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Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring has finally arrived! (in the vernal equinox sense anyways)

"It is the will of God that we must have critics and missionaries and congressmen and humorists, and we must bear the burden"......Mark Twain

March.....the month of spring, named for Mars the God of war, but also the agricultural guardian. The springing back to life of the dormant garden. The Easter bunny, chicks, spring brings so many new things.....mowing the lawn every week comes to mind as one of the unpleasantries.

Erythronium hendersonii

Thousands of Louis Hendersons botanical herbarium specimens now reside at my Alma Mater Oregon State University, He was a true botanical bad ass, and if you doubt that at all, he swam across the Columbia River near Hood River at the Age of 70.......I dare you to try that. His name sake Fawn Lily resides in the far Southwestern coner of the state, barely touching California and inhabiting the same range of the mysterious Darlingtonia or Cobra lily. Beauty among the genus especially if you fancy pink.

Erythronium helenae
Quite similar to the common E. oregonum which I used to pick by the score as a lad in the woodlands where I grew up. This is the California verson, the unopened picture probably doesn't do it justice, but it's here for variety.
Erythronium multiscapoideum
The Sierra Fawn Lily, of the Cascade Range and Sierran Nevada foothills of California, the Jepson California flora states it as a good candidate for the shade garden.
Fritillaria obliqua
Ahh the most sinister of flowers, if ever there was a grim reaper in the floral kingdom it would have to be this, the shiny black, cloak surely lost among the brightly colored tulips and daffodils yet ever is it there, waiting it's turn.
"Black Velvet with that slow southern style"
Hermodactylus tuberosus-Unusual color form
Literally this is black velvet, you have to see the falls on this in person to appreciate it because a camera doesn't really capture it, but is a furry, silky black, purply velvet. Endangered in it's Native Greece due to habitat loss.
?Fritillaria gracilis?
Someone help me out here, none of my references have this species.

As promised the side by side of Tecophiliea cyanocrocus and Gentiana acaulis to duke it out for bluest of the blue......in the Gentian's defense it's in a pot on my front porch and the sunlight makes photography a bit trickier than the subtle, diffuse lighting under the poly roof of the greenhouse. Oh and also in the Gentians defense, that white blob in the background is snow.....
Here is a shot of my dog making snow angels and the kiddo poking sticks into a snow pile.... This is pure craziness for an Oregon Spring....I'm happy to say goodbye to winter, although the weather man says we could get another shot of snow later this week.....Glad to have a California vacation coming up soon and ready for some sun!!

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