Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Wildflower Chasing

When we first started hiking in Lassen at the tail-end of summer last year, we saw a few wildflowers blooming along the trails. (You can read more about those eye-opening adventures on my travel blog Vaughn the Road Again.) I took some photos of the colorful blooms and didn't think much of it. And then I began to wonder what they were called. What are your names? I wondered as I scrolled through the day's photos.

Kings Creek Falls Hiking Trail
Fireweed (Kings Creek Falls Trail, Lassen VNP)

Now that talks of #SuperBloom2019 are circulating, I've decided to take my love of flowers one step further than just capturing their beauty with my little Canon camera. I'm going to learn their names.

I took the time and effort to learn more about the birds I photograph, so why don't I know the name of a flower just by looking at it? Because, I'm realizing now that I'm committed to the project, it isn't all that easy. It took me 45 minutes to find the name of this beauty from Gray Lodge Wildlife Area. It's a Multiflora Rose, btw. Did you even know that this is what a wild rose looks like?! Beautiful!

white wild roses
Multiflora Rose

There are plenty of helpful guides online, but even when you narrow wildflowers down by color, location, etc., the list still takes forever to "weed" through. (Pun totally intended!) However, I think it will be worth it.

I didn't know a finch from a sparrow years ago when I was bitten by the birding bug, and yet I kept at it and learned. One of the great things about being human is the ability to learn, to absorb information and put it to use in our daily lives.

Wild Radishes

Before today, I didn't know there were flowers called Wild Radishes that bloomed in pink, yellow and white near my house. And I also didn't know that those crazy purple thorny things I'm fascinated with are Milk Thistle.

Milk Thistle

I won't forget their names now either. Every time I see one, I'll know what to call it. Just like an old friend.

New Year's Day isn't the only time to set new goals for yourself. I'm getting a late start on this whole wildflower identification thing, but better late than never, right? Have you set any new goals even though we're mid-way through the year already?

Here's to blooming where you're planted and learning more about the world around us!

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