A Blooming Spectacle at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

I kept my eyes open throughout Death Valley for signs of wildflowers. It was one reason why we wanted to visit. Last year, the national park experienced a superbloom that happens once in a blue moon because of specific environmental conditions. It's not enough that California got literally drenched this January and February, a record downpour that broke a years-long... Continue Reading →

Seward Park: Seattle’s Great Urban Walk

It's not so easy to find old-growth forest within Seattle city limits anymore, yet Seward Park has the Magnificent Forest featuring evergreen trees aged 200 years or more. The park was designed by the famous Olmstead brothers and remains a wonderful legacy of a time when city officials saw fit to set aside forested areas for public enjoyment. It occupies all... Continue Reading →

The Hiking Trails and Wildflowers Around Sun Mountain Lodge (Winthrop, WA)

The first time my wife and I stayed at Sun Mountain Lodge over a decade ago, there were abundant wildflowers on the trails nearby. In spots, they were so profuse that the ground was covered with them. It was an experience that stayed in my memory, one only matched by the wildflower displays on the Big... Continue Reading →

Hiking in the Cougar Mountain Regional Park (WA)

The greater Seattle area—as a matter of fact, the entire western Pacific Northwest—has been basking in sunshine since late last week, and is expected to continue to do so through the next. I can't ever recall sunny skies with temperatures in the 70s-80s this early in May and for such an extended period. The inevitable... Continue Reading →

Big Quilcene Trail, Olympic National Forest (WA)

One of the great hikes for wildflower viewing is in my own backyard, on the east side of the Olympic peninsula, part of Olympic National Forest. The Big Quilcene River Trail climbs 3,500 ft in a little over 5 miles, past old growth forest of hemlock and Western red cedar, yellow cedar and subalpine fir. The... Continue Reading →

Western Azalea

One of the glorious native shrubs that grows along the coasts of California and Oregon is the western azalea. It is really not an azalea, but rather a rhododendron, a deciduous one at that. When in bloom, the shrub is very prolific. Since it was late spring, our road trip coincided with its peak blossoming... Continue Reading →

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