branch and storm clouds in the background.

Magnolia liliiflora bud.

And opening buds, and blue skies, and enchantment.

Half-blown Magnolia liliiflora buds.

Half-blown Magnolia liliiflora buds.

Here is a really lovely picture of a branch full o’ flowers shaking hands with the sky.

Magnolia liliiflora buds getting ready to open. A single branch against bright-blue sky and a few whispy white clouds.

Magnolia liliiflora buds getting ready to open.

You’re the ones who identified these, long ago, when all I could call them was las princesas. You never let me down!

Our little Luna’s almost a cat now. Mind you, she’s mostly fluff, but it looks like she’ll be bigger than her big brother by the end of her growing up.

Kirby and Luna on their cat castle. A few months ago, that little platform looked gigantic under her - now it's barely big enough for a comfy nap.

Kirby and Luna on their cat castle. A few months ago, that little platform looked gigantic under her – now it’s barely big enough for a comfy nap.

She loves play-times with her brother and her daddies.

Luna and Kirby playing chase-the-ball. Luna's on top of a box, Kirby on the floor beside her, both watching avidly as the ball spins in the track.

Luna and Kirby playing chase-the-ball.

They’ve been mostly hanging round the house while it pours rain, but they’ve had a few sunshiny days where the can lounge on the deck. Soon, we’ll all be outside exploring the yard together. It’ll be Luna’s first full spring.

But winter isn’t done with us yet. Jack Frost had his way with my car the other night.

Frost patterns on me car hood. They look like huge sweeping ostrich plumes. Beautiful!

Frost patterns on me car hood.

Have a lovely weekend, my darlings! Next week, we’ll continue on with our Christianist textbooks, and see what the creationists have been up to lately. I know, so much to look forward to. Best go do something super-fun so you can endure the anticipation!


  1. rq says

    Oh, magnolias! I love magnolias.
    We bought a very expensive magnolia bush that came with a house, but it hasn’t shown signs of blooming this year (it is a very young bush, though). I hope the weird winter (freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw) hasn’t killed it, because I just loooove the elegance of magnolia flowers.
    Also, the Cascades are gorgeous, as are the cascading cats. :)
    Hope you have a great weekend, too!

    • Lithified Detritus says


      That’s the normal pattern around around here. This year it’s been more like freeze-freeze-freeze-freeze, with a lot of snow-snow-snow-snow mixed in. Nobody can remember a winter like this.

      • rq says

        Heh, that’s our usual pattern (freeze-freeze-freeze-etc.). The thaws were long enough to wake some plants up, so a lot of early shoots and buds got nipped off by the next freeze. Most things look alive, though, even most of my roses. But a couple of more weeks should show more definite signs.

        • Lithified Detritus says

          By my reckoning, you are about 15° of latitude (roughly 1650 km) nearer to the Arctic Circle than I am. Clearly your winter was mistakenly shipped to Michigan, and ours went to you. Who do we complain to?

  2. Trebuchet says

    I love the spring flowers around here — except for one. The brilliant yellow Forsythia, magnolias, and camelias are all out now. Bulbs are coming up — near Port Townsend on SR104, someone years ago planted daffodiles on a roadcut hillside in the shape of a peace symbol. They’re still there. And soon we’ll have Rhodies.

    The “except one” is Scotch Broom. My wife is asthmatic. It’s horrible stuff. It’s just getting started and we’ll have it along every road in the region until June.

    • Onamission5 says

      I would take a torch to scotch broom if I had my druthers. People have started importing them to here as landscape color accents and nooooo the locust trees are bad enough without that yellow dust too thank you.

  3. Lithified Detritus says

    Lovely. The sky sets them off beautifully.

    No flowers here yet, but the record snow is disappearing fairly rapidly, and not a minute too soon. The rivers are high, but so far no serious flooding. Everyone in this part of the world is ready for spring.

  4. Trebuchet says

    Somewhat off-topic, but we’ve got an unfortunate geological event happening here in the Puget regions. A massive mudslide has killed three people near Oso, WA, and blocked the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River, threatening communities downstream with a flash flood if it breaks. Water is still rising behind the mud dam last I heard.

    • Lithified Detritus says

      Sounds pretty awful – now 18 unaccounted for. The pictures are scary – that’s a huge chunk of hillside. I hope the folks downstream are taking the evacuation orders seriously.

    • rq says

      Wow, that’s terrible! And scary!
      Dittoing on the evacuation orders, I hope the mudslide holds until the waters recede. :/

    • Trebuchet says

      Four officially dead now. And a six-month old baby in critical condition. This is about 20 miles north of my home, and only a few miles farther from Dana’s. If you find Steelhead Road on Google Earth, think about the people in those houses. The whole road is not there any more.

      I’m feeling very small right now. The Earth is very large, and we’re just existing in a film on the surface. And the Earth is just a tiny speck in the universe.

      • rq says

        The news here says 8 dead this morning, with more than 10 still missing. :( Keeping you and them in my thoughts.

      • Trebuchet says

        Now officially 14 dead and perhaps as many as 100 missing. Shit. Mother Earth must not be happy with us. Or not even care that we exist.

        • Dana Hunter says

          I’m working up an article for Rosetta Stones on this. Some jackass official played the “no warning” card. This area’s prone to landslides and that’s been known for almost a century. There was a slide there in 2006 that re-routed the river, ffs. The Seattle Times has a sharp story on it:

          I swear I could spit nails about now….

          Thanks for letting me know. I’d missed the news before Trebuchet brought it up.

          • rq says

            Wow. And yet they keep cutting science funding, because who needs that shit.